Farm to Fork Menu
“At The Unquowa School we strive to serve nourishing, delicious and sustainably grown food — thus empowering our students to make choices that have a positive influence on their personal health, family, community and the surrounding environment.”
—Unquowa’s Farm-to-Fork Policy Statement
Our daily Farm-to-Fork menu includes a hot entree, hot soup, and a salad bar. As part of our school’s effort to join the UNESCO’s Decade of Sustainable Education, our dining program focuses on serving as much fresh regional and seasonal fare as possible with very little packaging waste. We serve hormone-free dairy products and cage-free eggs, procure most of our fruits, vegetables and free-range meats in the Connecticut area, and our students compost the scraps from our kitchen. Our breads are baked here at Unquowa and are a regular and favorite item on the menu. Our goal is to be sure that our dining program—both snack and lunch—sets an example of sound nutrition, clear ethics and environmental awareness. A very brief chat by our head chef at the beginning of each lunch about the origin and/or nutritional value of items on that day’s menu makes these goals naturally and gradually clear to our children. In addition, our students spend time each year at Sport Hill Farm, an organic vegetable farm just up the road from school, planting and harvesting to learn first-hand where food comes from.
Our school and kitchen are both peanut and tree-nut free. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available at every lunch.
At Unquowa, we view mealtime as an opportunity to build community within the school, and to foster values like sharing, taking turns, respect and responsibility. Children of mixed grades are assigned monthly to circular tables for eight, with a teacher at each table to guide conversation, manners and food choices. Table assignments eliminate the social angst often felt by children as they enter a school dining room and must choose a seat, and they allow teachers to encourage students to get to know other children with whom they may not have otherwise spent time. Lunch is served family style, and the eldest at the table brings the serving bowls from the kitchen. Students set and clear their own tables and return dishes and food to the kitchen. Lunch is a busy, upbeat, and very important part of the school day.
Snack, served at 10:15a.m. daily, is a time for students to replenish and regroup, either with their advisory or out on the playground for recess. An extension of our farm to fork dining program, snack is made up primarily of whole fruits, water and a crunchy carbohydrate.