Lakeside Union School District, San Diego, Calif.
Their Eggcellent Story:
Lakeside Union School District is always experimenting with new and creative ways to meet school nutrition requirements without sacrificing quality and taste. This year, Sally Spero, Child Nutrition Director at Lakeside Union, and her team developed a new breakfast item that not only meets the whole grain-rich requirement, but also provides a fun and nutritious way to include eggs as a center-of-the-plate protein at breakfast. Served every other Friday, Egg and Toast Cups (bread with an egg and cheese mixture baked in muffin tins) have been an eggcellent addition to their menu. Spero says students in her district respond well to egg-based entrees at both breakfast and lunch ― and serving meals popular amongst her students’ increases meal participation and reduces tray waste.
A different Toast Cup recipe was featured in a cooking magazine that Spero often reads to keep current with new culinary trends. The original magazine recipe was intended for lunch and didn’t contain eggs. But Spero liked the ‘toast cup’ idea. It got her thinking—why not use the toast cup as the base for a breakfast item? Putting her own spin on the recipe, Spero put an egg mixture into bread cups and turned it into a breakfast item for her students.
In order to satisfy the students’ needs and diverse tastes, Spero makes sure to offer menu options that are on-trend, healthy and versatile. And speaking of versatile, the district is currently experimenting with ways to bake an egg and cheese mixture into a patty form that can be used to make breakfast sandwiches. And it doesn’t end there…they also developed two grab-and-go meals using eggs ― one for breakfast and one for lunch. Both are served once a week. Spero summed it all up with, “We love eggs here!” Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
“One of the most challenging hurdles we face as school nutrition professionals is finding creative ways to include protein in breakfast meals under The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), especially as it is no longer required. It is unfortunate that due to the nutrition standards, many of my peers have given up and serve their students cheap and sugary cookies, crackers, cereals, etc., that meet the requirements of the standards but not the nutritional needs of the students. Eggs are an economical way for me to serve meals that are high in nutritional quality and are very versatile as they can be served in many ways.” – Sally Spero, SNS, Child Nutrition Director
The background on this outstanding district:
Lakeside Union School District’s Child Nutrition department is on the cutting edge of the scratch-cooking movement taking place in America’s schools. Moving away from processed foods and adding scratch-made salads, sandwiches, entrees and breads has allowed the program to increase revenues by over 40 percent while maintaining food and labor cost percentages. Neighboring school districts send staff members to LUSD for training, and LUSD staff members frequently speak about the meal program, including presentations to the California School Nutrition Association and the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. LUSD and its staff have been honored by the USDA Western Region Office and the Humane Society for work in this area.
|District||Lakeside Union School District|
|Contact Name||Sally Spero|
|Title||Child Nutrition Director, SNS|
|Number of Sites||9|
|Do all schools have kitchens||No|
|Total Meals Served||660,000|