Celebrate Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week

Homegrown School Lunch Week is a statewide Farm to School event that celebrates efforts to bring local foods into school menus and provides hands-on learning experiences for students about nutrition, local agriculture and food production, gardening, and opportunities to taste local foods.   This year, Homegrown School Lunch Week will be observed the week of September 25-29th.  Be sure to check your child’s school lunch menu for items that are highlighted as being “local,” or talk to your cafeteria manager to find out more about the local foods that will be offered this week.  Some examples of local foods that students across the state of Maryland have the opportunity to try in past years include watermelon, apples, beef, bison, chicken, crab, oysters, corn, cheese, milk, and tomatoes.  
Celebrate local food at home with your child by visiting a local produce stand, farmers’ market, or look for locally grown food in your grocery store to try at home.  Visit http://marylandsbest.net/ to learn more about local food in your area and plan a family outing to a local farm that is open to visitors and pick your own produce.    
To learn more about Homegrown School Lunch Week check out the FSNE Teacher Toolkit.  Also be sure to watch this video from Washington County, Maryland:  Homegrown School Lunch in Maryland.  
Some of Maryland’s best crops are melons.  Try an assortment in a fun way with this Cantaloupe Melon Kabobs recipe:
Cantaloupe Melon Kabobs
1 cup fresh cantaloupe, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 cup fresh honeydew melon, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 cup fresh watermelon, cut in 1-inch cubes, remove seeds
1 cup low-fat or fat-free vanilla or fruit-flavored yogurt for dipping or drizzling
12 wooden skewers or craft sticks

  1. Wash melons under cool running tap water.  Scrub outside of melons with clean vegetable brush and rinse.
  2. Cut open and remove seeds of cantaloupe and honeydew melons. Cut melon flesh from rind and remove any bruised or damaged areas. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Press wooden stick through center of a piece of cantaloupe, leaving 1-inch of stick bare for a handle at one end.
  4. Repeat pressing other pieces of melon on wooden stick alternating types until stick is full.
  5. Refrigerate or serve immediately. Offer yogurt as sauce for dipping kabobs.
Makes 6 adult servings

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall