FCNS rolls out new smoothies, prompts visit from USDA representatives

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Dallas ISD’s Food and Child Nutrition Services (FCNS) is blending up a tasty, new menu item for all high school campuses. Smoothies are now apart of the breakfast offerings to choose from.

The healthy snack was available to sample on Friday, March 11 during a taste-test at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. The event also brought in top food administration executives from the USDA and a delegation of USDA regional leaders from the Texas Food Administration joined students for breakfast.

Lillian Salerno, USDA rural development deputy undersecretary, was excited to take part in the new menu launch.

“It’s also a celebration, because 50 years ago some smart people decided to a pilot [program]and said, ‘let’s do breakfast for kids too since they’re already in the school, and see if they do better’”.

This smoothie option has been a item up for consideration for some time. Thousands of recipes later, and using the right mixes of ingredients the smoothie has come to life. Margaret Lopez, executive director of FCNS, says high schools are being outfitted with the right industrial blenders to be ready for the demand.

“We are making 400 servings of smoothies per hour, because there are a lot of students in our schools,” said Lopez.

About a dozen students from Booker T. took part in the tasting. During an impromptu poll, Lopez asked if they enjoyed the smoothies.

With a loud chuckle, students belted out a resounding, “Yes.”

The smoothie tasting closed out National School Breakfast Week, which was March 7–11,

Mary Ortiz of Dallas ISD’s Food and Child Nutrition Services Department said the smoothies are a part of a revamped school breakfast menu that includes a warm kolache, strawberry crumbles parfait, and hearty breakfast bar. All breakfast items are part of a complete meal and, of course, free to students.

“Our worst nightmare is having a student start their day hungry, because it means they won’t reach their learning potential the rest of the day,” Ortiz said. “We take our job very seriously to make sure the students are fed and fueled for their day.”

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