Students become food critics at taste tests

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Students across the county have been taking part in taste-tests this year, giving their opinions on proposed new food items that could be added to school menus in the fall.

The Fayette County School System’s School Nutrition Department has conducted four taste tests to date on new or improved items that vendors are bringing to the market. Food items sampled by students have included French fries, yogurt parfaits, smoothies and pizza, and have been conducted at Fayette County High, Inman Elementary, and Bennett’s Mill Middle.

Schools are selected based on the type of item being tested and the target age. The tests take place in the cafeteria, and are typically correlated to a learning opportunity. Students are asked to complete surveys, expressing their thoughts and opinions about the items.

Foods that get favorable reviews could show up on school menus throughout the system next fall. All items tested meet the standards of the National School Lunch Program, outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. The federal guidelines emphasize whole grains, no trans fats, low sodium, and limits on calories and saturated fats.  

The latest taste test took place at Inman Elementary where students sampled breakfast yogurt parfaits that were met with raving reviews.

“The children loved the yogurt parfaits at Inman. We have to wait for the bid approval, but we are hoping to have them on next year’s school breakfast menu,” said Christina Martin in school system’s school nutrition department.