In 2018 we completely renovated our kitchen and dining hall, significantly improving the dining experience for all Austin Prep students.
Lunch is inclusive of tuition, and modeled after the finest dining offered in independent schools. The focus of our dining program is on nutrition education, a wellness-oriented approach to eating, and environmental sustainability. The program also includes after-school snack.
“We know that 21st century eaters can be finicky,” said Headmaster James Hickey, Ph.D. “Our all-inclusive lunch program models a college dining atmosphere that supports a holistic approach to education that advances wellness, nutrition, and environmental sustainability.”
Our food service partner – SAGE Dining – focuses on quality service, community, nutrition, safety, education, sustainability, and delicious food made from scratch using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. SAGE counts among its clientele numerous Catholic schools, independent day schools, and boarding schools in the nation.
The dining hall is part of our efforts to strengthen community. In the tradition of St. Augustine – our patron – gathering for a meal is the center of family life. “The dinner table – or in our case the lunch table – is the focal point of family, and of fellowship and of camaraderie,” Dr. Hickey said. In addition to the kitchen, the wooden circular tables and chairs – seating eight per table – give the dining hall a true sense of togetherness.
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 an online menu and phone app, to make planning lunches easy.
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.