Keene Food Services received an award for the Local Food Champion from Monadnock Menus for our use of locally produced foods!
We recently successfully passed our NH Department of Education Bureau of Nutrition Administrative Review. We were commended on our menu selections and use of fresh produce and whole-wheat products.
We offer a variety of grilled chicken and whole muscle chicken items such as chicken tenders, Whole breast of chicken on a bun, grilled chicken Caesar salad and grilled chicken fajitas. There are no foods deep-fried on the main menu, everything is baked.
We purchase Trans Fat Free products whenever available. Many products that can be found as Trans Fat Free in your local grocery store, are not always available in commercial bulk sizes. We have also switched to trans fat free and cholesterol free Smart Balance on the grill at KHS instead of butter.
We serve whole grain brown rice and pastas
Yogurt, and choice of sandwich are always an entrée choice at all schools such as ham and cheese, or turkey and cheese on a bagel or veggie pockets are also available.
Grab and Go Salads are available as an entrée at KMS and KHS. The salad includes: spinach, Iceberg and Romaine lettuce, 3 fresh vegetables and a protein. The proteins that could be included are grilled chicken, tuna salad, chicken salad, or turkey/ham with cheese cubes.
We have switched from primarily canned fruits and vegetables to fresh frozen vegetables and fresh fruits at least 4 days per week. The only canned fruits and vegetables that we receive are from the government. The fruit is in lite syrup and drained before serving, and the vegetables are drained and rinsed to remove additional sodium before being cooked in fresh water.
Salad bar is available every day on the middle and high school level and several days per week at the other schools and consists of a combination of spinach, Romaine, Iceberg, and mesculin lettuces with at least three vegetables.
We are part of the Farm to School initiative and purchase produce from growers right here in New England during the growing season.
We serve whole grain bread, hamburger buns, and rolls/bread-sticks.
Hummus with low fat pretzels are offered as a healthy a la carte choice Keene High School.
All of our fries on the menu, including curly, waffle, potato wedges and sweet potato fries are all baked.
The fruit juice offered is 100% juice.
The chocolate milk offered is now fat free and has no high fructose corn syrup.
Yogurt offered at snack/breakfast and lunch is Aspartame free.
All of the cereals offered for breakfast are A-List approved products.
Fresh fruit salad with either cottage cheese or yogurt is available as a grab and go salad entrée for lunch and the middle and the high school.
There are NO a la carte items available at the elementary schools other than milk or 100% juice at snack and lunch time.
Vending machines at KHS are under the control of Keene Food Services and have only healthy snacks, waters and dairy products. ie: nuts, granola bars, cheese sticks, baked snacks, and milk.
We have completed several menu surveys and menu item contests to get input from the students as to what they would like on the menu. The three most popular answers are pizza, chicken nuggets, and Buffalo wings.
We spend countless hours researching new healthy products, going to trade shows to find new items, and meeting with vendors so that we can offer a variety of healthy foods to the students in our district.
Our main vendors buy produce from local New England farms throughout the spring and fall.
We sit on the Advisory Board of the Government Commodity Committee and meet several times per year to determine what will be received and whether it will be processed or be sent in the natural state.
Government commodity foods are quite often thought of as poor quality, but in actuality, the food provided by the government is held to a higher standard than that of a regular supplier. The chicken products have less filler and more white meat than many of those available at the local grocery store. We receive beef patties fortified with soy and many of the meats are whole roasts such as the pork and turkey roasts. We, along with many other food service directors, have requested less processed items. We get fresh fruits and vegetables like pears, kiwi, red bliss potatoes, apples, lettuce, and baby carrots on a regular basis.
At least one staff member at each of our sites is Serve Safe Certified and 5 out of 10 staff members are certified at Keene High School.