Food Testers Turn Breakfast Promoters

LBHS students Daniel West and Brooke Michaels prepare samples for a student taste test.
LBHS students Daniel West and Brooke Michaels prepare samples for a student taste test.

School nutritionists are developing new entrees to meet federally mandated regulations for use of whole grains, fruits and vegetables and relying on Laguna students to taste test potential additions to the menu.

Dietician Megan Hartshorne has turned to her customer base to learn their preferences as well as conducting monthly taste tests, said Shannon Soto, the district’s director of fiscal services. Their insights have resulted in several vendor changes and menu shifts. “The latest focus of change has been adding new items to the breakfast menu. We look forward to continued collaboration with our students,” Soto said.

Hartshorne attends meetings with the high school’s Student Nutrition Advocates Committee and Thurston Middle School leadership class. “This fall, not only did students drive a lot of changes to the lunch menu, but also they expressed specific changes they wanted to see on the breakfast menu. When we made the breakfast menu changes, students voiced their approval by increasing their breakfast sales.”

Hartshorne also spoke to the high school’s health classes when they studied nutrition. “It was exciting to expand upon the students’ nutrition education and help them implement what they had learned into practice right away. We thought a breakfast campaign the week before finals would be the perfect avenue to spread awareness of the importance of breakfast to all students and help reduce ‘breakfast skipping,’ especially right before testing,” she said.

Served with a side of seasonal fruit and milk, breakfast at the middle and high school include burritos, yogurt parfaits, and sandwiches.


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