Dining Services

Dining Program Philosophy

Chapin’s philosophy is to provide a fresh, local and healthy meal program. Our dining program collaborates with our food service provider to build a foundation of safe, nutritious, and quality food choices for students in our K-12 community. Our commitment to health, wellness, and sustainability has a direct impact on our lunch and snack offerings.

  • Our education around nutrition and healthy choices begins in the Lower School with an emphasis on building a colorful and balanced plate. For example, in Classes 2 and 3, a teacher meets with the students each day to review the menu. Students are encouraged to taste new foods. Suggestions for healthy choices are also discussed. "How colorful will your plate be? What are your carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables?" 
     
  • At the Middle School level, students continue to learn about the food groups, and how healthy food choices impact our physical, social and emotional well-being. For example, in Class 4 and 5 Health, students look at the Chapin lunch menu and choose foods based on the MyPlate Plan, a method that encourages focusing on variety, amount and nutrition. They also work on projects like designing restaurant menus that include items from each food group. In Class 7 Health, students examine the connection between eating habits and a healthy body image by exploring the concept of body image across cultures. Using their foundational knowledge of nutrition, they explore the messaging of different societies around food and body image. 
     
  • Break and Community Time (BCT) within the Upper School aligns with students’ snack period to promote the integration of mealtime with community building. Through Life Skills rotations with the School Counselor and nutritionists, Upper School students engage in deeper discussions about the function of food in nourishing the body and mind. Further, the older students learn how their eating habits tie directly into self-care, which is valued as an essential component of a successful learning environment. 

Lower School students compost their uneaten food during the "Zero Waste Food Challenge."

An Upper School student sorts produce as part of Chapin's Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA).

Curriculuar Initiatives K-12

The theme of sustainability is consistently reinforced throughout the K-12 community and within the classrooms. Curricular content and community initiatives, such as "Zero Waste Food Challenges" in the dining rooms, promote healthy and environmentally-conscious choices. 

Additional Examples:

Lower School

Class 3 students learn about waste and the effect it has on the environment. The students track their waste, recording their results, and then work with their teachers to come up with ideas on how to eliminate waste and protect the environment, both in school and at home. 

Middle School

Class 7 students engage in a gardening unit. They maintain the School's hydroponic tower garden, which grows fresh herbs and greens for consumption. Chapin's chefs then harvest the herbs and greens, which are used in the daily preparation of salads and entrees.

Upper School

Chapin Upper School students have the opportunity to organize and run the School's Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA), a "mini farmer's market" within our community where parents and professional community members pay a fixed price each week in exchange for a wide variety of organic produce sourced directly from local farms. Participating in CSA is a fun way to meet new vegetables, expand your palate and support seasonal, local eating. 

Environmental Sustainability

Chapin's Green Thread program promotes sourcing products responsibly, minimizing the impact on people, animals and the environment. Our commitment to responsible sourcing has a direct effect on our local and global economies, the health and wellness of our community, and the protection of our environment. Working with our suppliers, we have taken the following important action steps:

  • No Deforestation: Our No Deforestation Commitment addresses climate risks posed by the clearing or thinning of forests. 
  • Locally Sourced: We are committed to purchasing local produce, grown within 250 miles of our school.
  • Humanely Rasied: We address animal welfare concerns with policies for purchasing cage-free eggs, group-housed pork and other foods.
  • Sustainable Seafood: We are committed to meeting our goal to source 100% sustainable seafood.

Middle and Upper School students and Professional Community members eat lunch together each day in the Gordon Room, creating a deep sense of community.

Healthy plates as imagined by our youngest students! The importance of balanced and colorful meals is emphasized beginning in the Lower School.

Quick Facts

Chapin's chefs use heart healthy recipes and are mindful of sugar, salt and refined flours in their daily meal preparation.

  • Chapin is a limited nut environment. We do not serve nut meats, nut essences, or coconut.
  • All milk served is 100% hormone- and antibiotic-free.
  • All eggs are cage-free.
  • All cheese and butter served is purchased from hormone- and antibiotic-free dairies.
  • We serve 100% hormone- and antibiotic-free organic Stonyfield yogurt.
  • All chicken served is 100% hormone- and antibiotic-free.
  • All seafood served is responsibly sourced.
  • All breads are sourced from an artisan bakery and are non-GMO and preservative-free.
  • We use local produce and often incorporate organic produce from Chapin's Community Supported Agriculture program into our recipes.
  • Our chefs prepare gluten-free and soy-free selections daily to accommodate the dietary needs of our community.
  • 95% of our desserts are made from scratch with low sugar content.
  • We serve homemade granola prepared with pure maple syrup and no seeds or dried fruit.
  • We use only organic, albino, whole grain flour.
  • We prepare homemade cream cheese (with skim milk) and hummus daily.
  • Chapin's chefs use pure olive oil, sea salt and fresh herbs in their daily food preparation.

Available Daily:

-Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian entree selection
-Soy milk, Lactaid, whole milk, and skim milk
-Gluten-free salad bar