Lights flashed and music blared as students mixed and mingled, all the while nibbling on a variety of breakfast and lunch food samples.
Killeen ISD School Nutrition hosted its first student food show Thursday at the KISD Career Center to help determine menu items for next school year.
“We wanted to do something to engage students,” said School Nutrition Coordinator Stephanie Russom. “They are the ones who are eating our meals.”
Hosted in the Career Center lecture hall, students walked past the food vendor tables circling the room, taking their picks and going back for more.
Each student taster filled out a ticket, providing feedback on what they liked and didn’t like.
The casual environment with trendy music and a photo backdrop reflected the kind of food shows that school nutrition employees attend.
“We were going for a music fest vibe,” said Russom. “We wanted to make it fun. They all have badges. They are our VIPs.”
“We brought the vendors here. It’s all about them and getting their feedback.”
In three separate tasting periods, students from Saegert Elementary School, Patterson Middle School and the Career Center participated.
In addition to collecting student ballots, the school nutrition employees circulated among students, asking them their opinions on the samples.
“I like hanging out with friends,” said fourth-grader D’zyrhon Cayce. “We’re here for taste testing. We were given this opportunity to be here.”
He and Zaire Perez Minggia said there were plenty of tasty items to sample.
Cayce liked the cheesy jalapeno poppers, cherry slush and waffle with sausage.
“It’s good,” said Minggia, who pointed out the cherry slush and breakfast sausage. “Trying all the foods is fun and we’re hanging out with friends.”
School Nutrition has hosted smaller taste tests with student groups and plans to conduct the larger food show annually rotating to different schools.
After spring break, the district nutrition leaders will make menu choices with plans to increase options at every level.
“It’s fun,” said fourth-grader Nova Shelwood. “Everyone gets to enjoy the festival.” She said she liked a breakfast patty, wings and the salad.
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