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      Region 16 school cafeteria workers sharpen culinary skills

      The summer months give school districts a chance to sharpen their skills for when classes start back up in the fall. One way is making sure their cafeterias are up-to-date on the USDA standards. Region 16 Education Service Center has been hosting culinary child nutrition classes. Showing school cooks new and time efficient ways to prepare breakfast and lunch. Pronews 7 is featuring their skills in this week's Region 16 Spotlight on Education.

      As our nation continues to move toward a healthier, more natural lifestyle, school districts find themselves keeping up with that trend. One way is by having Region 16 host culinary child nutrition classes, showing cafeteria workers ways to cut, and cook with fresh fruits and vegetables through demonstrations and having them cook different dishes.

      "Our goal is to teach our cafeteria staff how to know knife skills, and hot to cut up some fresh fruits and vegetables since we're offering more fresh fruits and vegetables on our menus now," said River Road Independent School District Food Service Director, Kim Terry.

      Something else they're learning is how to present that food in an educational manner to the children.

      "We're exposing the children to maybe some fruits and vegetables that they might not have tried before so we need to definitely know how to prepare them and cook them and serve them in a way that's going to appealing to the students. Everyone eats with their eyes so we've demonstrated some different ways to offer fresh fruits to mix them up and not just have a single item," said Kerry.

      The staff say they're having a blast learning from a woman who's been involved in child nutrition for 20-years. "The cooking part. I love to cook so we have a lot of fun cooking and learning new things," said Miami Independent School District cook, Teresa Mauricio.

      Terry says for those of you at home watching, she has a simply tip for you when cooking, make your plate colorful.

      To learn more about the USDA Food standards for schools, click here.