I was feeling pretty good yesterday about how far the food program has come at Sac when I started Googling some of the other camps around here … and came across a great success story that led me to realize how much work we still have to do.
At Camp Fowler, a reformed camp in Lake Pleasant, about 45 miles north, they are absolutely hitting home runs with not only what they’re feeding kids but how well it’s been received.
Jenna Cowan White, who runs the kitchen, said in a blog post on “Fed Up With Lunch” that in 10 years, they were able to increase the number of whole food offerings to the point where they were serving:
- Fresh salad/breakfast bar at all three meals
- Homemade bread for dinners, sandwiches, and French toast
- Less meat
- Homemade turkey breakfast sausage
- Fresh fruit available all day
- Creative and homemade vegetarian options every time meat is served
- Less sugary juices
- No more soda at the camp store
- Eliminated half the desserts and make the desserts we do serve from scratch
- Homemade pizza crust and whole grain English muffins
- Switching from white rice to brown
- Using real eggs!
- Homemade pancakes, macaroni and cheese, home fries, veggie burgers, salad dressings, granola, soups, stuffing, spaghetti and pizza sauces, etc.
“People have been surprised to see that not only does it work, but kids and staff alike LOVE it and are noticeably healthier for it. The camp nurse reports that the number of campers coming in with stomach aches and intestinal complaints have all but stopped. Summer staff have been able to better sustain their level of energy through many difficult weeks of work. The food budget actually decreased. We are able to handle a multitude of food related allergies with relative ease because we know exactly what goes into the food, and can easily take something out if we need to. “
It’s a reminder that this race is a marathon, not a sprint. I cannot imagine pulling soda out of the Snack Barn or not offering bug juice (although apple and orange juice are always served), but it goes to show that kids can develop an appetite for this kind of eating.
It’s something to keep shooting for.