EATS Nutrition Programs Expand

Hundreds more Park City kids were exposed to nutrition education through fun, interactive, stimulating programs headed by EATS Park City. Our three main programs, taste tests, cooking classes and school gardens, all grew.

Taste Tests

Students at ALL seven PCSD schools were offered tastes of TWELVE potentially new menu items designed by the Child Nutrition Services (CNS) task force through the district Adventure Bites program. Prior to this school year, only students through 7th grade were involved in taste tests. This year, Treasure Mountain Junior High (TMJH) and the high school (PCHS) were added to the program, allowing all students the opportunity to try new foods and determine what new recipes would be on the menu.

On-site school kitchen staff cooked made-from-scratch recipes that complied with the CNS 15 TO CLEAN initiative where five unnecessary ingredients were removed from school food this year. Students rated the recipes via iPads during lunchtime trials, allowing them to be the deciding factor if recipes were added to school lunch menus. Of the twelve recipes tested, eleven became regular menu items.

Recipe% of Students who answered "Yes" to: Would you eat this at school?
Deer Valley Avocado Salsa85%
Deer Valley Zucchini Lasagna86%
Deer Valley Chili con Carne92%
Riverhorse Thai Turkey Taco82%
Twice Baked Potatoes-Vermont School Food Cookbook86%
Sloppy Joe- Jodie Rogers78%
Chicken Tortilla Soup-CNS Staff87%
French Toast Apple Bake-Vermont School Food Cookbook92%
Mac and Trees- Vermont School Food Cookbook80%
Deer Valley Chicken Enchilada83%
Strawberry Chicken SaladN/A

Cooking Classes for Better Health

Working through the PCSD after-school program, 240 students participated in EATS Cooking Classes at all four elementary schools. This is an expansion from just two elementary schools the year before.

Students learned from EATS Cooking Class Coordinators, CNS staff, local guest chefs and volunteers how to make delicious, easy-to-make, cost-effective dishes they could replicate at home. Techniques performed by kids as young as 6-years old included cutting, grating, whisking, sautéing and many other skills they can use throughout their lives. Parents reported confidence levels of skill mastery at home:

“Don’t worry Dad, EATS taught me how to use the bear claw hand so I’m safe when I use the knife. I can cut the tomatoes for the guacamole.”

Abby Pray, Grade 4, McPolin

Many of the recipes used in this year’s classes were those used in the taste tests, or modifications thereof:

  • September-Deer Valley Zucchini Lasagna
  • October-Deer Valley Avocado Salsa
  • November- Squatters Cobb Salad
  • December-Twice Baked Sweet Potato
  • January-Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • February-Sloppy Joes
  • March-French Toast with Fresh Fruit
  • April-Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli
  • May-Strawberry Chicken Salad

You can find these, and other healthy recipes, by clicking here.

School Gardens

The growth of school gardens nearly doubled the number of students who were exposed to food production in both indoor and outdoor gardens this year. Indoor Tower Gardens were added at both TMJH and PCHS while a dormant one at McPolin was revived – increasing the number from 4 to 7. Outdoor gardens at Ecker and Trailside were harvested in the fall and Ecker and McPolin planted in Spring. (Trailside outdoor garden is suspended because of planned construction to repair a water line.)

Teachers were very creative on the use of their gardens:

    • Parleys – Ms Bott’s 2nd grade class made salsa with items grown on the tower.
    • Trailside – EATS volunteer, Sarah Tessler, planted seed starters with 8 classes where over 150 students took them home to watch grow.
    • Jeremy Ranch – Trevor Gilotti planted and harvested his tower garden with his 5th grade class three times this past school year.
    • McPolin – McPolin’s three kindergarten teachers joined together to plant three outdoor garden troughs for their students to get their hands dirty and watch it grow.
    • Ecker – Anne Wallace’s Garden Club continued to cultivate the outdoor school garden while over 100 students learn from her classroom tower garden.
    • TMJH – English teacher, Michelle Stratton, used her tower garden as inspiration for creative writing, offering a soothing classroom environment.
    • PCHS – Jordan Ulrich, Engineering teacher, instructed his students on how to design and build their own tower gardens using reverse-engineering. Produce grown in his classroom was used by students in the culinary ProStart program to make a delicious salad served to and enjoyed by Principal Bob O’Connor.