Planting Seeds of Nutrition…

HOM seeds-thumbnailMay’s Harvest of the Month is SEEDS & SEEDLINGS.  This month we are celebrating the start of the growing season! Farmers around Massachusetts are planting seeds and seedlings and beginning to harvest the earliest vegetables of the season.  There are some delicious edible seeds that are grown locally in Massachusetts including Wheat berries, Peas, and Sunflower Seeds.  Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA supply edible seeds to a number of cafeterias, restaurants, and homes throughout Massachusetts.  Check out their website for delicious recipe suggestions and to see what other local grains they have available!  With help from the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, our school cafeterias will feature fresh, healthy, locally grown produce from farms throughout this school year.

Look for WHEAT BERRIES grown by local Four Star Farms accompanying Triton’s school lunches on May 11th menu.  To learn more about Harvest of the Month, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/programs/harvest-of-the-month/.

Wheat Berries are versatile, tasty, and very nutritious too.  Try out this great recipe:

Did you know?

  • History: Just 3 seeds feed most of the world – rice, wheat, and maize (corn). They dry, store, and transport very easily and have aided the development of farming, settlements, cities, and societies.
  • Production: When seeds are exposed to proper conditions, water and oxygen are taken in through the seed coat. The embryo’s cells start to enlarge.  Then a fadicle (root) emerges, followed by the plumule (shoot) that contains the leaves and stem.
  • Fun Fact: Seeds come in all shapes, sizes, color, and textures and contain all the material a plant needs to reproduce. A bean seedling can grow twice its size in just 2 days.
  • Nutrition: Cherry tomatoes, peas, herbs, kale, and carrots are all great choices to plant in a school garden because they are healthy and easy to grow.

Excel with School Breakfast!

NSBW make the grade math pic

 

All Triton schools are celebrating “National School Breakfast Week” March 2-6, 2015 and will be educating students about how a healthy breakfast ensures they “Make the Grade” in the classroom. Check out the district menus to learn more about what’s being offered for breakfast!

School breakfast always includes:

  • A variety of fruits and/or vegetables offered daily
  • Delicious whole grains products
  • Fat-free or low-fat milk

Fast Facts:

  • Students who eat breakfast have better attention and memory.1
  • Students who participate in school breakfast show improved attendance, behavior, standardized test scores as well as decreased tardiness.2
  • Students who eat school breakfast attend, on average, 1.5 more days of school per year and score 17.5% higher on standardized math tests.3
  • School breakfast is healthy, convenient, and for less than $2 per meal on average—a great bargain!

To learn more about the school breakfast program, visit http://www.schoolnutrition.org/SchoolMeals or www.facebook.com/TrayTalk.

1. Source: The Wellness Impact Report, 2013 (Compiled by the National Dairy Council, GENYOUth, the American School Health Association, and the American College of Sports Medicine). 2. Source: Breakfast for Learning, 2014 (Compiled by the Food Research and Action Council). 3. Source: Ending Childhood Hunger: A Social Analysis, 2013 (Compiled by Share Our Strength and Deloitte)

 

Shining Bright with Orange Vegetables…

HOTM Butternut SquashFebruary’s Harvest of the Month crop is BUTTERNUT SQUASH.  Winter squash (such as butternut, acorn, and pumpkin) is different from summer squash (like zucchini).  Winter squash is harvested and eaten in the mature fruit stage, when the seeds within have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind.  Most varieties can be stored for use through the winter.  With help from the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, our school cafeterias will feature fresh, healthy, locally grown produce from farms throughout this school year.  Look for BUTTERNUT SQUASH grown by local Brooksby farmers accompanying Triton’s school lunches in February.  To learn more about Harvest of the Month, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/programs/harvest-of-the-month/.

Butternut squash is colorful, versatile, tasty, and nutritious too.  Try out a few of these great recipes:

 

Did you know?

 History: Squash, maize (corn), and beans were staples of the Native American tribes in Massachusetts. The Iroquois called these three plants “Three Sisters” because they help each other grow.

Production: Pumpkins, like butternut squash, are an edible member of the squash family and there are more than 80 pick-your-own pumpkin farms in Massachusetts.

Fun Fact: Waltham butternut is one of the most popular varieties of winter squash, developed nearby in Waltham, Massachusetts

Nutrition: Winter squash has loads of vitamin A which helps keep your eyes healthy and improve night vision.  It is also rich in B-complex group of vitamins (including

An Apple A Day…

HOTM_IMG500px-Apples-150x150Happy New Year 2015!!  January’s Harvest of the Month crop is APPLES.  Apples come in many shapes, sizes, and colors and there are over 40 different varieties of apples grown right here in Massachusetts.  With help from the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, our school cafeterias will feature fresh, healthy, locally grown produce from farms throughout this school year.  Look for APPLES grown by local Brooksby farmers accompanying Triton’s school lunches throughout January.  To learn more about Harvest of the Month, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/programs/harvest-of-the-month/.

Apples are a wonderful grab-and-go fruit.  Their natural sugars provide quick energy and their fiber makes you feel full longer.  They are also great in recipes like:

Did you know?

