News Roundup

  • Dover Sherborn made the news after hosting JSI’s first-ever Live Setting Training on April 5th. The school served a Mediterranean-themed “Make Your Own Pita Pocket” lunch alongside JSI’s Professional Chef Brendan Gallagher. This training incorporated the lessons, flavors and recipes from the “Back to Basics: Mediterranean Flavors Workshop to Go” and featured them live for students to enjoy in the lunchroom.
  • Dedham Schools just received a valuable grant to expand their school breakfast program. This grant, which was from Amazon for $7,500, was used to purchase a breakfast and milk cart to serve breakfast in schools that do not have a cafeteria. With this new equipment, breakfast can be delivered to students in the classroom so they aren’t hungry in the morning and can start their day on the right foot.
  • To celebrate National Nutrition Month, Medway Middle School hosted a “grain-sampling” event for students to discover different grains. The school nutrition team also created lunch dishes featuring these items so students can see how these grains can be incorporated in meals and try then in their lunches. All recipes were shared with the parents after the event.
  • On April 2nd, Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang joined the official launch of  The “My Way Café” program at Bradley Elementary school in East Boston. This program was piloted for the past year and it allows schools with in-service kitchens to prepare healthy meals for other Boston schools that do not have kitchens to increase school lunch offerings throughout the city.

Dover Sherborn Bring Mediterranean Flavors to the Lunchroom

A lunch tray from the Live-Setting Culinary Training at Dover Sherborn Regional Middle and High School filled with a pita pocket, hummus, melon mint salad, mujaddara, tzatziki and other Mediterranean add-ons.

On April 5th, students at Dover Sherborn Regional Middle and High School loaded up their trays with tabbouleh, hummus, shawarma and more as part of a “Build Your Own Pita Pocket” lunch. This special lunch was created through JSI’s first ever Live-Setting Culinary Training, which brings the “Back to Basics: Mediterranean Flavors Workshop to Go” to life. With the help of JSI’s Chef Brendan Gallagher and the phenomenal school nutrition team at Dover Sherborn, the schools were able to take the concepts and Mediterranean recipes from the Workshop to Go and actually prepare them live for all students, across all four lunch periods.

The schools prepared a robust menu packed with so many tastes of the Mediterranean. The menu included chicken shawarma or hummus, Mujaddara (lentils and rice), melon mint salad and the add-ons were baba ganoush, tzatziki, tabbouleh and chopped lettuce, tomato and onion. Although these menu items were new to many students, remarks of “Can we do this more often?” and “Can we have this everyday?” could be heard among all grade levels navigating down the Mediterranean section of the tray line. At the end of the day, the school sold 250 of the Mediterranean lunches out of the typical daily 600 lunches.

Norah, the dietitian at Dover-Sherborn Regional Middle & School preparing samples of tzatziki for the students to try.

Janelle Madden, the Food Service Director at Dover Sherborn Public Schools said, “This was absolutely, no doubt a perfect match for our program. We’re always looking for ideas to make food from scratch.” If there were any leftovers once the lunch periods were over, the team was going to repurpose items like the hummus for the power pack lunches the following day.

To attract students to the Mediterranean menu items, the school posted signage and white boards in front of the doors leading to the kitchen. They also loaded up sample trays of the baba ganoush and tzatziki sauce to have students try the flavors before deciding on their meal choices.

Signage in the lunchroom to promote the Mediterranean menu options for lunch.

The Dover-Sherborn Assistant Cook Kim said, “Kids went in to today with an open mind. If kids have new ideas, we want them to bring them to the table. We’re willing to try them!”

Chef Brendan Gallagher said, “It’s exciting to see the workshop in action with the students and to also hear great feedback from them, that’s even better.” He also shared that this menu, “… brings new energy and excitement to the students and it’s also helpful for the staff to realize kids are more adventurous than they think with food.”

If you want your school to participate in this innovative culinary training, please submit an online request. Completion of the Back to Basics: Mediterranean Flavors workshop is required to host the Live-Setting Culinary Training. A professional development day is not needed because the same Mediterranean recipes are prepared and served in the lunchroom in real-time alongside a JSI chef.

Mediterranean add-ons for the “Build a Pita Pocket” lunch

Sneak Peek into Day Two of the 2018 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs


The excitement from Day 1 of the 2018 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit will flow right into Day 2, with a must-see presentation on “Branding Your Program Like a Pro,” in-depth breakout sessions and a recognition ceremony for school nutrition professionals and programs from across Massachusetts.

Day Two begins at 8:00a.m. with a welcome from the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

At 8:30 a.m. we are honored to have Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, President of Nutrition for the Future, Inc. lead a presentation on “Branding Your Program Like a Pro!” She will explore how branding can help meet customer needs with a comprehensive approach to excellence. Dayle will share creative ways to include nutrition employees in marketing and promotion; to engage students, school staff, and community leaders; and to tell school nutrition success stories to all audiences.

Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, President of Nutrition for the Future, Inc.

Dayle will also be leading the “Engaging Your Customers” track on May 31st for “Growing Your Nutrition Brand.” Dive deeper with Dayle in both the morning and afternoon sessions to build a strong brand for your school nutrition program. Learn how to use branding to enhance the perception of school meals throughout your community and increase participation for all school meals.

In the “Expanding School Breakfast” track, you can join the “Thinking Outside the Cafeteria Tray” session and discover alternative School Breakfast Program service models designed to overcome barriers to participation. After that, join the “Team Up: Breaking Breakfast Barriers” panel including School Nutrition Directors and Denise Courtney, MS, RD, the Nutrition Education and School Wellness Training Coordinator for ESE Team Up. Through this session, discover new ways to promote the School Breakfast Program.

For the second day of the “Maximizing Community Support” track, the morning and afternoon sessions will focus on “Game On: Six Steps to Building a Healthier School.” Learn how to work more effectively to improve your school wellness policy and practices. Assess your school environment using the AFHK-modified CDC School Health Index and create an action plan for your school’s wellness policy initiatives.

In the afternoon, Robert Leshin, Director for the Office for Food and Nutrition Programs will host a “News You Can Use” session full of updates and essential news for Massachusetts school nutrition programs.

Each day of the Summit provides 5½ continuing education hours to meet USDA Professional Standards training needs. Don’t forget to register by May 11th and secure your spot for the 2018 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit.  

The two-day conference is sponsored by the Office for Food and Nutrition Programs at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition.