The first day back to school for thousands of local kids is Monday, and cafeteria staff are making sure they are prepared for the feeding frenzy.
The 450 people working food service throughout the district rotated through US Grant High School to test out recipes and rules. A new pair of smoothie-blending bikes were the big hit.
“Through a grant, they got these traveling bicycles,” said superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel, “so the idea is that it creates some excitement. You get on a stationary bike and you actually blend smoothies? Who thinks of these things?”
McDaniel even challenged district Nutrition Director Kevin Ponce to a battle of the blend. The superintendent had a big win.
“I’m a desk guy, so to get me on a bike for any amount of time is a little taxing on me, but it was fun,” McDaniel said with a laugh.
Students will get to cycle for themselves as the bikes move from school to school, and other unconventional breakfast bars will come in the form of On The Go carts with ready-to-eat options away from the cafe.
The superintendent joined News 9's Jessi Mitchell in strapping into safely sanitary food service suits to learn how to turn a classic banana split dessert into a hearty start to the day.
General Mills representatives showed how swapping ice cream for yogurt and granola helps students load up on protein and fruit.
“One of the scoops equals a quarter-cup,” Kathy Hintz advised the workers.
Ponce said, “Nothing that we serve is unhealthy, so we follow these regulations and make sure food components are there.”
Breakfast and lunch will still be free for all students in Oklahoma City Public Schools, and even though your child may be acclimating to a new building this year, they are likely to see a familiar face in the lunch line.
“With the reorganization of schools, re-purposing of schools,” Ponce said, “none of our staff were laid off or lost any jobs. All of them are in place, so we are ready.”