New Inclusive Dining Services
We are pleased to announce Austin Prep’s kitchen and dining hall – a focal point of our community – will be completely renovated during summer 2018. As part of the $3 million transformation of the dining hall, we’re also changing the dining experience. Beginning with the 2018-2019 academic year, we are launching an all-inclusive dining program that will be included with tuition. The new lunch program will model the finest dining offered in independent schools and the approach is different. The focus of the dining program will be on nutrition education, a wellness oriented approach to eating, and environmental sustainability.
We know that 21st century eaters can be finicky. We also know that many students have allergies. The new dining program will address all of these challenges and offer healthy and allergy-safe choices. The new dining service program will promote a philosophy of educating students about variety, balance, and moderation. The program will include two main components: lunch and after-school snack. (Breakfast options and snacks during Cougar Block will be available through retail).
The lunch program will be “all you care to eat,” much like you would experience in a college dining atmosphere. Under the direction of an executive chef, the menu will change every day and there will be many options that include a salad and deli bar with house-made dressings, fresh ingredients purchased from local vendors, and in-house roasted beef, turkey, and chicken; a healthy main dish with a variety of starches and fresh vegetables as sides, authentic ethnic meals such as Italian dishes, expanded vegetarian options, themed do-it-yourself stations, and even display cooking.
You can learn more about Sage Dining Services at www.sagedining.com.
Founded in 1990, Sage focuses on quality service, community, nutrition, safety, education, sustainability, and delicious food made from scratch using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients.
The variety of main lunch dishes offered daily will include barbecue chicken, roasted fresh turkey sandwiches, hamburgers, spaghetti and meatballs, grilled cheese (including a gluten-free option), pizza and vegetable noodle soup. Side dishes include green salads, roasted vegetables, corn, rice, baked french fries and potato salad.
On-site chefs will get to know our school community and tailor Austin Prep's menu according to our preferences.
This type of dining model is at more than 1,000 schools nationwide, including Catholic secondary schools. Sage Dining works every day to provide thousands of students good, tasty food, including students with food allergies and those who are particular.
All Sage employees are extensively trained in food allergy awareness, the menus provide a wide variety, and community members are well-informed through complete ingredient lists and serving line signs. Sage even has a comprehensive allergen filter, which can be accessed through the online menu, to make planning lunches easy. For more information about how Sage handles food allergies, click here.
More information about ingredients, nutrition and menus are available on Sage's website, SageDining.com. The company also has a free app, Touch of Sage, where you can explore the menus of other schools.
Sage Dining Services created a special program to help educate diners about nutrition and make smarter food choices.
The Spotlight Program® is a color-coded dot system. The colors are assigned based on a dish's nutritional value and its fat, salt, and added sugar content. The dots provide guidance on portion control.
Each menu item is marked with a green, yellow, or red dot.
Green-dot foods are the foundation of the plate. Every day, half of the plate should include a variety of green-dot foods for added color and nutrients.
Yellow-dot foods add a mix of nutrients and flavors to the plate. Balance the plate by filling a quarter to a half of it with yellow-dot foods.
Red-dot foods may or may not provide all the valuable nutrients you are looking for, but definitely contain some, and should be eaten in moderation. Focusing on portion or frequency is a great way to enjoy red-dot foods. Reserve a quarter of the plate for red-dot foods or enjoy them a couple times per week.
Every item on Austin Prep's online menu, and in the Touch of Sage app, will include a dot color.
The dining hall will display a Sage Spotlight Program® poster showing how a plate should be created. In addition, there will either be printed menu signs or a tablet displaying the dot colors next to each menu item being served.
Sage's team of registered dietitians routinely evaluates and routinely updates the program based on the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines. In addition, the dietitians analyze recipes and review menus for balance, completeness, and accuracy.
If you would like to explore more about the Spotlight Program®, click here for that section of the Sage Dining website.