Getting kids to actually consume the required fruit/vegetable component of a qualified school meal has been a problem for many districts, but at Pinellas County, several thousand middle schoolers a day are eagerly taking and consuming this component in the form of smoothies.
Pinellas rotates 35 different smoothie recipes, one per day, at each of its 20 middle school sites. The formulations include such concoctions as Orange Blast (sweet potato, orange and pineapple juices), Pineapple Peach (peaches with pineapple and apple juice) and Green Monster (spinach, sour apple juice concentrate, apple juice).
All incorporate almost a cup (7 oz.) of 100% fruits/vegetables, with no added sugar. The smoothies are made fresh using a soft serve machine from Taylor Co.
The program also has encouraged student participation with contests to come up with blends for the menu rotation. The program started with only a dozen recipes last fall and now has almost three times as many options.
Director of Nutrition Services, Pinellas Cty. Schools
Taylor Freezer Sales Co. Inc.:
Michael Consentino of Taylor Co.