April 2023 WaveCrest Newsletter
April 05th, 2023
FARM 2 SCHOOL Updates: Farmers Markets Return
When we discuss our Farm to School program, one of the three pillars that it includes is Nutrition Education. For WaveCrest Cafe that can mean our popular Harvest Of The Month classroom lessons and activities or a teacher bringing in our Cooking Cart.
It also, for several years, has included working with our partners at Food 4 Thought to bring farmers’ markets to our elementary schools.
During the third week of March, five VUSD schools were visited by Food 4 Thought over the course of three days, bringing unforgettable – and delicious – learning experiences to our students.
Attendees at these events learned not just where their food comes from (including the names and addresses of the farms), but something about each fruit or vegetable and the nutrients they contain.
What’s more, because Food 4 Thought is also one of our suppliers of fresh, seasonal foods, the markets serve as a taste test zone for students to see what is served every day.
Of course, the highlight is the ability to do some “shopping”. Each student is given a voucher for $2 of fresh food, and they are free to choose from the broad variety of seasonal produce brought to the market. So not only do students get a lesson in nutrition and agriculture, but they have a chance to use their math skills as they make their choices.
These events are always a favorite of students and staff, and we are grateful to be able to make them part of our Farm to School program.
Click here to see a picture gallery from T.H.E. Leadership Academy and Monte Vista Elementary.
HARVEST OF THE MONTH
FEATURED FOOD: SNAP PEAS
Our featured food for the month of April is the Snap Pea. These vegetables may be small, but they are packed with flavor and nutrients.
Snap peas are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber, folate, and thiamin. They are also rich in protein and iron, making them a powerfully healthy item that can go with many meals. They make for a delicious and healthy snack, as well.
While peas have a history going back thousands of years, the snap pea was developed in 1979 as a hybrid between green and snow peas. Snap peas were developed to make an edible pod variety with sweeter, fuller-sized peas. They may be the new kid on the block for peas, but they have become a popular treat.
Some history about snap peas:
Carbonized peas (which means they have been heated to the point where they are charred and preserved) have been discovered in the Near East and Switzerland, and date back as far as 10,000 years.
Varieties of peas have been found in the ruins of Troy and in the tombs of Egypt.
They have origin stories that trace them to three areas:
• Middle Asia (Thailand, Burma), where they expanded to India through Afghanistan
• Near East by the eastern rim of the Mediterranean
• Ethiopia (in plateau and mountain ranges)
Thanks to their ability to grow in so many climates, peas are a global food staple, and as such, can be found in recipes of items around the world.
Learn more about snap peas and discover how delicious they are. You can download our Harvest of the Month resources for families here.
If your child’s teacher wants to sign up for the program, it’s easy. For more information about the program, classroom tasting parties, and more, email Scarlett Smith.
APRIL 4th IS VITAMIN C DAY
But you can celebrate every day by eating vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, red bell peppers, and broccoli! It’s everywhere and great for you. To honor one of the most well-known vitamins we thought we’d share a little Vitamin C trivia with you. For instance:
• Did you know that Navel oranges get their name from the navel-like spot found on the blossom end of the fruit? They’re also delicious and packed with Vitamin C
• Vitamin C is important for both the growth and repair of body tissue AND healthy teeth & gums. Make it part of your diet every day.
• Broccoli has more Vitamin C than oranges, grapefruit, or kiwi! In fact, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage are packed with Vitamin C.
Celebrate Vitamin C day each and every day by adding this important nutrient to your diet.
WANT A JOB WITH PURPOSE? WE’RE HIRING!
If you’re looking for a job that lets you have fun and make a difference in the community, we’ve got one for you! With hours that don’t conflict with kids’ school schedules and a fantastic team of co-workers, WaveCrest Cafe may be just what you’re looking for. Work with a fantastic group of people and amazing students while fulfilling our mission to serve the best school meals.
Our team has the unique opportunity to interact with almost every student, every day. Those interactions make a big difference in our kids’ lives, and lead to long-lasting and meaningful friendships.
See all of our available positions here: https://wavecrestcafe.com/employment-opportunities/
No Cost for School Meals This Year!
We are thrilled to announce that there will be no cost for school meals in this 2022-23 school year. What’s more, there is no paperwork required for anyone, making meals not just available at no cost, but accessible for all.
Not only can families save plenty of money on food, but with meals ready at school, you’ll have more time to spend together as a family! As always, we are committed to serving fresh, healthy, delicious meals, and working with as many local and California-based farms as possible.
Join us for breakfast and lunch daily. Good nutrition leads to better learning, and we are here to serve up tasty and nutritious meals to power learning all year long.
*** With meals being offered at no charge, we are anticipating more students will be dining with us. This may affect the availability of some entrees as we learn and adapt to greater numbers and meeting the demand.
Maple Chicken & Waffle
This is a new menu item for our middle and high school students. It celebrates the growing chicken and waffle craze across the country. Start with a tender, breaded piece of protein-packed, white meat chicken and place it on top of whole-grain waffles. Add the freshest of fruits & veggies on the side and you’ve got a winning meal!
Be sure to check your school’s menu to see your daily options and enjoy our fresh, healthy, and delicious meals!
*** Menus are subject to change based on ingredient availability and staffing needs.
RESOURCES, GRANTS, AND EVENTS
Request A Master Gardener For Your School
The San Diego County Master Gardener Association provides Master Gardeners to help schools set up and maintain gardens. Master Gardeners act as consultants, mentoring parents and teachers who request help with beginning or improving their school gardens. Request a garden consultant here.
Educational Garden Design Grant – Rolling Dates
The California Native Garden Foundation offers grants for school gardens that feature CA native plants. Types of support include garden design services, in-kind donations of plants and landscape materials, volunteer assistance, and direct financial assistance. Click here to learn more and to apply.
Solana Center Workshops – Rolling Dates
The Solana Center hosts a variety of workshops and lessons across San Diego County, with topics including composting, raising backyard chickens, green living, and water-wise gardening. Check out their events calendar here.
Bonnie’s Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program – Rolling Dates
Bonnie’s provides free mega-cabbage plants to 3rd-grade teachers across the US who want to participate. Students grow the cabbages and submit pictures and measurements of their harvest to be considered for a $1,000 scholarship. Find out how to participate here.
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(C) 2023 WaveCrest Cafe / Vista Unified School District
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Esta institución es un proveedor de igualdad de oportunidades.