March 17, 2010

Healthy school lunches a Cape Elizabeth priority

Mr. Mahn\'s letter (Nov. 7) is absolutely right. School lunches can be healthy, and that is exactly what we are trying to do at Cape Elizabeth schools.

As childhood obesity rates rise and health care concerns escalate, we took action to prove that school meals can be delicious, nutritious and still appeal to our students and staff.

We have worked closely with Cape Farm Alliance to support our local community and to provide fresh produce for our schools. We use mostly whole grains in our breads and pizza dough and have returned to more \"scratch\" cooking and baking.

For our Harvest Lunch in September, many grade levels were included in the preparation of the meal – from harvesting salsa from their own school garden, to preparing local root vegetables for roasting, to picking and shucking corn from Jordan\'s Farm in Cape Elizabeth.

The closer students are to the preparation and planning of their meals, the more adventurous they become with making healthy food choices.

It is most important that the school work with the family and the community to raise children who are active, healthy and nurturing. And from our point of view, this all starts around the kitchen table.

Peter Esposito

School nutrition director

Cape Elizabeth School Department

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