May 2024 Nutrition Newsletter

April 29th, 2024



May nutrition newsletter - Eng


In this issue:
• School Lunch Hero Day is Friday, May 3rd
• Staff Spotlight: Teresa Sharp
• Student Representatives Wanted for California Child Nutrition Advisory Council

• Harvest Of The Month: Grapefruit from Dickinson Family Farms
• Menu Spotlight: Ours Vs. Theirs
• Job & career opportunities


School Lunch Hero Day is Friday, May 3rd: Celebrate Your Heroes!

School Lunch Hero Day logo


We previewed this last month and want to be sure that you have every opportunity to celebrate our amazing staff of school meal heroes (because they serve more than lunch!).


We want to invite and encourage our students and staff to honor, encourage, and celebrate the amazing people who prepare and serve more than 80,000 meals every week. Our friends at the School Nutrition Association have created several resources to help celebrate, with fun activities to honor our School Lunch Heroes:


• Download & design a card with a thank-you note English | Español

• Download these coloring pages

• Finish these comic pages

• Draw a picture for your lunch hero

• Post to social media and use the hashtag #SchoolLunchHeroDay


Lunch Lady graphic book series available in all Vista USD elementary school libraries

A full set of the Lunch Lady book series can be found in each elementary school library in Vista Unified, thanks to a grant received by WaveCrest Cafe that funded the purchase of the books. Mr. Krosoczka, in fact, visited Vista Unified in January 2015 as part of the district’s professional development day.


We can’t say enough about our team – people who care deeply about the job they do and the children they serve. We can say thank you over and over again to this incredible group of heroes, and we hope you’ll join us!




Meet Our Team: Teresa Sharp


Teresa Sharp of Breeze Hill Elementary 

Our amazing team of school nutrition professionals is a critical part of the education experience. For many children, our WaveCrest Cafe team members help to set the tone for the day in the morning and provide warm and welcoming faces at lunch in the middle of a day of learning.


Teresa Sharp is one of those people that children see and know that they are in a space that makes them feel special and cared for. Her kindness and professionalism make Breeze Hill’s WaveCrest Cafe a meaningful space for kids to be nourished not just physically but emotionally. She regularly decorates the windows and serving areas to make the cafe a vibrant and enjoyable space., and that care extends to her team and every student.


Teresa Sharp from Breeze Hill Elementary with one of her students

Get to know a little more about Teresa here:

Favorite Concert: ZZ Top

Pancakes or Waffles? Waffles

If I could play any sport it would be: Softball

A skill I would like to acquire: I’d like to learn to play guitar

My dream vacation: Hawaii

Favorite Candy: Chocolate truffles

Favorite WaveCrest Entree: Bean & Cheese Pupusa

Favorite thing about working at WaveCrest Cafe? The smiling faces and love I receive from the students.



Student Opportunity: Be Part of the California
Child Nutrition Advisory Council


The State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) is now recruiting for the student member position. 


This position is open to any public school student who is a California resident, a junior or senior in School Year 2024–25, with a minimum of 3.0 grade point average.


The CNAC is comprised of 13 individuals representing different segments of the child nutrition community. The CNAC’s mission is to advise the SSPI in areas of health, wellness, and nutrition for all students in California’s kindergarten through twelfth-grade public schools. With this mission in mind, it is critical to have all 13 members represented as they each bring their unique perspectives to the CNAC.


The student member commits to a one-year term starting in September 2024. The CNAC typically meets for a one-day meeting in Sacramento in September, November, March, and May, however, the date can be adjusted to accommodate group scheduling needs. Additionally, remote participation is an option. Travel expenses are reimbursed at the state travel reimbursement rates.


Additional information about the CNAC, including the student member application, is available on the California Department of Education (CDE) CNAC web page at


The application deadline is May 13, 2024. Applications must be submitted via email to Andrea Bricker at [email protected]. Hard copy applications will not be accepted. 


If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Andrea Bricker, Nutrition Education Consultant, by phone at 916-323-2473 or by email at [email protected].


Local Food Update

Measure of how much local and California food we've purchased

Our commitment to sourcing local, California foods for our students continues. Since the start of the school year through the end of March, WaveCrest Cafe has sourced 17,274 lbs. of fruits and vegetables from local farms within 75 miles of our Central Kitchen.


