Dining at Gilman
Building Community, Forkful by Forkful
Just as family dinner is one of the important times of the day, lunch at Gilman is one of the most integral parts of the school day. Our community strengthens as students in each division — Lower, Middle and Upper — share lunch each day with their peers, teachers, and staff. The opportunity for boys and adults to casually interact and chat about a book or movie or current or sporting events is invaluable to building the relationships we all cherish. The dining hall and the nutrition program add another dimension to our abiding mission to educate boys in mind, body, and spirit, bringing us even closer to the vision that Anne Galbraith Carey had for her son and all the sons of Baltimore.
With tray-less food service and an established composting effort, the dining program models sustainable practices, teaching boys important lessons each day. The daily menus pass a nutritionist's scrutiny, ensuring balanced choices and health and wellness with each bite.
Weekly Lunch Menus
Starting with the 2022-2023 school year, you can access lunch menus through the buttons below.
Each menu contains information for the current and following week with the menus typically updated by 3:00 p.m. each Friday.
The Blue & Gray Café
Located in the Lumen Center adjacent to the dining hall, Gilman's Blue & Gray Café helps ensure that students, faculty, and staff stay nourished throughout the school day through an expanded array of assorted beverages, breakfast and lunch items, and snacks and treats.
In the 2022-2023 school year, please note that the Café will be a cashless operation. Students will be able to make purchases using their student account or a credit card. Parents/guardians can set up a monthly limit or stop student account usage at any time. Please visit Veracross to set up or adjust your son's monthly limit (under "School Forms," applicable for Middle and Upper School families only).
Note: The School Store, located in the hallway next to the Café, will continue to have a small selection of snacks and drinks.
The Café is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Upper School Students
- 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Complimentary snack cart items (fruit, protein bars, and cereal bars) will still be available during a 20-minute class change each morning.
Middle School Students
- 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
- 3:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Lower School Students
- Lower School boys may only visit the Café after school.
- Boys must be accompanied by an adult to make purchases.
- Water ($1.00)
- Juice ($1.25)
- Nesquik Flavored Milk ($2.50)
- Naked Juice Smoothies ($4.00)
- Iced Coffee ($4.50)
- Toasted Bagel with Cream Cheese ($1.50)
- Donuts ($1.50)
- Egg and Cheese Sandwich ($3.00)
- Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich ($4.00)
- Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich ($4.00)
- Yogurt and Granola Parfait ($4.00)
- 12 oz. Housemade Smoothies ($5.00)
- Pizza ($2.25)
- Caesar Salad ($4.00)
- Italian Cold Cut Hero ($5.00)
- Roasted Turkey Grinder with Provolone ($5.00)
- Chicken Caesar Salad ($7.00)
Snacks and Treats
- Candy ($1.15)
- Doritos ($1.50)
- Jumbo Pretzels ($2.00)
- Brownies ($2.00)
- Cheesecake ($3.25)
As they move through the service line, boys see artfully and professionally presented choices. What they won't see is that culinary-trained chefs prepare these foods from scratch, limiting the use of processed foods and avoiding artificial colors, flavorings, MSG (monosodium glutamate), preservatives, and trans fats. They use only meats graded "choice" or higher, choose fresh ground beef and hamburger that is 80 percent lean, roast deli beef and turkey on site and make every effort to use seasonal fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers.
This dedication to fresh, healthy cooking lets us meet a wide range of nutrition requirements and standards, and our food service staff are allergy aware in a continuous effort to help implement a safe dining environment for all students.
- Sourcing fresh yogurt and milk that is free of artificial growth hormones.
- Purchasing poultry produced without the routine use of human antibiotics.
- Buying local products to support American family farms.
- Promoting Certified Humane® cage-free eggs.
- Providing a large variety of healthful options and educational tools encouraging our boys to make healthier choices.
Science and experience have clearly demonstrated that the use of artificial recombinant bovine growth hormones (rBGH) in dairy cows is detrimental to the well-being of the animal. The medical community has expressed apprehension that the use of rBGH may also be harmful to human health. Because of these concerns, we serve only fresh fluid milk from Cloverland Farms Dairy and fresh yogurt from cows that have been certified to be free of rBGH or rBST (previously called bovine growth hormone).
The non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal production is a growing public health concern because it decreases the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating diseases in humans. Therefore, we only serve chicken and turkey produced with restricted use of these drugs, especially as a growth additive in feed. Our contracted suppliers are required to provide products that adhere to specific criteria developed in partnership with The Environmental Defense Fund.
Supporting the preservation of the American family farm, reducing the carbon footprint of our supply chain, and giving back to local communities are all central to our core values. In collaboration with our partners at the Institute for Agricultural Trade Policy (IATP), we are seeking to reduce our dependence on factory farming and to partner with local and regional growers to develop relationships with local farms, bringing the freshest food possible to our boys.
