Altimira Middle School students are enjoying strawberry and blueberry smoothies each morning as part of a NutriBullet blast pilot program at the middle school. Food service staff are making fresh smoothies from organic Clover plain live-culture yogurt, frozen bananas, sliced raw beets, half a mandarin (including the skin), a little honey, a lot of berries and no juice.

“It’s healthy way to start the day,” said Sonoma Valley Unified School District food services head Cody Williams.

The 12-ounce smoothies are available for free as a federal reimbursement for those students that missed breakfast or available ala cart for $1.25. The staff makes them in several batches about an hour before the school’s mid-morning break. Williams said that they quickly sold out of the 80 made each of the first few mornings and he now plans on making 100 each day. The staff is currently alternating between the two recipes. Over time, Williams hopes to increase the vegetable content of the smoothies and add produce from Altimira’s school garden.

Altimira students have a short break around 10:15 a.m. each day and around a third of the student body takes advantage of that time to buy a snack. Options beyond the smoothie include potato wedges, hash browns, chips, low calorie Gatorades, breadsticks and cookies.

Four large NutriBulletRxs were donated by the company as part of a pilot program.

“We are one of the first campuses in the country to use this product to make smoothies,” said Williams. “We are hoping that we will be able to roll it out to our other campuses.”