Today, 6th, 7th and 8th graders at West Rocks Middle School got to enjoy the option of making their own salad for lunch with the newly added salad bar. The students excitedly chose their different toppings and added their favorite dressings.
The salad bar all started a few weeks ago when I met with the West Rocks student food committee. I expected to meet with three or four students max. When I got to the cafeteria I was surprised when I found myself surrounded by 12 students excitedly telling me about the changes they would like to see to the school lunch. I figured 10-13 year olds would have no problem eating pizza and hamburgers everyday. Boy, I was wrong. The passion these students had for healthier food amazed me. It reminded me that the work I am doing for FoodCorps really is crucial to these students.
Last week I got the good news that the Food Service Director and her team had worked to get a salad bar in the cafeteria. I came back and did an in-cafeteria survey of all three grades with my helpers from the food committee to see what they would like to see on a salad bar. Once again I was astounded at how excited students were getting about having a salad bar. When asked, the students would almost jump out of their seats asking if we were actually getting a salad bar. I heard to many “yays!!!!” and “woohoos!!” when I was able to tell them yes. I may have even incited a little too much excitement with the 6th grade lunch, they had to be told more than a few times to quite down and sit back down at their table.
I am cannot wait to see how the salad bar becomes more of a fixture at West Rocks and hopefully these healthy options can expand to all the schools in Norwalk.