We bring about systemic change in the cafeteria.

Our Flagship WITS Café program operates within school kitchens, supporting the implementation of scratch-cooked menus, preparation of healthy school lunch recipes, and the expansion of salad bars.

We begin our work by deeply immersing ourselves into cafeterias to support lunch preparation and encourage student consumption of school lunch. WITS Chefs work alongside school food staff in the kitchens, training them in basic culinary skills and scratch-cook recipe preparation. Topics range from knife skills to storage and organization. We gradually scale back our presence as school cooks learn how to prepare the menu on their own.Wellness in the Schools advocates for the use of scratch-cooked recipes using wholesome ingredients and in keeping with strict guidelines for acceptable and unacceptable ingredients.

PS 87 WITS Cafe Day. Photo by Ari Mintz 11/8/2012.

In partnership with the school districts we serve, we strive to provide:

  • Meals made from unprocessed ingredients.
  • A salad bar daily with dressings made from scratch.
  • At least one fresh fruit daily (not canned or packed in syrup).
  • Fresh vegetables (frozen only when necessary and never canned).
  • Whole grain pasta, bread, and rice, and the culturally-specific use of refined grains.
  • Access to water and unflavored white milk daily at lunch, eliminating sweetened milk in the cafeteria.
  • Support of sustainable cafeteria practices.

WITS Café Days: Throughout the year, we offer WITS Café Days, where local Chef Partners visit school cafeterias and prepare interactive meals during lunch. These unique experiences encourage students to choose healthy foods and sample new menu items.