The school lunches of today are lacking, but there are some who are trying to make that different. One Minneapolis school system is shaking lunches up with real food from real farms and lunch sales are rocketing!
Admit it–the thought of most school lunches doesn’t make you jump up and down with excitement for what your child will be eating. Full of processed ingredients, often full of empty calories–they’re often just junk.
Now a Bertrand Weber, a former chef and now the director of the district’s Culinary and Wellness Services, has turned school lunches around, saying that after his son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 31 years ago, he knew whole foods was where he needed to focus his time.
In an interview with KARE 11 in Minneapolis, Weber’s says his interest in foods in general began when he was a teenager. He said that his family moved to Florida to open a restaurant and he worked in the family business for a few decades before moving to his own kitchens. Then, he decided he was going to hone in on school lunch food, committed to getting rid of processed food in favor of whole foods with real flavor.
He says (and we agree!) that going back to ‘real food’ is not rocket science. In reality, whole foods are actually cheaper to buy when in bulk and easier to make into foods kids will find delicious and eat, rather than toss in the can every lunch period.
Today's school lunch is not the lunch of our childhoods, especially in Minneapolis where chef @BertrandWeber has changed everything. Real food, real farms, real flavor. For every child. @janashortal sat down to talk with him, today on @kare11 at 6:30 #btn11 pic.twitter.com/EeoONVW1La
— bengarvin (@bengarvin) December 17, 2018
With his lunches in Minneapolis, the school district has served 1.2 million more meals than it did back in 2012. A testament to the fact that even children know real, whole foods taste better and are better for them. Liking and eating a lunch that fills them with quality ingredients should be the main purpose of every school lunch.
Weber says that they are also trying to introduce children to different flavors and textures, slowly introducing them to different grains. While children are initially hesitant sometimes, he says that he does notice with new menu items, the kids seem to take a little more and more every offering.
No more chicken nuggets or tater tots–instead, real whole chicken and real potatoes that children want to eat. A novel concept we hope continues to trend!
Photo: Ben Garvin/KARE-TV, Minneapolis-St. Paul