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Food Philosophy

Menus | Peanut and Tree Nut Policy I AVI FoodSystems

Hathaway Brown recognizes the powerful relationships between the food we serve, nutrition, wellness, sustainability, community and culture. We are committed to ongoing research and implementation of best practices reflecting these connections.

  1. Human Health & Wellness: We prioritize serving whole foods prepared in-house, with an emphasis on nutrient rich, high fiber foods.
  2. Sustainability: Our food service choices and operations reflect an awareness of our impact on the environment, local economy, and community.
  3. Culture & Community: Food is an expression of culture and identity, and dining together fosters joyful connections between people.
  4. Lifelong Learning: We engage in ongoing learning and teaching about the impacts of our food choices and will continue to revise our Food Philosophy to reflect current research and thinking about nutrition, wellness and sustainable food systems.

This philosophy applies to food and dining across the school and school-sponsored events, including:

  • Dining Hall
  • Classroom curriculum
  • Meetings for both faculty and students
  • Special events
  • Brown Bag (parent run school store)
  • HathCaff (student run café)
  • Classroom snacks, celebrations (including birthdays) and events
  • Sports teams
  • Field trips
  • Fundraisers
  • After school club activities
  • Summer Programming

We are working toward:

Health and Wellness

  • Cooking from scratch, in-house
  • Low sugar, high fiber
  • Minimally processed/whole grains
  • Emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Low sodium
  • Hormone and antibiotic free meats and dairy
  • Attention to quality and percentage of fat content
  • Attention to food sensitivities, allergies and dietary restrictions
  • Attention to appropriate portion size


  • Prioritizing serving locally, sustainably and humanely produced foods
  • Reducing waste through:
    • Portion control
    • Student food choice
    • Elimination/reduction of disposables and other single-use items
  • Diverting waste from landfill through aggressive recycling and composting programs

Community and Culture

  • Finding ways to celebrate special events that align with our health and wellness goals
  • Regularly integrating cultural foods
  • Creating a dining environment that allows people to be relaxed, social and mindful
  • Joy in eating
  • Investing in our local community with our food purchasing dollars

Lifelong Learning

  • Implementing a cross-divisional, interdisciplinary health, wellness, nutrition, culture and food systems curriculum
  • Ongoing professional development to stay at the leading edge of understanding about nutrition, wellness, culture and sustainable food systems
  • Broader community engagement and modeling of healthy, culturally rich, sustainable food and food systems
  • Continuous revising of our Food Philosophy and its implementation, based on current research and understanding

Ten years from now…where will we be?
Our goals are lofty and ambitious and will require hard work over many years. But, we don’t shy away from that! Imagine a school where the pickles and kimchi are made in-house. The students know the farmers who produce their food. When we eat a burger, we know that it was raised on grass in a humane way, and that we have enabled the farmer who raised it out in Middlefield to upgrade their pastures because of the reliable revenue stream that HB provides. Imagine that students know the distinct spices found in Indian, Mexican, and African cuisine, and the signature fruits and vegetables that mark the passage of the growing season here in Northeast Ohio.  Students know not just when to look for local strawberries, but can also dice an onion and make a healthy snack on their own.  Imagine that we have reduced our environmental impacts while increasing the quality of the food we eat in our dining room, and that the students are excited to eat there every day!

PLEASE NOTE: In creating our Food Philosophy we have been advised by faculty members at The Hotchkiss School, Case Western Reserve University and Kent State University, nutritionists at The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.

To learn more:


Shaker Heights, Ohio Girls K-12 Coed Early Childhood

19600 North Park Boulevard Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122 P: 216.932.4214
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