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Schools Make Seafood a Hit

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with their Students

School nutrition directors around the country are introducing exciting new entrees and menu concepts featuring once-frozen Genuine Alaska Pollock on their menus. And students love them!

After checking out the examples here – we want to hear from you! Share your success story and use other ideas from your peers to create more successes with seafood!

Cleveland City Schools Supervisor of School Nutrition Shares Her Key Tips for Success with Seafood

Nestled in the heart of the country, Cleveland City Schools celebrates Fish Friday every week by offering a variety of creative dishes for students. Supervisor of School Nutrition, Susan Miller, developed the "Lunch Around the World Menu" that features fun fish favorites such as fish and chips, a potato crunch fish fillet, and a

fries taco-- all made with Alaska pollock. Susan observes that, "cycling menu items means that kids can have repeats of their favorites and try new things as well." Susan credits her fantastic team as a key part of their success with seafood. Whether it's developing new recipes to make fish kid-friendly or practicing preparation to ensure quality meals, Susan's team is clearly a well-oiled machine. Read the entire story and Susan's key tips for success here.

Sumner School District Shares Strategies for Success with Seafood in School Lunch
“Healthier Choices Make a Healthier You!” is the message that Sumner School District communicates to their students. Child Nutrition Director, Karen Brown, has a few simple but effective strategies for introducing seafood items – involve the students in the item being served, look for the energetic cheerleaders on your staff to provide

Sumner School District staff try to be open and receptive to change. “We know change is hard, but we’re all about the kids. Our team will throw ‘left-field’ things on the menu and our staff will do it,” said Karen.

READ MORE about the specific strategies that have proven effective for Sumner School District.

Petersburg Director Shares Her Seafood Success Strategies
You might think that school nutrition directors in Alaska have an easy time with seafood, but we know from experience that they face many of the same challenges as their colleagues across the country. Carlee Wells, Director of Child Nutrition, Petersburg City School District, has been particularly proactive in her efforts to include more

healthy seafood options in her school menus. Our interview
with Carlee passes along some of the wisdom she's gained.

What are some of the types of seafood dishes that you started with?
We do a lot of seafood tacos as the kids love it that way. We have done rockfish, salmon, shrimp, and we were lucky enough to get some halibut donated one time, as well as Alaska pollock. We would bake the fish on sheet pans with seasonings or boil the shrimp.

Are you targeting a specific age group for seafood introduction?
We are K-12 and find our younger kids eat more fish than our older groups.

Which GAPP recipes are you using? Surfer's Pizza, Baja Salad, Oriental Express, Alaska Pollock Tacos.

Please tell us some of your strategies for introducing seafood. We have decreased the amount of time pizza is served and thus added Surfer's Pizza to our first Friday menu. I eliminated unhealthy popular items, such as chicken nuggets, pizza sticks, hot pockets…
read more

Pilot Tests Show High Acceptance Among High School Students
With knowledge of the many positive health benefits of seafood and a desire to increase and upscale menu variety, Director Amy Rouse of Fairbanks North Pole School District conducted pilot tests of the Alaska Baja Salad and Alaska Po'Boy Sandwich featuring once-frozen Genuine Alaska Pollock. Student focus groups and the pilots showed high student acceptance of the new menu items. Amy utilized GAPP resources for foodservice staff training, student taste tests and marketing during the introductions.

Wallingford, CT District Holds Fish Frenzy to Educate Students and Their Families
You can offer tasty, quality fish entrees to students, but if they're not familiar with eating seafood at home, chances are they won't select it at school.

This is the dilemma faced by Wallingford school nutrition director, Sharlene Wong. To educate more students and their families about fish served on school menus, she and her staff produced Fish Frenzy, an extravaganza that featured all sorts of fun fish activities, including fish facts displays, samples of menu offerings using once-frozen Genuine Alaska Pollock, fish trivia, recipes and prizes.

Students Give Two Thumbs Up for Alaska Pollock
Director Dean Hamburg of Kenai, Alaska was looking for entrees using local products that staff would enthusiastically prepare and promote to students, and that students would enjoy eating. Dean teamed with GAPP staff to pilot new school recipes featuring once-frozen Genuine Alaska Pollock. During the seafood training session, staff was surprised and very interested to learn the differences in the ways fish is processed and how processing affects taste, texture and quality. Students who sampled the Genuine Alaska Pollock recipes had lots of positive comments. Here's a sampling:

"I usually don't like fish but this is the best thing I've ever had."
"Best school lunch item I've ever had."
"Can we have more?"
"Thumbs up!"



The Word from Directors

"This is why I love the Alaska pollock items so much. Even though they are breaded you break them open and they look like real fish, not a compressed nugget that has been grinded and formed." Carlee Wells, Petersburg City School District.
"Overall, the kids surprised us, to be honest. Fish is not something they normally raved about. But they raved about it." Amy Rouse, Director, Fairbanks North Pole School District.
"Once-frozen Genuine Alaska Pollock items continue to sell well." Dean Hamburg, Director, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.
"Parents tasted the seafood samples and commented that this couldn't be what we served the students – it was so good! When we told them it was, they were so surprised!" Sharlene Wong, Director, Wallingford Public Schools

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