South Middlesex Regional Gets Back to Basics with Fresh Vegetables and Fruits

South Middlesex Regional Vocational Technical High School hosted a favorite JSI Workshop to Go on Wednesday April 8th: Back to Basics – Fresh Vegetables and Fruits. School nutrition staff received a hands-on culinary training, learning healthy new ways to spruce up vegetables and fruits for school meals.

JSI instructor Chef Brendan Gallagher taught the staff about the importance of vegetables and fruits in our diets, culinary techniques to prepare fresh produce, and different ways to incorporate them into different meals.

Chef Brendan presenting roasted vegetables to the staff.

Some tips included:

  • Use as minimally processed vegetables and fruits as possible.
  • Emphasize and encourage the consumption of vegetables and fruits to students.
  • Offer vegetarian menu items as options, along with a typical meat entree, to expose students to meatless choices.
  • Source locally grown products for the school cafeteria.
  • Encourage kids to try unique and new foods.
  • Sneak vegetables and fruits into any and every meal you can – try putting kale on pizzas, in soups, or in other entrees.

The staff were eager to prepare the recipes and practice the skills they learned.

Staff members working hard to prepare the Roasted Vegetable Wrap…
…And the final product – whole wheat tortillas filled with roasted peppers, onions, and carrots, and a little bit of ranch dressing and cheddar cheese!














All of the resources featured in the Back to Basics – Fresh Vegetables and Fruits workshop, and other Workshops to Go, can be found in the JSI Resource Center.

South Middlesex Regional is one of many schools taking full advantage of the MetroWest Health Foundation grant. This grant makes funds available during the 2014-2015 school year for the 25 MetroWest towns, covering the cost of up to two JSI Workshops to Go. Each school district from the MetroWest area is eligible! Be sure to schedule your training before the school year is up!

And take a look at South Middlesex Regional’s pride in their JSI trainings – with their aprons, badges, and certificates proudly hanging in their kitchen! Way to go!IMG_2147

© The John C. Stalker Institute, 2020
The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition is a partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Framingham State University.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.

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