Sushi has joined the list of favorite menu items at six elementary schools in New Jersey’s Hillsborough Township Public Schools. Sodexo, the student nutrition provider for the district, prepared and served California rolls to 400 students at lunch in late September, far exceeding expectations.
“High school students have pegged sushi as a favorite for years, so we thought it was time to bring it to our elementary school students,” says Katherine Major, general manager for Sodexo’s operations at the district. “The response to the California rolls was overwhelming. Not only did the students love it, but I heard from both parents and district administrators that were excited and surprised by our sushi offering.”
The staff prepared the California rolls in the school cafeteria, hand-rolling them the day they were served. The fresh ingredients included avocado, seedless cucumbers, imitation crab meat, seasoned sushi rice and nori.
Each student received six rolls, along with soy sauce and wasabi on the side. The meal was rounded out with milk, fresh fruits and vegetables and a bread basket, along with a fortune cookie. The sushi meal is available to students as part of the USDA’s National School Lunch Program and meets or exceeds all USDA nutritional guidelines.
“The great thing about sushi is that it allows students to enjoy a meal that is truly healthy for them in a package that is both fun and delicious,” adds Major. “One of our biggest challenges is finding creative ways to help students get the nutrition they need to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and sushi does just that.”
The first elementary school sushi offering was so popular that Sodexo will be bringing it back to the menu again in November. The team plans to tempt the young students’ palates with a spicy shrimp roll.