Going into this month’s tasting events, we knew it wasn’t going to be a hard sell to get the students to enjoy what we were sampling. With ingredients like fresh stoneground flour and blueberry jam, it’s kind of hard to go wrong. Even with butter, sugar, and jam, this month’s featured Wholegrain Blueberry Bars are a pretty healthy potential addition to school food. They are made entirely with wholegrain flour and oats, making the bars a vitamin and fiber-rich food. The blueberry jam is made from fresh blueberries grown in Michigan, without additives such as high fructose corn syrup. These fresh, whole food ingredients make the bars a richly flavorful, healthy treat.
So how did it go? Pretty great!
K-2 students at both Cornerstone and Bates Elementary gave this month’s Wholegrain Blueberry Bars an overwhelming “Thumbs Up”, with 95% “Thumbs Up” at Cornerstone and 91% “Thumbs Up” at Bates.
Students in older grades provided feedback about what they thought of the flavor and texture. Here’s what they said:
On average, 84% of students throughout all 6 Dexter Schools said “Yes,” they would like this item on the school lunch menu. On average, 10% of students answered that they would like this item on the school lunch menu IF their suggestions were met. These suggestions included feedback such as:
Yes, if . . .
“it had different flavors also.”
“it was less grainy.”
“it was less crumbly.”
“it was gluten free.”
“it is under $1.”
“school lunches were better. I’m cold lunch.”
“it was made with a different fruit flavor. You’d sell more with strawberries.”
Students also provided insightful reactions in their survey comments and when talking to our farm to school coordinator at the tasting. One student at Wylie has been particularly fascinated by the event the last two months, staying around to help pass out samples, tell peers where the food came from, and ask our Farm to School Coordinator LOTS of questions. We knew she understood the purpose of this program when she said:
“I really like these events and I like asking you questions because you are trying to make us eat healthier and my mom and I like trying to be healthy together.”
Another 4th grade student gave us perspective on the many ways kids are learning about their food in the modern world when she approached the table, exclaiming:
“I don’t have a farm, but I play a farm game on my iPad! Sometimes I have to harvest the wheat and then there’s a hammer tool that I drag over to the wheat and it pounds it into flour.”
It’s conversations like these that let us know we’re on the right track.
Lots of students and teachers asked for the recipe, which we provided to most schools on the day-of or after the tasting. But for those who didn’t get a chance to pick one up, you can find it (and all of our past recipes, for that matter) on our website’s Recipes Page. Give it a try at home with your favorite local jam and whole grain flours!