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Smoothies a breakfast hit at Mohawk

Recorder/Paul Franz
Mohawk Regional High School seniors Alexis Berry and Autumn Upham enjoy strawberry smoothies before classes on Friday morning.

Recorder/Paul Franz Mohawk Regional High School seniors Alexis Berry and Autumn Upham enjoy strawberry smoothies before classes on Friday morning.

BUCKLAND — What tastes like strawberry ice cream but gives growing teenagers at least 18 grams of protein per serving?

It’s Mohawk Trail Regional High School’s new “smoothie breakfast.” Made of low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk, fruit and crushed ice, a 16-ounce smoothie served with a granola cookie meets USDA guidelines as a “full breakfast” and has doubled participation in the middle- and high-school breakfast program.

Since introducing the smoothie in October, the cafeteria now sells 20 to 40 smoothies per day, which are all “new sales,” according Cafeteria Manager Jennifer Shaw, who came up with the recipe. Before smoothies were on the menu, the cafeteria served about 10 breakfasts each morning and the “grab and go” cart in the lobby sold about 30 breakfast items, she said.

But now that smoothies are selling like, uh, hotcakes, Food Services staff may move the smoothie program out to the cart, so that students who don’t have time for a cafeteria stop can get them in the lobby.

The Mohawk School Committee and others at a recent meeting were treated to samples of the new shakes.

“I think it’s really great and would like to encourage you to do more,” said school board member Nina Martin-Anzouni of Colrain.

Hawley member Kirby “Lark” Thwing said he’s heard a report that, nationally, the rate of childhood obesity is decreasing — possibly as the result of healthier food choices in school food programs.

The smoothies sell for $1, for 30 cents to students who qualify for reduced-prices, and are free for those who qualify for free lunches. Food Services is making back its costs, says Shaw, but “the real goal is to get more kids to eat breakfast, so they can concentrate better in school.”

She said the breakfast smoothies seems to have led to reduced snacking from the vending machine later in the day.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
dbronc@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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