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June 23, 2010 05:03 PM

Learning About The Science Of School Lunch

Sioux Falls, SD


It may be summer, but the people who prepare school lunches for thousands of KELOLAND students are working this week.
More than 200 food service workers from schools and other facilities are getting menu ideas and learning how best to feed your kids.

"We want to make it fun for the kids, have something to look at. Food can be art," Nancy Eulberg, head cook at Dell Rapids Elementary School, said.

Staying creative is one of the challenges of working in a school cafeteria. Eulberg is one of 225 in her field attending Child Nutrition Institute in Sioux Falls this week. When cooking, she must consider not only nutritional content but also what kids will actually eat.

Wednesday, for the participants of Institute, one group is making a vegetarian option, black bean wraps; something that's not always easy to introduce to children.

"A lot of kids are used to fast food right now,” Eulberg said. “We do a little of the fast food but also some home cooking to get back to the home-style."

Teresa Bell works in the kitchen at South Dakota Achieve, where she helps prepare more than 900 meals a day. She says there's a lot more that goes into feeding the masses than most people realize.

"There's a lot of math skills involved.  We have to use to convert recipes,” Bell said. “These recipes are meant to feed 50, so we're converting to 225. Wherever you're at, you have to change it to work."

And here at the conference, these food service workers are learning new ways to make it work in their schools every day.

The Institute is put on by the South Dakota Department of Education's Child and Adult Nutrition Services.
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