Casady School in Oklahoma City serves up new lunch menu

Under the guidance of a new head chef, students of Casady School in Oklahoma City are eating more fresh local foods and providing students with more options.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Published: September 1, 2011

Jillian Kim noticed there was something different about her school lunch this year.

“The food tastes a little different,” the 11-year-old said, shortly after she'd finished her chicken Alfredo. “There's more chicken. It tastes better.”

The sixth-grader also appreciates having more options this year. There's a salad bar, a deli bar and two soups every day.

“I've always loved salads, and I think it's great to have something a little healthier,” Kim said.

Casady School, a 65-year-old college-preparatory private school, has always tried to serve healthy foods, but when the head chef of 20 years retired, the school began to explore new options.

Nathan Sheldon, associate head of Casady, said officials took input from students, faculty and parents before selecting Sage Dining Services as the meal provider for the school.

And while the menu may have changed, one tradition hasn't changed at Casady, and that's the family-style dining. Every week, students are randomly assigned to tables.

Two students, designated as servers for the week, retrieve the food from the kitchen and serve their entire table, which includes one faculty member.

“It avoids formation of cliques,” Sheldon said. “You don't have to worry about where you're going to sit.”

It also promotes a general sense of togetherness on the 900-student campus that spans from prekindergarten to 12th grade, he said.

Making choices

“I had a pepperoni sandwich,” seventh-grader Angus Ogilvie said with a grin.

Classmate Alden O'Connor stuck with the chicken Alfredo and was pleased. Both agreed though that the best dessert was the homemade cinnamon rolls.

Which brings us to the next plan of Casady's new dining services: helping students make healthier choices.

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