Focusing on local nutritious foods recently earned Pearland ISD’s Food Service Department the Perfect Peach Award.
Given by the Texas Department of Agriculture, the award recognized Pearland ISD for its achievement in TDA’s 2015 Local Products Challenge.
The award went to participating schools that incorporated local ingredients from Texas in at least three of five meal components -- dairy, protein, fruits, vegetables and grains -- last October.
The challenge’s goal was to teach children about healthy lifestyles by introducing them to nutritious foods grown locally, in turn strengthening Texas agriculture.
More than 90 school districts and charter schools participated in the 2015 challenge, with about 65 percent earning the award.
All Pearland ISD schools participated, serving Texas watermelon and oranges in addition to grain and dairy items made with at least 90 percent Texas agricultural products.
According to Food Service dietitian Ann Shetler, Pearland ISD also strives to use Texas-raised vegetables, depending on seasonal weather and availability.
"We purchase seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, with the goal of serving Texas produce, whenever possible. We are looking at ways to highlight a specific ‘Texas crop of the month’ next year as we work with our produce supplier to identify local items,” Shetler said.
Pearland ISD’s Food Service staff seeks to prepare healthy school meals that not only support students’ academic goals but also build a healthier future for Texas.