  • History: Massachusetts is important to apple history in the United States. The first apple trees were planted here by the Pilgrims in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • Production: The science of apple growing is referred to as pomology. There are over 40 varieties of apples commercially grown in Massachusetts!  Click here to learn more about these locally grown varieties.
  • Fun Fact: 25% of an apple’s volume is air, which is why they float and make “dunking for apples” so much fun! Although Massachusetts orchards grow over 40 different apples, there are over 7,500 varieties worldwide.  If you ate a different one every day, it would take over 20 years to try them all!
  • Nutrition: Apples are full of vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients that keep you healthy, especially if you eat the peel – where over 2/3 of the fiber is stored.

 

 

Happy Holidays!

Wishing the Triton Staff, Students, and Community the Happiest of Holiday Seasons and a Great 2015!

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Thank you for all your support and participation in our program making it such a successful one!

From the entire School Nutrition/School Meals Program Team

Going Green with Kale…

HOM KaleNovember’s Harvest of the Month crop is Leafy Green KALE.  There are many varieties of kale, including green, purple, and lacinato (also called “dinosaur”) kale.  With help from the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, our school cafeterias will feature fresh, healthy, locally grown produce from farms throughout this school year.  Look for KALE grown by local Cider Hill farmers accompanying Triton’s school lunches this month.  To learn more about Harvest of the Month and the MA farm to school project, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/

Kale is super healthy and versatile vegetable.  It can be served raw in salads, in stir-fry, in soups, or as tasty baked kale chips!  Here are some great recipes using kale:

Did you know?

  • History: Kale has been grown for over 2,000 years. Thought to have originated in Asia or the Eastern Mediterranean, it became a staple crop in colder climates too, where it tolerates the snowy winters.
  • Production: A member of the brassica family (along with cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts), kale thrives in colder weather. It gets sweeter after the first frost.
  • Fun Fact: There are many varieties of kale, including green, purple, and lacinato (also called “dinosaur”) kale. T
  • Nutrition: Kale is a nutritional superstar! It is high in vitamins K, A, and C, and rich in manganese, fiber, and copper.
  • For even more nutrition: Check out “This is Your Brain on Kale” from National Kale Day.

FOOD DAY!! A Day of Eating Real!

food-day_2014Let’s Get Real!  Today is Friday, October 24th and is Food Day, a national holiday celebrating the push toward a healthy, sustainable food system.  Food Day inspires Americans to change their diets and our food policies towards reducing the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.

Every October 24, thousands of events all around the country bring Americans together to celebrate and enjoy real food and to push for improved food policies.  Food day involves some of the country’s most prominent food activists, united by a vision of food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it.

Get in on the celebration!  Use today October 24 to start eating a healthier diet and putting your family’s diet on track. Food Day is not just a day; it’s a year-long catalyst for healthier diets and a better food system. Let’s use this energy to make a meaningful and long-lasting difference!

For more information please contact: Food Day – real food, just food. 1220 L St NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005 | Contact Us

National Farm to School Month

small-NFSN_Massachusetts The National Farm to School Network has dedicated the entire month of October as “National Farm to School” month.  School districts across America are embracing the idea of working with their local farms to purchase a variety of produce for their school meals program.  It is becoming more and more common as revealed by the USDA census that “over 40,000 districts spend over $385 million dollars on local foods that help foster healthy eating habits to over 23.5 million students.” Join the celebration by participating in the school meals program and enjoy the fresh local produce that has been incorporated into the menus!  Savor the local flavor…

Massachusetts’ Harvest of the Month Initiative continues…

HOTM_IMG500px-Pears October’s Harvest of the Month crop is PEARS.  Pears come in so many different shapes, colors, textures and tastes.  With help from the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, our school cafeterias will feature fresh, healthy, locally grown produce from farms throughout this school year.  Look for PEARS grown by local Brooksby farmers accompanying Triton’s school lunches this month.  To learn more about Harvest of the Month, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/programs/harvest-of-the-month/.

Try some delicious recipes using fresh pears:

Did you know?

  • History: The Bartlett pear is the most widely grown pear in the US and was first planted in this country in 1797 in Dorchester, MA.
  • Production: Pears do not ripen properly on the trees so growers pick the fruit when it is mature, but still green and let the pears finish ripening off the trees. Pears in Massachusetts mature from September through November and every pear is handpicked.
  • Fun Fact: There are more than 3,000 varieties of pears worldwide
  • Nutrition: A medium sized pear packs 6 grams of fiber, which equals about ¼ of your daily value for fiber!

Triton Schools Support local agriculture with Harvest of the Month

Harvest of the Month promotes a different Massachusetts-grown crop each month in school cafeterias across the state.  With help from the Massachusetts Farm to School Project, our school cafeteria will include produce from local farms throughout this school year.

HOM Tomato

September’s crop of the month is TOMATOES, which will be featured throughout the month.  All Triton Schools will be offering free samples in the cafeterias twice during the month.  To learn more about Harvest of the Month, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/programs/harvest-of-the-month/

 

Fun fact: Did you know that on average the food you eat travels 1,500 miles from where it’s grown to reach your plate? Throughout the year we will be featuring fresh, healthy, LOCALLY GROWN foods in the cafeteria. Look for TOMATOES grown by local farmers including Brooksby Farm and Triton’s very own Greenhouse in school lunches this month. Can you taste the difference?”

Did you know?

  • Massachusetts farmers grow about 60 million pounds of tomatoes a year.
  • Not all tomatoes are red! Some are green, yellow, pink, orange, and even purple.
  • Lycopene is the name of the pigment found in tomatoes that makes them red. It helps to protect against heart disease and some kinds of cancer.

Try some delicious recipes using fresh tomatoes: