Give Thanks for School Food Evolution

The following is an archived post

As we think about the health of our children and what’s offered at school, it is interesting to reflect on how priorities have shifted in both the public and private sector over the last several years.The list below is consistently top of mind among the school food service industry, educators, chefs, dietitians, parents and school communities at large.

New Ways to Incorporate More Fruits and Vegetables

Single-serve offerings of sliced fresh fruits and vegetables for students on-the-go; allergy-aware trail mix made with dried fruit; unsweetened apple and pear sauce; smoothies; fruit and veggie beverages, baked sweet potato “fries” and puffs; hummus and bean-based/vegetarian items

Whole Grain Rich Foods – For Snacking Too

Whole grain pancakes and waffles, whole grain pretzels, crackers, majority of breads served are whole grain, in addition to whole grain salads and incorporating whole grains in soups

Lower-Sodium Foods

Reduced sodium sauces for stir fry dishes; reduced sodium salsa and pasta sauce; reduced sodium deli meats; fresh, whole foods prepared in house, utilizing herbs and spices to maximize flavors, global flavors

Healthy On the Go Breakfast and Snacks

Yogurt parfaits and Greek yogurt cups; oatmeal bowls; whole grain and organic granola bars

Equipment, products and services that increase efficiency, sustainability and food safety

Energy-efficient ovens and steamers, salad bars with improved sneeze guards, biodegradable lunch trays, paper products and food packaging, online meal payment systems, composting, plate waste measurement, more plant-based menus, online nutrition education resources

Options and Innovation

Station changes and updates, rotating and special features, dining as an experience

Education and Engagement

Programming such as school gardens, Superfood promotions, culinary and nutrition classes, connections to charitable organizations with food and cooking as a vehicle


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