The Willow School is committed to health and wellness and strives to provide food through its lunch program that is natural and nutritious. The safety of our students is our number one concern. The lunch meals consist of a main dish (often protein), side dishes of grains, vegetables and/or fruit and a choice of beverage. A seasonal menu approach which is used to encourage students to try new ingredients, nutritious meals, and explore cultural diversity.
The Lunch Program uses progressive, high quality ingredients to the maximum extent possible, such as:
- wide variety and large selection of fresh, local, organic, and seasonal fruits and vegetables
- organic, antibiotic free, free range, local animal proteins and milk
- alternative vegetarian protein options such as legumes, grains, and alternative forms of non-animal protein which do not contain GMO soy ingredients
- whole grain pasta and breads (mixes of whole and white flour pasta and bread are acceptable.) White flour pasta and breads are to be minimized
- side salads which offer non- animal proteins and/or grains
- beverages that are 100% juice, offered in 50/50 water blends, and naturally flavored waters
Lunch is served in Health, Wellness, and Nutrition Center in two sessions, grades K-5 and 6-8. The meal is served buffet style in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere where students of all grades share a table with an adult. The adult is present to encourage manners, healthy eating habits, conversation and job completion amongst the students. Students are assigned table seating and rotational job responsibilities such as bussing plates, cups and flatware, wiping tables and resetting tables. Those with life threatening food allergies are assigned jobs without contact with food. Leadership opportunities include volunteering to make announcements and provide the daily reading. Students in 3rd grade remove the compost to weigh and data collect each day.
Students have input to menu development at the start of and end of the year and periodically through surveys. Menus include a main dish, side dishes and beverage. Menus indicate the presence of dairy, gluten and egg in an effort to inform parents of students with severe food allergies/intolerances. Vegetarian options are available daily.