New Director of Student Nutrition and Wellness, Katherine Adams

Adams: ‘I’m very passionate about nutrition and helping people eat healthier’


Katherine Adams, Director of Student Nutrition and Wellness

Before taking over as the Director of Student Nutrition and Wellness, Katherine Adams interned with Oak Park Unified School District through a program at her graduate school. After spending 24 years as a massage therapist, Adams saw her career change as an opportunity to work with local schools. When Adams isn’t walking her two dogs or working in her garden, she enjoys cooking. Her kitchen is where she discovers the inspiration for some of the lunches that make the menu.

Adams’ passion for her new position comes from seeing her own son navigate the balance of good taste and quality nutrition while at school. She has the responsibility of overseeing food service staff, developing menus district-wide and finding vendors and products. As the chair of the Wellness Committee, Adams wants to promote the idea that healthy eating leads to a healthy planet. 

“There is a connection between what food [students are] eating and the impact it’s having on the environment, the community and on themselves,” Adams said. “I think it’s important to feed kids, nourish them, have them get the nutrition that they need, have them enjoy the food and also teach them about where the food comes from.”

As for Adams’ favorite meals on her newly designed menu, Korean Bibimbap, lasagna, nachos and Tikka Masala make the cut. New items students should look out for include a sesame quinoa bowl, as well as a Greek lemon chicken plate with rosemary potatoes and pesto pasta with cannellini beans – which Adams adapted from her own home recipe. 

“[The Nutrition and Wellness Department is] really trying to stick with the sustainable focus of a plant-based menu,” Adams said. “We have a vegetarian option every day and a lot of meals not serving meat [at all].”

A survey from the Nutrition and Wellness Department will be released in the coming months to receive feedback from parents and students on the menu.

“The menu is very fluid. It can, of course, always change. We tried to kind of keep some of what we thought were the favorites and then put in some new stuff,” Adams said. “It’s going to cycle around and we can always take away things that aren’t doing well or not popular and then keep the ones that are.”