December 2023 Nutrition Newsletter

December 01st, 2023




In this issue:
• Menu Survey Available Until Dec. 8
• Staff Spotlight: Deanna Wilson
• Menu Spotlight: Fiesta Taco Bar

• Farm 2 School Spotlight: Smit Family Farms
• Job & career opportunities


Take Our Fall Menu Survey: Entries Close 12/8

WaveCrest Cafe Fall 29023 Menu Survey

You’ve probably received an email inviting you to take part in our Fall 2023 Menu Survey. These surveys are a tremendous help for us and provide a way to hear your voices as we continue to improve and innovate with our nutrition program.


Click here for the elementary school survey
Click here for the middle and high school survey


Surveys are due by Friday, December 8th.



Meet Our Team: Deanna Wilson

Deanna Wilson from Beaumont Elementary


We’d like to take a little bit to highlight our amazing team, and this month we’re featuring Beaumont Elementary’s very own, Deanna Wilson. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone as positive about their work and encouraging to their students as Deanna.


Not only is Deanna a kind and friendly face greeting our students each day, but she’s built a wonderful team of school nutrition professionals who set a high bar for themselves. Let’s meet Deanna.


What is your favorite entree at WaveCrest Cafe? Orange chicken by far!

Do you do any special promotions at Beaumont?
I do it all! We have Taco Tuesdays each week. We have Dance Party Fridays. We start each day with some fun tunes to get each day started. We have sample platters of each lunch entree displayed as students enter the Multi-Purpose Room to see what’s for lunch each day. We have adorable signage for each item to let everyone know their choices in a fun way.  Come by, have a meal with your kiddo, and experience the super amazing Wave Crest Cafe daily!

DeannaWilsonHighFiveWhat’s the best concert you’ve seen?
The Go Gos!! I danced and sang the whole time waaaaaay back in the 80’s!

Pancakes or Waffles?
Oh, waffles! Mmmm

If you could play any sport, what would it be?
Soccer! I used to but now I’m down to pickle ball! It’s fun too!

What skill would you like to acquire? I would love to be able to golf. That ball is too small! Lol.

Your dream vacation:
Tahiti but any fun beachy spot will do!

Your favorite candy?
Red vines, red or black. Love both!

Your favorite thing about working with WaveCrest Cafe is:
Of course the kiddos!!! The smiles, the adorable things they say, and their incredible dance moves on Fridays give me hope for the future!!!



Harvest of the Month: Apples

Bunch of apples for WaveCrest Cafe Harvest of the Month

Is your classroom participating in Harvest Of The Month? It’s fun, easy, and completely engaging. In addition to classroom and home-based resources, we’ve added a gardening component this year to give you even more hands-on opportunities to experience the joy of discovering new ways to engage with food.


The featured item for December is apples! They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and there’s some truth to that. Apples are jam-packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber – a complex carbohydrate that helps the digestive system run smoothly. The nutrients in apples are also helpful to improve breathing. Finally, there is evidence that apples can be better than coffee for getting you up and moving in the morning.


All About Apples
Child biting into an appleApples are found throughout history and are one of the most widely cultivated plants in the world. Some of the oldest apple trees in the world are found in Kazakhstan in Central Asia. Wild apples are able to resist many diseases and pests that affect domestic apples.


• The grafting process of gardening has allowed for many strains of apples to be developed, from Granny Smith to Golden Delicious, Red, Fuji, and many more. 

• There are 2,500 varieties grown in the US, and more than 7,500 worldwide.

• The apple industry in California dates back to the 1800s and orchards in Watsonville and Sebastopol. California currently ranks 5th in the US in apple production.


Our Harvest of the Month apples are coming from Smit Farms in Linden California, in the San Joaquin Valley. Read more about Smit Farms in our Farm 2 School Feature below.



Harvest of the Month newsletter on applesHarvest of the Month Resources
Learn more about apples with your class during a Harvest of the Month activity. You can download our Harvest of the Month resources for families here


Harvest of the Month is available for any classroom that wants to participate. 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 Gabi Tinsley.




Menu Spotlight: Fiesta Taco Bar


Fiesta Taco Bar


Build your perfect chicken taco bowl with this option. We provide all of your favorite fixings on this taco bar and let you choose your own condiments, including our house-made salsa and fresh, seasonal veggies.


Keep building your plate with a selection of even more fruits and veggies coming straight from local California farms as part of our commitment to Farm 2 School.


Be sure to check your school’s menu for the full selection of items and your daily favorites.

*** Menus are subject to change based on ingredient availability and staffing needs.


Farm 2 School Spotlight:
Smit Family Farms from Linden, CA

Smit Farms from Linden, California

Smit Farms is a family farm in the San Joaquin Valley that has been operating for more than 40 years! They are the provider of our December Harvest Of The Month apples, delivering fresh, seasonal organic apples for our HOTM classrooms to sample. We’ve worked with the fine folks at Smit for several years and we are thrilled to offer their amazing produce to our students and staff.


Smit Farms practices Regenerative Farming, which is an evolution of traditional farming practices to create a more sustainable and environmentally secure method of growing food. Regenerative farming practices include reducing water usage, and encouraging biodiversity that improves soil, all while making farming more efficient. 


You can also get Smit Farms apples at several San Diego area farmer’s markets. Learn more on their website and be sure to enjoy their delicious, nutrient-packed apples.




School nutrition is an extremely rewarding job. You can be part of the nation’s largest restaurant group, serving tasty and nutritious meals to our children each and every day. What’s more, you’ll meet amazing people who are skilled, dedicated, and passionate about their roles.


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:




No cost for student meals at WaveCrest Cafe in the 2023-24 school year


California is one of seven states across the country that has made school meals available at no cost to all students! In addition to providing fresh, healthy, delicious foods to our students, there is no paperwork required.

*** 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.




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.