We recognize that the food we serve can have a significant impact on the health and wellness of our students. Our menus provide a variety of healthful options to help the boys make healthier dining choices.
We are also committed to influencing our supply chain by working with our supplies to improve the nutrient content of the food we purchase with specific targets for eliminating trans fat, reducing saturated fat, reducing sodium, increasing whole grains, moderating portion size, and providing nutritional information.
We Love Compost
Gilman is the first school in the area to implement a commercial-scale food waste collection for composting. At the end of lunch, students separate their waste into appropriate containers, only 1% of which becomes trash for landfills. Anything that can be composted (including milk cartons and napkins) goes into the composting buckets. The waste becomes compost, which the School can then collect at a later time for plantings and other uses.
Food waste is a major contributor to the methane gas formation found in landfills. Methane gas is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat near the earth's surface. At Gilman, 100% of our food waste is composted, and Gilman receives new soil proportional to the compost credits we receive from our partner, Waste Neutral.
Our food composting program began in September 2009. In the first three months alone, we saved 17.13 tons (or 34,260 pounds) of food waste from going to landfill; the total for the year was 52,640 pounds. We've saved an awful lot of gas from escaping into the atmosphere.
The only true trash generally comes from saltine wrappers or the occasional ice cream sandwich wrapper! We can see the results: before composting, the School processed an average of 128.5 tons of trash. Now that number has dropped to an average of 82 tons.
To Tray, or Not to Tray
Before the dining hall opened in 2008, Gilman administrators decided to forego carrying trays in the dining hall, particularly for the Upper School. Instead, students would receive their meals on a regular-sized round dinner plate. The thinking is two-fold: first, not having a tray to carry plates limits the amount of food one can take, therefore reducing waste, and, second, not having extra trays to wash conserves water and the energy to heat dishwashing water.
Gilman is one of the first independent schools in the area to go trayless. Other schools are beginning to follow our lead.
- Q: Will my son's dietary needs be met?
- Q: How healthful is the food?
- Q: How "green" is dining at Gilman?
- Q: What beverages are offered at lunch?
- Q: May a student tour the kitchen?
The daily menu is designed to meet various dietary needs.
Vegetarian or Vegan
If your son is a vegetarian or vegan, he won't go hungry at lunchtime. One of our food stations offers a hot vegetarian option daily. There is always a vegetarian soup selection and our gourmet salad bar from which to choose.
There are salads, soups, and other options to accommodate gluten-free diets.
If your son has a food allergy or intolerance, please ask to speak with the director of dining services or school nurse. We have simplified a special station in the dining hall with a knowledgeable staff member to assist. We also keep documentation of all of our ingredients for students to review. On most days, the school nurse is present throughout the Middle and Lower School lunchtimes to assist students in making safe choices.
Keeping with Gilman's mission, preparing a diverse, rotating selection of healthy food is integral to the School's dining philosophy.
- We emphasize the use of fresh, whole, locally grown ingredients and hire executive chefs to prepare healthful, high-quality meals from scratch. We make our own dressings, most deli meats, all sauces (including pizza sauce), soups, and more.
- We use only fresh herbs and spices to season food without the use of MSG (monosodium glutamate) and other preservatives.
- We use meats graded "choice" or higher.
- We have two Johns Hopkins intern rotations a semester in the dining hall to showcase and train healthy eating habits for students.
- We also have a corporate nutritionist who will answer any question that cannot be answered on site.
Read more about our commitment to healthy food in "Health and Wellness" tab on this page.
Keeping with Gilman's mission, sustainable and green practices throughout the kitchen and dining hall are integral to the School's dining philosophy.
- We compost all organic waste in the kitchen and in the dining hall.
- We purchase from vendors who provide farm-to-table products.
- We do not use cafeteria trays to conserve energy and water.
- We do not use disposable products.
- We utilize products from some local farms.
- We recycle our fryer oil for bio-diesel.
- We purchase seafood in accordance with the Seafood Watch guidelines for sustainability.
- We conserve the use of electricity whenever possible in the kitchen and dining hall.
Yes, students may tour the kitchen with advance notice to the director of dining services and approval from the student's homeroom teacher and advisor.
The director of dining services and school nurse offer tours of the kitchen and dining facilities each summer before the start of school. The first is designed for students with special food needs such as food allergies, diabetes, or any other food-related concerns, the second introduces the dining facilities to rising second graders and boys new to Gilman.
For more information about dining at Gilman or to speak with the director of dining services, please feel free to reach out via phone or email!
Gilman's dining contractor, FLIK Independent School Dining, has a mission to "provide delicious, nutritious food to campus communities with our made-from-scratch menus that support local and sustainable agricultural practices."