Superheroes Build Healthy Lunch Trays

Feb. 7, 2013 ~ With food names like Tony Stark Steak Fingers and Crime Fighting Kiwi, who could resist any portion of their school lunch during the week of Jan. 28 through Feb. 1, Kansas School Lunch Week. This year's districtwide theme, "The Lunch Avengers," showed students how they could build superhero strength by eating their school lunches.

Coming up with the clever food names (Mighty Frozen Fruit Triangle and Superhero Corn Dog) is one way Nutrition Coordinator Jami Soukup and nutrition assistant, Kathi Allen, promoted the importance of a good lunch to students across the district.

"We introduced two new, 100 percent-juice, menu items (Mighty Fruit Triangle and Smash Lime Sherbet) that are both fun to eat and healthy," Allen said. "We hoped the students would identify with the fun menu names and would want to build a healthy tray so that they can grow to be healthy and strong like their favorite superhero!"

Pioneer Trail Middle School Assistant Principal Elaine Carpenter showed her enthusiasm for School Lunch Week by dressing as Black Widow.

"I think it's great that we get to promote positive eating habits, along with our great cafeteria staff, in a fun and entertaining way," she said. "It's very important for adults to set a good example. I eat a salad every day and I can't believe how many students have come up to tell me during lunch that they notice this."

Food Service workers in each building added the final touch by decorating the cafeterias and wearing costumes to complement the week's theme.

The idea for "Lunch Avengers" came from last summer's movie "The Avengers," so it's possible that next year's School Lunch Week theme will appear on the big screen this summer or fall. "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" has a certain ring to it, but the second installment of "The Hunger Games" is definitely out.

Bentwood Elementary School students showed their enthusiasm for Kansas School Lunch Week by holding signs promoting iron, fruit, whole grains, and “eat your greens.” The superhero heads were made by Food Services employee Julie Manley.

Submitted photo
Bentwood Elementary lunch crew

What does Spiderman eat for lunch? During Kansas School Lunch Week, he enjoyed Patriotic Pineapple chunks and American BBQ Chicken Flatbread. Red, white and blue sprinkles on his cake were the perfect ending to a superhero’s week.

Photo by Marlene Colgan
Spiderman eats lunch

Pioneer Trail Middle School’s administrators dressed the part of Lunch Avengers. Principal Michael Wolgast (Thor), center, was joined by assistant principals J.J. Libal (Captain America) and Elaine Carpenter (Black Widow) to promote Kansas School Lunch Week.

Submitted photo
Pioneer Trail Lunch Avengers

When he’s not fighting crime as Batman, Meadow Lane Elementary School Principal Brian Lowe helps pass out cake during Kansas School Lunch Week.

Photo by Marlene Colgan
Principal Brian Lowe as Batman