On top of that, our ability to offer “California Food For California Kids” is as strong as ever. We have sourced 126,788 lbs of fruits and vegetables from California farms!


Many of our local and California farms are organic, and because of the network of farms delivering foods right after they’ve been harvested, our students are offered the freshest seasonal foods around! We appreciate all of our partners in building a rich and vibrant Farm 2 School program to serve our students and families.



Harvest of the Month:
Grapefruit from Dickinson Family Farms




Very few fruits are as bold and bright as grapefruit. It makes sense when you look at the history of the fruit and what makes it unique. For starters, botanists believe that it was originally a hybrid of two fruit species bred over 4,000 years ago in Asia. Grapefruit grows on evergreen trees, and unlike other citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes, it grows in grape-like clusters.


The grapefruit tree reaches 30 to 50 feet in height, although many farmers keep them trimmed back to 15 feet for easier access to the fruit. The more than 20 varieties are generally classified by the color of their fruits, which come in three shades: pink, red, or white and yellow. What’s more, ‘Red Ruby’ grapefruit was the first of the variety to receive a US patent in 1929.


As you can guess, grapefruit is packed with vitamin C, among other vitamins and minerals, and is an excellent source of fiber.


Grapefruit - the May 2023 Harvest of the Month item for WaveCrest CafewHome Grown

California ranks second in fresh grapefruit production in the United States, behind Florida. Although in our state, grapefruit can be grown year-round, making it available at any time.


More than 90% of all grapefruit in California is grown in just four counties: San Diego, Riverside, Tulare, and Imperial. Grapefruit is a vital (and delicious) part of our Farm to School program and a fresh, local item that we can serve up.


Recent farmers’ market activities at some of our elementary schools have featured fresh, seasonal grapefruit which also appears on our salad bars.


Jim Dickinson of Dickinson Family Farms holding kumquatsDickinson Family Farms
You may remember our recent profile on Dickinson Family Farms in Fallbrook. They will be supplying our Harvest of the Month grapefruit this month and we love being able to work with local family farms to bring the freshest, tastiest, healthiest foods around to our students.


Harvest of the Month Educator newsletter for GrapefruitReasons to Eat Grapefruit: One half of a medium grapefruit is: 

• An excellent source of vitamin C. 

• A source of many other nutrients including potassium, folate, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and fiber. 

• Low in calories.


Grapefruit is also a zesty and delicious way to have a snack, spice up a salad, or serve as a side item for many other entrees. 


Harvest of the Month Resources

Learn more about grapefruit and discover how delicious they are with your class during a Harvest of the Month activity. 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 Vanessa Luna.


Menu Spotlight: Ours Vs. Theirs


Chicken fried rice nutrition comparison


Last month we shared some of the nutritional highlights of our featured entrees and how they measure up against similar items at other establishments. These images are a great way to see how our team delivers fresh, nutritious meals with items that are both widely popular but also in ways that reduce some of the things that aren’t as nourishing for our students.


School meals are prepared with ingredients that reduce harmful ingredients like saturated fats and high levels of sodium while delivering beneficial components like protein and fiber.


Breakfast Burrito nutrient comparisonsBreakfast Burrito: This hearty breakfast entree delivers 2x the fiber, half the sodium, and nearly 40% less fat than a similar burrito at Del Taco. It also comes with delicious fruits and veggies to make a complete meal, as well as our homemade salsa.





Roasted Elote nutrient comparisonsRoasted Elote: Our fiber-rich Elote comes with 8x LESS SODIUM, 3x LESS FAT, and 30% fewer carbs than Rubio’s Street Corn Bowl. This approach makes it a delicious and healthy part of a complete meal to power students’ learning all day.





Build your perfect plkate with a selectrion of fresh fruits and vegetables from local California farmsStudents can build a perfect plate for their taste buds with our always-changing selection of fresh, seasonal fruits & vegetables (many from local and organic farms) and homemade ingredients like our freshly made salsa and low-fat buttermilk ranch dressing. 


It’s this attention to detail that led the Tufts-Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy to declare that “Schools are now the single healthiest place Americans are eating,” in a wide-ranging study of more than 60,000 Americans.


Check your school’s menu to see what we’re serving today and every day.




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) 2024 WaveCrest Cafe / Vista Unified School District
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Esta institución es un proveedor de igualdad de oportunidades.