Student Taste Tests A Big Hit at OCPS Food Show
More than 150 students from Orange County Public schools got to taste and vote on a range of food items at the annual student food Show on Friday.
Now into its sixth year, OCPS is one of the few districts in the country to require student taste testing for every menu item and Lora Gilbert, senior director of OCPS Food and Nutrition Services, says “Their approval is working.”
All products at the Food Show are new and have never been offered to the students before. Gilbert says, the kids’ taste are a little bit different and they appear to like the Asian Noodle Sauce Mix and a healthy granola bar.
This year’s Food Show comes with a twist, as for the first time, parents are participating.
“We wanted the parents to come because they see how different we are and our lunches are not like those of their school years,” said Gilbert. “They also get to see for themselves what the kids think and like.”
The votes of the parents and kids will be compared to see whether or not they like the same food items. But, “We want to make sure the kids get what they like on the menu,” Gilbert said.
“I love the pizza dough,” said Gary, who rated that particular food item “very good” on his score sheet.
Other food items included, a cinnamon swirl breakfast roll dough, scampi pollock, honey wheat slider buns and green chili chicken, among other items. All food items are required to meet certain nutritional standards.
Over 30 vendors, serving more than 100 food items participated in Friday’s Food Show. These included, Rich’s, Giorgio, IBS-Interbev and Sunny Fresh.
The participating students were drawn from Olympia High, Jones High, Maitland Middle, Saddler Elementary, Howard Middle and Domerick Elementary School.