Deer Park Students Test Out Healthy Eats
School chef makes stop at Westchase school to test out new healthier options.
As a way to celebrate National School Lunch Week, which goes through Oct. 19, Hillsborough County School officials are working to get students excited about healthier food options.
Throughout the week, District Chef Ben Guggenmos is visiting various schools providing tasty and healthy food options.
On Tuesday, he made a stop at Deer Park Elementary School.
In the morning, Guggenmos was joined by 30 students in grades three through five to demonstrate how to make cream cheese pear roll ups. Throughout the lunch periods Chef Ben stayed on hand to pass out samples of roasted cauliflower with Parmesan and roasted carrots to students.
The samples fit right in with the school district's recent push for more healthier options. Under new nutrition guidelines, schools must provide at least one vegetable and fruit option for students daily.
"With the new regulations they have to select a fruit and veggie daily," said Ginain Grayes, communications and marketing officer for Hillsborough Schools. "We're trying to be creative and think of ways to introduce new menu items."
Radio Disney WWMI-1380 was also on hand in Deer Park's cafeteria providing entertainment during the sampling on Tuesday.
Students like Dali Calo, 10, enjoyed the new dining options.
"It was really good," said Dali, a fifth-grader. "It was delicious. I want some more."
Harold Cook, another fifth-grader, agreed.
"I had three," Cook said about the number of cauliflower samples he ate.
Guggenmos said the key to getting children to eat healthier is incorporating vegetables into dishes they already love.
"Lasagna is the easiest way," he said. "Shred vegetables in the marinara."
He also suggested adding healthy ingredients to mac-n-cheese like pureed butternut squash.
"Fresh vegetables help a lot," he said.