SCHERTZ-There's got to be a school cafeteria story in your life.
No one goes to school and comes away without a 'caf' story. Neighborhood Eats got a chance to relive and explore new ones at Sippel Elementary School.
First-year principal Clarie Bristow gave our food segment access to her school and its cafeteria.
"We serve pre-K through fourth grade," Bristow said. "About 760 students."
Sippel, in its eleventh year of existence, is a 'Leader in Me school.'
"We take pride in developing these habits in our littlest babies on up to our graduating, if you will, fourth graders."
She considers it an honor to lead the school and her team on campus. Great, right? Keeping her growing student's body on track is a task. Part of corralling the young minds is making sure they are fed.
The child nutrition director for Schertz-Cibolo-University City ISD said the school has four workers who work miracles at Sippel.
"Our main focus is to make sure that the kids get fed," Maggie Cornejo said. "And that they are focused to learn at school."
Cornejo said hungry kids can't learn well. Students have a choice of two entrees, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, milk and juice. Of course, the system accommodates any dietary allergies.
School menus are no longer as repetitious as they used to be.
"We don't like to do cycle menus because we try to stay on trend," Cornejo said.
They try within budget to offer students some of the same food they would find in restaurants with their parents.
Neighborhood Eats enlisted the help of third graders Lily Rangel and Adam Taha.
Taha is a huge lover of sweets and his mother's mac-and-cheese. Rangel likes an assortment of food. She is very fond of cotton candy.
Fourth graders Tristan McGarity, Jackson Wicker and Hailey Diaz DeLeon finished out our taste testing bureau.
McGarity is all about his mother's macaroni and cheese and smothered pork chops. Wicker loves a treasured recipe for chicken soup. Diaz De Leon loves her mother's breakfast and father's omelets. Dad gets high marks for his potato salad too.
On the menu at Sippel during our visit: Cheesy Pizza sticks with marinara sauce, chicken Teriyaki and brown rice, corn on the cob, sandwiches, fruit, milk, juice, salad and cookies.
The cheesy pizza stick was a winner for the kids.
"I don't think it needs anything," Rangel said. "I love it."
Diaz DeLeon said it was crunchy but not too crunchy. She liked the chicken Teriyaki as well.
The corn on the cob was an easy winner for these young food reviewers.
"It's good," McGarity said.
The fruit and the rest of the menu went well. It was the chocolate chip cookie that put the meal over the top. Imagine that.
The taste testers gave Sippel Elementary an A+ for lunch.