Cafeteria halts sale of soda, candy

By Chelsea Khakshouri and Sammy Roth

The upper and middle school cafeterias will no longer sell candy and soda, Head of School Dr. Jeanne Huybrechts said. Instead, the cafeterias will sell power bars, juices and other healthier options. Huybrechts said the administration made the change to help students maintain a healthy diet.

“We care about our students,” Huybrechts said. “We want them to be intellectually challenged, and we hope to guide them to adopt healthy lifestyles.”

Instead of Coke and Sprite, the cafeterias will now serve drinks like Minute Maid Light Lemonade, Hi-C Fruit Punch, orange juice and unsweetened ice tea, cafeteria manager Nipa Noonyamas said. To replace candy, the cafeterias will continue selling the healthier options that they introduced last year, such as Balance bars. Only baked potato chips will be offered.

Many of these changes were suggested by dietitian and exercise physiologist Ellen Coleman, who the school hired as a nutrition consultant last spring, Huybrechts said.

Coleman met during the summer with Vice President John Amato, Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas, Head of Middle School Ronnie Cazeau, Director of Campus Operations and Construction James De Matté and Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra, to discuss what should be served in the cafeteria.

Coleman will spend time on both campuses during the year and might suggest more cafeteria changes, Huybrechts said.

“Harvard-Westlake teachers and coaches are constantly reviewing and renewing their programs, evaluating what they’re teaching, improving curriculum, eliminating the equivalent of ‘junk food’ from their programs,” Huybrechts said. “We’re doing the same thing in the cafeterias—scrutinizing and evaluating it the same way we assess all courses, programs and services.”

The cafeteria will also stop selling bottled water, Noonyamas said. Instead, the cafeteria has added filtered water machines where students can fill personal water containers. Filtered water spigots have also been installed throughout the Upper School.