Whitsons Culinary Group (www.whitsons.com), food service provider for Timberlane school district, has completed their most successful school year to date with increased school meal participation and overall student satisfaction. Whitsons has always been focused on not only providing healthier meal options to students, but has been instrumental in educating students about proper nutrition so they can develop lifelong healthy eating habits. Whitsons has had a great deal of success in introducing school nutrition education with both their Nutrition Safari®, and Smart Choices ™ programs.
The Nutrition Safari® program combines fun with healthy eating which creates a memorable experience for elementary students. They are visited by jungle characters such as Luke the Lion and served fresh vegetables or fruit samples in an effort to have them try different fruits or vegetables they would not normally choose to eat. Whitsons Smart Choices™ program is geared towards secondary school students and is also teamed up with Guest Chef visits, which also introduces unique meal options. Whitsons has taken a food-centric approach to school lunch; having a culinary Chef visit schools to prepare unique meals such as Sushi rolls and Japanese pancakes has generated a buzz among student “Foodies.” This school year Whitsons’ Chefs have also participated in the District Health Fairs, providing cooking demonstrations at the high school along with nutrition education.
“The elementary and high school students look forward to lunch time and we have seen an increase in participation in both breakfast and lunch. From the addition of our fresh made-to order sandwiches and quesadillas from our Panini Grill concepts to our Guest Chef visits, students seem happy to have more options. Whitsons has also upgraded equipment in the kitchens as well to ensure the quality and delivery of their meals. All the changes have had a positive overall impact for Timberlane school district,” said John Fratiello, Food Service Director for Timberlane school district for Whitsons Culinary Group.
School year 2016-17 will complete year four of a four-year contract with the school district. Timberlane looks forward to their participation in the food service program bidding process in 2017.