Farm-to-school programs

Our school cafeterias are giving students the opportunity to enjoy nutritious food grown locally. The Farm Fresh Friday and Harvest of the Month programs take place to support healthy lifestyle habits and teach students about agriculture and the local farms their foods come from.

Farm Fresh Friday

Locally grown herbs

The Texas Department of Agriculture created the Farm Fresh Friday initiative to connect Texans all across our state to agriculture and our local farmers and ranchers.  The Farm Fresh goal is to increase awareness of the integral role agriculture plays in our lives and improving wellness in our community.  Every Friday, our cafeterias will feature a Texas-grown menu item.

When students make the Farm Fresh choice they support the hardworking producers across our state and help improve the local economy.

Harvest of the Month

Each month a different locally grown fruit or vegetable option is available in our cafeterias. Agricultural fact sheets teach students about the products and farms of Texas. We hope to increase the number of fruits and vegetables that students are eating.

Spinach grown in Texas

Spinach

Enjoy Spinach in your cafeteria on March 25.

Spinach is believed to come from Persia. It had arrived in China by the seventh century and reached Europe in the mid-13th century. For some time, the English referred to it as the “Spanish vegetable” because it came through Spain via the Moors. Spinach is a member of the Chenopodiaceae family, which also contains nutritionally powerful foods like beets and Swiss chard.

Spinach may help with several health conditions. Eating spinach is beneficial for maintaining healthy skin, hair and strong bones, as well as helping with digestion, lowering the risk for heart disease and improving blood glucose control in diabetics.

Spinach is one of the best sources of dietary potassium and magnesium, two very important electrolytes necessary for maintaining human health.

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, and vitamin C.

Spinach is also a very good source of zinc, dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and choline. It contains a unique and beneficial mixture of phytonutrients, as well as anti-oxidants, flavonoids and carotenoids. 

Spinach is also one of the best plant-based sources of iron. The same is true of spinach’s protein content; most of the calories in spinach come from protein. This makes it a popular food for vegetarians. At only 7 calories per cup of raw spinach and 41 per cup of cooked spinach, it’s also a great choice for dieters.