Serving Up Variety in Marshall County Schools

Marshall County’s school breakfast and lunch menus will be a bit more varied in this coming school year, with waffles, lasagna and fish tacos among the choice picks for a new run of food options.

Cafeteria workers fed practicing student athletes their lunch Tuesday morning at John Marshall High School. The athletes served as a focus group and guinea pigs for the new recipes. Marshall County Child Nutrition Director Debbie Derico said the district’s cafeteria workers had gone to Cabell County for training and would be introducing a wider variety of food, both to better address nutritional needs and student requests.

“We’re really excited to give the students more options and get some more feedback from them,” Derico said. “Based upon last year, we looked at our menu and looked at what we didn’t have, like fish tacos — something new, trending, every restaurant you go to has fish tacos.

“A lot of options, we’re trying school-made options,” she said. “Earlier in the year, right before we left, we started with overnight oats. Those are more nutritious, less sodium, less fat, less sugar. We’re trying to do more school-made items to have kids eat healthier.”

Cafeteria manager Sandy Kotson said the preliminary lunch Tuesday would serve to allow the cafeteria workers to identify what recipe they would eventually use because the students completed surveys on how each offering tasted.

“I’ve got two different kinds of muffins going,” said Kotson. “Once we get a feel for what they want, and what they’ll eat, we’ll get all the cooks together and do some training.”

Chicken-and-waffle sandwiches and a new style of chicken are among the new options for students. Kotson and her kitchen staff also were hard at work baking lasagna, pancakes, blueberry muffins and assorted potato products. Additionally, a new “baja” sauce will be made available.

“We’re trying to do more homemade breakfast items instead of just coming in and getting prepackaged food,” she said. “Homemade muffins are on the menu. Homemade pancakes. French toast, we mix it up overnight so it really soaks up the good stuff.”

While only John Marshall’s cafeteria workers were on hand Tuesday, Kotson said cooks across the county would be trained in the new food options once they adjust the recipes and the consider the student feedback.

Kotson said the new food options will debut within the first five weeks of the school year.

“There should be something on the menu that every child should like,” she said. “We tried to mix it up this year.”

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