Students at Cooper High School were given a new option on the breakfast menu last week, and if the first few days are any indication, smoothies have hit the spot.
The fruit and yogurt smoothies were first served on March 4, when 100 of the beverages sold out in the first eight minutes of serving. During breakfast on March 6, 175 smoothies sold out in less than 10 minutes.
“This week is National School Breakfast Week, and it was our goal to serve the smoothies for the first time this week,” said Child Nutrition Program Assistant Michelle Sagedahl. “Cooper has worked hard to get the program up and running. Child Nutrition works hard to offer choices that are popular with students and that coincide with current trends. A wide variety of options were already being offered daily for breakfast, but smoothies offer one more choice for students.”
“What is nice about a smoothie is that you can incorporate different types of ingredients in it,” said Ann Kisch, the MN State Coordinator for Action for Healthy Kids. “If you look at Caribou and McDonald’s, they are all serving smoothies and there is a reason for that. It’s a hot trend. The whole point of this is that we are trying to get students to eat breakfast. Research shows that students who eat breakfast do better in school.”
Child Nutrition teamed up with General Mills Corporate Chef Monica Coulter to help with recipe development and staff training. The fruit is pureed the night before, and when it is time to prepare the smoothies, the pureed strawberries, blueberries and peaches are mixed with yogurt, she explained. Smoothies have many positive points, Coulter said, including that there are many fruit combinations that can be tried, they are filling menu options and can cut down on fruit waste from the day before by giving that fruit a new use.
“Students see smoothies in other places, so to have them at school makes sense,” Coulter said. “You have unlimited combination possibilities with these. I think it is fun for everybody.”