Student-driven Recipes Top LAUSD'S Cafeteria Menu

District serves new breakfast & lunch items created by students for back-to-school

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: August 14, 2013

Student-driven Recipes Top LAUSD'S Cafeteria Menu

This back-to-school, students have their fellow classmates to thank for the new menu items at Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD). Driven by the District's mission to engage students in the menu development process, LAUSD will roll out new breakfast and lunch items that are conceived, created and inspired by students.

"We value the contributions of our students because they are serve," says David Binkle, director of Food Services at LAUSD. "The more involved they are, the more we can deliver dishes that not only look and taste good to students, but also meet USDA guidelines."

A breakfast item and a lunch meal, created by students, will be served at all 800 LAUSD cafeterias. They will be rotated into the menu cycle every four weeks starting this Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013.

Guadalupe Gonzalez (pictured), incoming sophomore from Panorama High School, dishes out her Breakfast Fruit Puff recipe. Esther Segura and Jos?® Landaverde, finishing their senior year at West Adams High School and Manual Arts High School respectively, serve up their recipes to Tex Mex Cornbread and Black Bean Mountain, Cucumber Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette as well as Warm Pear and Raisin Delight for dessert. Their former classmate, Maribel Sandoval, who has since graduated from West Adams High School, also helped in the creation of the lunch menu.

The students won District-wide competitions to see who could create the healthy breakfast item and lunch meals to be served during the 2013-2014 school year. Gonzalez won the LAUSD Breakfast Recipe Contest during National Breakfast Week. Segura, Landaverde and Sandoval represented the District in Washington, DC in Cooking up Change, a national healthy cooking competition by Healthy Schools Campaign. It challenged high school culinary students to create menu items that are not only healthy, but also meet nutrition guidelines and the budgetary constraints of about $1 per meal.

"I am so excited that my recipe is actually being served at all the schools," says Gonzalez. "I can't wait for my fellow students to taste what I have created especially for them."

Research shows that students who eat nutritious meals in school earn higher test scores and tend to make healthier food choices throughout the day. The second largest school district in the country, LAUSD serves more than 650,000 meals daily that meet rigorous school nutrition guidelines.

Since 2011, LAUSD has offered generous portions of fresh vegetables, fruits, dairy products and whole grains that are sourced locally, the majority within 200 miles of the District. More recently, it has been using sustainable, organic wheat from a California farm that practices water conversation, habitat preservation and air quality management and workers rights as supported by the Good Food Procurement Resolution that passed last year.

LAUSD has also reduced salt, added sugars, fats, and oils, as well as eliminated artificial additives in all its school meals. To check out the students' recipes, visit

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