by Sammy Bonasso, ’19

Upper Arlington Schools have initiated a new online menu system for the 2017-2018 school year using the program NutriSlice. NutriSlice informs students and parents of many important aspects of school cafeterias, including the variety of and calories and allergens in the food served.

By accessing or downloading the NutriSlice phone app, one can access all UA schools’ lunch menus, and information can be formatted as a calendar to display items cafeterias serve on particular days.

Clicking on these items reveals further details, including descriptions, ingredients and nutrition facts. However, at least in the High School’s menu, many items appear without displaying this information.

This lack limits NutriSlice’s menu-planning function, which attempts to allow users to create meals in advance and presents their nutritional data, as well as its allergen-filter and carbohydrate-count features. The carb-count feature includes the amount of fiber and carbs overall in each menu item it can.

The elementary and middle school menus contain more nutritional information and therefore better showcase these abilities of NutriSlice, albeit while failing to provide practical use for high schoolers.

Before the school year began, Superintendent Paul Imhoff mentioned the menu updates in an email describing the features of the online menu system. In early August, the Nutritional Services section of the Upper Arlington Schools website released information on accessing NutriSlice and the program’s features. Additionally, the online Golden Bear News the week of September 1 mentioned NutriSlice.

Nevertheless, high school students are generally ignorant of the system, as suggested by the around 95 percent of 200 students who responded to a Schoology survey and said they didn’t know of NutriSlice.

The high school’s cafeteria recently has attempted to innovate how it feeds and informs students. During the 2016-2017 school year, for example, the cafeteria changed the variety of food served   and sometimes communicated menu items on Schoology in response to a student survey. The implementation of NutriSlice echoes similar, but possibly unrelated, updates on a District-wide level, but how it will impact UAHS students remains to be seen.