Smoothie Success!

Sharon Lenard, Foodservice Director, Howell Public Schools, Howell, Michigan

Sharon Lenard, foodservice director for Howell Public Schools, found the way to students’ hearts this school year: delicious, homemade smoothies!

Through a “Fuel Up to Play 60” grant, Howell received four high-quality Vitamix blenders to craft the smoothies.  Breakfast smoothies are now available in all four secondary schools in the Howell school Each school serves an average of 60 smoothies a day. According to Lenard, “The students love them!”

Each day, foodservice staff members stir up three or four different flavors. Lenard leaves much of the creative concocting process up to her capable kitchen staff, which includes Pat Maj and Dawn Rowton, whom she refers to as “flavor consultants.” Two new favorite flavors from this team include peach-vanilla and tropical pineapple.

To get the program off the ground, Howell’s foodservice staff was trained by Brent Bishop, manager of school foodservice programs for the United Dairy Industry of Michigan. Howell’s original recipes contained fruit and yogurt, but Bishop showed them different ways to make smoothies using a blend of several fruits, yogurt, and fat-free milk, which made for the best-tasting – and best-selling – smoothies.

Smoothie sales in Howell are going very “smoothly,” according to Lenard. In one school, they are so popular that teachers and school staff have been instructed to wait for students to get served first. These delicious breakfast beverages cost just $2.50 for students and $3.25 for staff.

Sharon attributes the success of the smoothie program to the quick and efficient blenders from the “Fuel Up to Play 60” grant, training from Brent Bishop, and the hard work from her creative and dedicated foodservice staff. Lenard is most proud of the fact that, through the new smoothie program, students are now excited about school breakfast and are clamoring daily for a delicious option that is good for them and that they love. 

This story is part of a School Breakfast Success Story Compendium by Michigan Team Nutrition. To read more success stories, click here!


Nicholas Drzal, RD, MPH, Michigan Department of Education

Chris Flood, MS; Nutrition Communications Consultant, Healthy Habits Today

Sharon Lenard, Foodservice Director, Howell Public Schools, Howell, Michigan