The last month Mr. Chapin’s 10th grade health classes have been working with the St. James school’s food service staff to design and create a new group of lunch menu items with the help of Abby Grove, who runs the food service for the school. Each of the designated days there will be a group of 4-6 10th grade students that will create the day’s menu, analyze the nutritional content, make sure all food groups are present, and all while working with a per serving budget of $1.12.

There are many benefits to a program like this one. It is teaching the kids how to cook for starters, they won’t be having meals cooked for them forever. Only being able to spend $1.12 on a serving teaches them how to manage money and how to use it wisely.

Not only are the 10th graders loving the cooking, the students eating the meals have been really receptive to the whole idea. There are even a few new items that will now be permanent fixtures on the menu, like one week they made chicken wings with four different types of sauce.

The dishes range from the classics, to the wild. They are planning to make something called a spaghetti taco, which was made famous by the television show iCarly. A spaghetti taco is exactly what it sounds like, a taco with spaghetti in it. Another unique idea that the kids had was to make Flamin’ Hot Cheetoh mozzarella sticks.

The students get to the kitchen around 8:40 a.m. to start the prep work, and they will make the food, and serve it to the rest of the school, they end up leaving around 1:00 p.m.

These students have found a way to be extremely creative through food and they are learning valuable lessons along the way.