What’s cooking this school year: scratch meals and more fresh fruits and vegetables

A kitchen staffer smiles at the camera and shows a fresh made taco

Northshore School District’s Food Services department will begin piloting “from scratch” recipes at select schools, according to Juliana Fisher, the department’s director.

Currently, some items that the District offers are “box-to-oven” meals. Fisher said the initiative is an effort to begin moving away from processed foods, so the kitchens at the pilot schools will prepare more items from scratch.

“We’ll be offering more variety in our secondary schools this year, with a focus on adding scratch elements to certain menu items, as well as testing more from-scratch recipes,” Fisher said.

Close-up of freshly made bean salad with cilantro, corn and tomato.

Fisher added that the District will work with families and the community to get feedback on the new items and to figure out the best way to roll them out to the rest of the schools.“We will work out the kinks and develop best practices before we serve the new recipes across the District,” she added.

In addition, the District will make more fresh fruits and vegetables available at all schools. Fisher said the District increased the availability of those items during the summer meal program at Northshore Middle School, and that proved to be very successful.

Close-up of two bowls of fruit, one with nectarines and pears, and the other one with bananas.

"We will offer more fresh pears, nectarines, kiwi, strawberries and other fresh produce as they become seasonally available throughout the year,” said Fisher.

The new recipes will be piloted at Leota Middle School and Wellington Elementary School. One of the recipes to be tested are pork enchiladas. Fisher said that while “we are not ready to use all raw ingredients, staff will roll, sauce and bake enchiladas on site instead of offering frozen burritos.” Other potential recipes to be tested this year include scratch made cheese sauce, salad shakers, side salads, soups and more.

Bon appetit!


Food Services highlights from the 2017-18 school year:

  • Total meals served: 1.3 million
  • Free meals: 350,000
  • Pints of milk: 1 million
  • Apples served: 22,000 pounds
  • Carrots served: 20,000 pounds