By Tamas Mondovics

As part of National School Lunch Week (Monday, October 14 through Friday, October 18), Hillsborough County Public Schools Student Nutrition Services introduced “School Lunch Across the USA,” an initiative to get students familiar with new healthy recipes.

“The goal of the initiative is to celebrate the positive changes made in school lunches and to get students excited about healthy school lunch choices,” said Student Nutrition Services spokesperson, Ginain Grayes.

The week-long food-filled event made way for District chef Ben Guggenmos to demonstrate how to prepare a tostada with homemade queso fresco for students during National School Lunch Week.

“Chef Ben conducted two demonstrations at each participating school, including Schmidt Elementary, located at 1250 Williams Rd. in Brandon as well as Cypress Creek Elementary, located at 4040 19th Ave. NE in Ruskin.

Approximately 30 students in grades three through five joined the festivities to make their own tostadas with the homemade queso fresco, which was also available to be sampled during lunch for all students to try.

Ahead of the national school lunch week, Hillsborough County Public Schools announced the launch of a free smart phone app, appropriately called School Lunch by Nutrislice, available in the Apple App Store for iPhones and in Google Play for Android phones.

Hillsborough Schools Student Nutrition program is one of the first in the nation to launch its own mobile app for school menus.

“Many of our parents and students are using smart phones these days and we have a message we want to deliver to them,” MaryKate Harrison, General Manager of Student Nutrition Services said in a recent press release about the new feature. “We hope all students come dine with us.”

Harrison emphasized that the new menus app is the perfect communication tool for the new generation of parents and students as the smart phone app shows each day’s menu, including pictures and descriptions of the foods.

The app lists nutritional information for each food and makes finding common allergens simple, while it connects to an interactive website and to digital televisions in the cafeteria.

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