DS schools launch Mediterranean lunch

Dover Sherborn High’s cafeteria staff present a Mediterranean menu of flavorful, homemade delights. Photos by Laura Drinan

By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter

School lunches get a bad reputation. While America’s school lunches are frequently thought of as microwaved slop, Dover Sherborn Public Schools planned a lunch for the middle and high school students that proved school lunches can easily be delicious and healthy.

With the help of professional chef from the John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University, Dover Sherborn Middle and High School students enjoyed a Mediterranean-themed lunch on April 5.

Students could choose between a chicken shawarma pita or a hummus pita. Along with their choice of protein, they could enjoy mujaddara (lentils and rice pilaf), baba ganoush (egg plant spread), tzatziki (cucumber and garlic yogurt sauce), and a melon mint salad.

“It was the hardest meal we’ve ever made,” said one of the cafeteria staff members, who revealed that the team spent three days preparing the meal. “The kids were excited about it, I think. It was something different and something that we never had before.”

On any given day, the cafeteria staff prepares almost four hundred meals for the students. With each element of the Mediterranean menu being homemade, the staff worked tirelessly from the start of the week to be able to feed every student in need of a lunch.

“It seems like they actually made it, and it’s really good,” said one of the many students who tried the new menu. “If they did more stuff like this, I’d probably enjoy lunch more often.”

Best of all, the lunch provided students with the proper amount of nutrients demanded by federal requirements. They provide children with large servings of produce, whole grains, lower sodium, limits on fat and saturated fat, and also abide by age-appropriate calorie suggestions.

“They’re also trying to develop other meals like this that are fresh, homemade, from scratch,” said Dover Sherborn’s licensed dietitian Nora Saul. “It meets the guidelines for national school lunch, so they’re healthy. They get vitamins, minerals, fiber… The [kitchen staff] really does try here.”

For the schools’ non-adventurous eaters, the cafeteria offered the regular salads, pizza, and sandwiches. Nora, however, welcomed students to try the new menu’s food with samples for each cafeteria table. Even Dover Sherborn Public Schools’ Superintendent Andrew Keough stopped in to taste the new lunch.

With such a positive response from the students and faculty, the staff hopes to create tasty and nutritious homemade meals for the children more frequently throughout the year.

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