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Hickman Breakfast in Classroom 2012No cafeteria lines in the morning at Hickman Elementary; the students are having their first meal in the classroom! The school was the first in the district to implement Breakfast in the Classroom, a new-age approach to making sure students start their day off with a healthy, fulfilling meal. Each class gets a special cooler (donated by SUDIA and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture) on wheels that a student totes to the classroom. Students serve themselves as they enter the classroom, then enjoy breakfast with their friends.

According to Principal Dr. Critchlow, the teachers were nervous at first. They worried
students would be messy and their classrooms would smell. Turns out,Hickman Breakfast in Classroom 2012 2 the opposite is true. Students are attentive and responsible, and the teachers now actually lobby in support of the program!

On the Monday after fall break, students shared their beloved program with special guests including TN Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson, MNPS Nutrition Services Director Spencer Taylor, MNPS Chief Operating Officer Fred Carr, several local dairy farmers, and former Tennessee Titan Blaine Bishop. The group toured the school, heard from teachers, and watched as students enjoyed their Monday morning Breakfast in the Classroom!


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a message for families:  Your child's school cafeteria is a great source of nutritious meals! Check out the letter issued today.

Dear Parent, Guardian:

Your child’s school day just got healthier! School lunches now include more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain-rich foods; only fat-free or low-fat milk; “right-size” meals with portions designed for a child’s age; and less saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.  The changes in school meals, the first in 15 years, are based on the latest nutritional guidelines.

Here are some important facts about the new school meals:

  • The new school lunch provides 1/3 of the average daily calorie needs for kids by age.

  • Some highly active students, like athletes, may need more calories. Some schools may offer second helpings of fruits and vegetables.  A second carton of milk may also be an option. Schools can also operate after-school snack and supper programs.  Students and/or sports teams can also bring food from home.

  • In practice, many students are being served the same amounts of protein as before under the new standards.

Your child can learn good habits for life by making healthy food choices and getting proper exercise now. This year is a transition year as schools implement these new standards and work together with parents, to ensure that every child, in every community across America, has access to healthy and nutritious meals.  Encourage them to try new foods and eat the healthy food offered.  Reinforce healthy eating by offering similar new foods at home.

Keep updated on the changes at www.fns.usda.gov/healthierschoolday.


Tinnel wins ChoppedBring out the Sharpies, Maxwell Elementary has a star on its staff! Cafeteria Manager Cynthia Tinnel proved her incredible skills in the kitchen on the hit reality show "Chopped." Tinnel out-cooked three other school cafeteria managers, taking home $10,000. She also gave the nation a small taste of what it's like to cook for hundreds of students each day. 

Way to go, Cynthia!


A school of fish swam its way into Mt. View Elementary’ s cafeteria! The school is using Pepperidge Farms fish bread to promote healthy choices and eating at school during TCAP testing. Check out the pictures of the healthy lunches MNPS students are enjoying.

Mt View Fish Lunches

Mt View Fish Lunches

Mt View Fish Lunches

Mt View Fish Lunches


Fifth and eighth grade students are getting their hands dirty and drawing from all of their subjects in a service project that ties academics to gardening and to their community.

With the help of teacher Dr. Boone and the East Nashville Community Garden group, the fifth graders are planting different herbs and crops to understand how multiple factors influence the growth rate of each particular species of plant. The eighth graders are learning about pH levels through acid and base testing to see what conditions will work best for their plants so Bailey can have the best garden possible. The older students will then share what they have learned with their peers, giving both groups a deeper understanding of the concepts involved with growing a successful garden.

The happy conclusion to this experiment is that the families and community of Bailey get to enjoy in the fruits of the students’ labor. The fifth grades will open their very own restaurant using recipes they’ve researched and herbs, fruits, and vegetables from the garden. Their math skills will work overtime as they set up the menu for opening day, which is Bailey’s Student Celebration Day on May 15th. Not only will participants enjoy fresh, healthy foods, but visitors can see “STEM-ulating” demonstrations, investigations, and projects done throughout the year by students from Bailey.

Bailey Garden Project   Bailey Garden Project

Bailey Garden Project

Bailey STEM Magnet Middle School Student Celebration Day

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

2000 Greenwood Ave, 37206


Nashville has been selected as one of just 10 cities nationwide to join The National League of Cities (NLC) and the Food Research Action Center (FRAC) this May in Washington, D.C., for the Cities Combating Hunger Through Afterschool Meals Programs (CHAMP) Leadership Academy. The focus of the event will be how to implement or expand the Afterschool Meals Program; i.e., practical strategies to help children receive federally funded meals after school and on weekends. Braina Corke, assistant director of school nutrition at MNPS, will represent the district alongside representatives from the Mayor’s Office and Second Harvest Food Bank. A second event, with 11 different cities, will be held later in May in Chicago.

Following the leadership academies, cities and anti-hunger groups will be eligible to receive regranted funding (up to $60,000 per selected city) from the Walmart Foundation to help implement the ideas generated at the academy. To learn more about the program, click here.


Metro Schools Nutrition Services Department recently teamed up with the Tennessean and MTSU in a tweetup regarding childhood obesity. The goal was to raise awareness of the growing problem and find ways to help our young people live healthier. Check out these fun facts we shared.

Nutrition by Numbers:

  • 19 of our schools participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program that brings fruit and vegetable snacks directly to the classroom.

  • Students exposed to many different types of fruits and vegetables. This year, we added 14 new salad bars in our schools. 

  • FACT: Our school lunches average 541 calories

  • 19 of our schools have won the Healthier US Challenge Award which recognizes schools who promote healthy eating and physical activity. How do you stay fit?

  • 48 of our school have school gardens. MNPS and the Metro Health Dept are teaming up to increase this number http://www.mnps.org/Page85165.aspx

  • Pizza can be healthy. Pizza served in our schools are made of 51% whole wheat flour and low-sodium cheese. We also serve turkey hotdog.

  • Here’s a fun fact. 10 of our schools started a pilot program to do more cooking from scratch and use less processed foods.

And don't miss these great links:

School Gardens

Menu and Meal Prices

Nutrition Information


Deborah Walker Photo

MNPS Coordinator of Nutrition Education and Training Deborah Walkeris letting the world know how Metro Schools works to improve the health of our students! Walker is currently featured on the USDA's Healthier US Schools Challenge website, sharing strategies and ideas that schools across the country can implement. She discusses the district's use of dietetic interns, the importance of community support, and the learning laboratories now set up in 10 pilot schools.  Check her out here.


From delicious fruit kabobs to how to make the most of your child's health habits at school, check out the Office of Coordinated School Health's August Newsletter.

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