Serving up more options for lunch

CHARLES CITY, Iowa – From apples to oranges, pizza to patties, lunch is getting unique at Charles City Middle School.

As soon as you get in line you have options galore: salads, fruits, and fresh Panini’s.

“I think there’s a lot of choices and whatever you like there’s a choice for that,” Fifth grader Taylor Myhre said.

“I just look at it and sometimes and I know what some of it is,” Ezrn Johnson said.

These fifth graders are happy to be the boss of what they eat.

“Sometimes you don’t always want to pick pizza.  Sometimes you just want to pick a salad and eat a nice salad,” Myhre said.

Regional Chef Heidi Osterhaus is in charge of the daily creations.

“When I went to culinary school, I really envisioned myself as a chef in a high class restaurant situation, but it’s very rewarding to come into a K-12 district and have children tell you how much they love what you are doing,” Osterhaus said.

Osterhaus is part of menu committee that makes recipes to try out on kids across the Midwest.  Each day’s menu needs to meet two standards: the program’s guidelines and kid’s approval.

“Scratch made cooking. We will always sell the classic chicken patty like we are serving today or the piece of pizza but what we want to get them into trying new and fun and innovative ideas,” Osterhaus said.

This unique way of lunch is being integrated into classrooms. Kids are being taught knife skills in the kitchen and how ingredients can make up a dish.

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