Staff Editorial: Cafeteria succeeds in providing healthy foods suited for teenage diets

Editor’s Note: This is the staff editorial published in the March print issue of The Tiger Print. The opinions expressed in this column were voted on by the staff, with 23 members agreeing and 0 members disagreeing.

When the average high school student hears the words “cafeteria food,” the first things that come to mind are mystery meats, unrecognizable veggies, rubber cheeses and dry bread.
Images of edamame or brown rice, certainly, do not appear in students’ minds when they think of their cafeteria.
Very rarely do the words “hummus,” and “chickpeas,” appear on the typical school cafeteria lunch menu.
But food service in the Blue Valley School District is hardly average.
According to a Department of Agriculture report to Congress, only 2 percent of public school students meet the Food Guide Pyramid serving recommendations for all five major food groups.
While this statistic does reflect eating behaviors at home, this low percentage of students meeting recommended nutrition servings is also an indication on how schools are failing to provide, not only nutritious food, but food that students actually want to eat.
And with rising food prices, this is not an easy job, especially with hundreds of picky eaters passing through the cafeteria every day — each person with their own preferences and dietary restrictions.
But our cafeteria has managed to succeed in doing something that most high school cafeterias have been unable to do.
They have balanced edibility and healthiness.
Yes, not everything provided in the cafeteria is optimum health food.
But most of the food is, and what really matters is that students have the choice to eat healthy foods if they want.
We take for granted that our school has a salad bar, healthy wraps and food that is nutritious.
The rolls and bread sticks are whole grain, and they serve a variety of unique vegetables and fruits like edamame, chickpeas, pineapple and kiwi.
But most surprising of all is the hummus.
Finding good hummus at a restaurant is hard enough, but finding decent hummus in a school cafeteria?
Unheard of.
Yet, a few weeks ago, our cafeteria served a delicious hummus.
So, BV cafeteria staff, keep doing what you are doing. And please serve more of that great hummus.