Cafeteria supervisor Connie Bauer leads project to make lunches tastier while still fulfilling the government guidelines on nutritional meals.

Taft Union High School students are in for a treat.
Literally. Blueberries. Strawberries. A yogurt bar.

The cafeteria is expanding its student menu. The school introduced a breakfast burrito on Aug. 30 . Sophomore Chris Kast called the breakfast "awesomely good. I finished it in like two minutes. It was so good, I want it every day for breakfast." Senior Brian Ortega enjoyed his breakfast burrito before school and said he is looking forward to the new menu items. Coming attractions are: French toast, English muffins and wild rice.

"This is an effort to provide a healthy and tasty lunch for our students," Superintendent Blanca Cavazos said. She praised cafeteria supervisor Connie Bauer for spearheading the ongoing project to make lunches tastier while still fulfilling the government guidelines on nutritional meals. "She (Bauer) got the ball rolling. She was the one to organize it." It began with a taste test. Bauer gathered a dozen student custodians and asked them to sample the prospective new cuisine and write down their impressions, rather than verbalize them in an effort to avoid peer pressure. The results are:

•a breakfast burrito with red and green peppers, onion, eggs and diced ham in whole-wheat tortillas with salsa on the side.

•French toast topped with blueberries, strawberries and mandarin oranges.

•an English muffin topped with ham, eggs and diced tomatoes, green chilies, onion and cilantro.

•wild rice with diced green apples and toasted almonds.

The student panel praised the new menu items that will be rolled out shortly. Also, coming soon will be a salad bar and parfait (yogurt) bar, as soon as the tables arrive.

Taft students can go off campus for lunch so the cafeteria faces competition. Abbey Koerner, a student on the tasting panel, said, "I'll start eating here again if there's food like this!"

"Students are interested in getting more fruits and vegetables," Cavazos said. "Students seem to be really excited about it." On a related front, new foods teacher Cheryl McGathey is stressing nutrition to her students. Cavazos added, "The goal is to have students connect all that (nutrition instruction and healthy menu items) in order to take control of their bodies and their health. We hope they will use their nutritional education to empower them to choose healthy options."

Taft High staff will visit other schools in an effort to continue finding healthy and tasty menu items for students.