“I’m so glad we have this salad bar!”
Chicken, cheese, oranges and greens, with a splattering of Italian dressing, were on the plate of this Terre Centre ES student, one of the first through the line for their new salad bar which opened November 2. Cafeteria staff were delighted to see plentiful amounts of greens, fruit and vegetables on the trays of students moving through the line for their hot entrée. FCPS Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has teamed up with Real Food for Kids to pilot these salad bars and will proceed with a full elementary school expansion.
Terre Centre is the fifth of 18 salad bars opening this school year in FCPS elementary schools, following Vienna, Lynbrook, Mount Vernon Woods and Gunston. Aldrin is slated to open November 16 and Riverside before the Winter Break. Within five years, all elementary schools will have salad bars, thanks to the vision of new FNS Director, Rodney Taylor (see related story below).
Prior to the official launch, students spend some time with Christie St. Pierre, a member of the FNS staff to be trained on how to use the salad bar. While that may seem a no-brainer, the students need to become familiar with a few safety rules – one squirt of hand sanitizer before you get your tray – use the tongs, not your fingers – don’t take more than you think you will really eat, because you can’t put it back.
“I’m so excited we have this salad bar!” exclaimed one student as he squirted dressing on his apples and chicken. Similar enthusiasm was heard around the room, including delight from one gluten intolerant student who is now able to self-select foods she can eat. A number of brown-baggers chose to buy lunch at Terre Centre’s launch following the training so they could check it out “for real,” and were very pleased with the choices.