Students Exposed to Healthier Lunch Choices with Introduction of New Chef


Fresh green salads are up for grabs in the lunch room. (Photo/Dana Morrone)

Dana Morrone

Fresh green salads are up for grabs in the cafeteria. (Photo/Dana Morrone)


After first block on the first day of school, students close to the lunch room got their first whiff of the creations being made in the cafeteria. Rumors buzzed the halls about a new chef behind their school lunches. The words of the halls were confirmed true on the first day of school when students buying lunch were exposed to the healthy creations of our new chef, Vinny.

Last year’s health rules were a downer for most students. Strict guidelines got rid of “Buff Chick” (a student favorite), along with Pasta Thursdays and the popular Twix Ice Cream Bars for sale at the snack shack. The $1 selection of gooey fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies were changed to a more hearty and whole wheat cookie choice. This year, because of both the override and new Massachusetts school health laws, Walpole High School’s lunches were recently replanned and revamped again — this time however, new Chef Vinicio Cordon will oversee the changes not just for the high school, but for the entire District of Walpole.

Chef Vinicio Cordon was brought to our school in order to help improve food choices among the student body. He is the owner of Sabor, a restaurant in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Sabor will soon be featured this fall on Phantom Gourmet because of it’s popularity for authentic and flavorful food.
The Act Relative to School Nutrition was signed a Massachusetts law in the late summer of July 2010. This law requires the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to set standards for food and drink sold in public schools. However, all public schools in Massachusetts must obey these guidelines by July of 2012. As a result, and in an effort to continue or ongoing push to have students choose healthier lunches, Chef Vinny will be behind the counter handing out leafy salads and whole wheat sandwiches.
Beginning in January, all schools in the Walpole school system are under specific guidelines for lunch nutrition. All meals must be 600 calories or less. Zero trans fats will be in the dishes. At least half of the grains in the meal must be whole grain rich. Fruits or vegetables must be served with every meal. No more than 500 grams of sodium are to be in the meal. Though they are strict, certain substitutions may be made. One quarter cup of dried fruit can be substituted for one half a cup of fresh fruit. No more than half of the fruit or vegetable servings may be in the form of juice. These restrictions, along with many others, compose up the rules for this year’s nutrition guidelines.
All information for nutrition guidelines are posted on the Walpole Public Schools’ website. Students, teachers, and parents are encouraged to try out the new lunches in order to help improve the overall health of the Walpole High School population.