How To Power Up Your School Menu

Taking your school menu to the next level is no easy task. Balancing cost and nutrition while still creating dishes that appeal to a wide age range takes talent and a bit of experimentation, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Test out these ideas and techniques in your kitchen the next time you need to spice things up.

Set Up A Salad Bar

The interactivity and freedom of salad bars is a great way to get pickier eaters to start munching on their greens. Be sure to incorporate a variety of toppings and sauces so that your students can get the perfect lunchtime salad. Visit our guide for in-depth tips on setting up the perfect school salad bar. 

Cook Seasonally

Using seasonal produce can lower your expenses while simultaneously improving the quality of your dishes. Naturally, most items are available throughout the year, but even the most popular picks see a decrease in price during their peak season. Revisit our favorite seasonal picks for the summer and winter semesters. 

Get In The Holiday Spirit

If you’re not finding success with a particular piece of produce that you adore, try creating a holiday themed dish around it. For example, a student who may be wary of bell peppers will be more likely to eat them if they are turned into  “Jack O’Lanterns.” Not only does this technique allow you to test out new menu items, but it gives you the opportunity to get in the holiday spirit yourself!

Use “Kid-Approved” Produce

Although everyone has different taste buds, there are a few produce picks that are loved by kids of all ages. Along with perennial favorites like apples and clementines, we like using miniature versions of veggies like baby russets from Wilcox Fresh. 

Add Some Color

Perhaps the easiest way to spice up an everyday dish is to incorporate a more colorful variety of produce. Rainbow baby carrots are perhaps the best example of this, as they have the same taste as regular baby carrots and follow the same storage/serving guidelines but add purple, yellow, and white hues to the plate. Check out their power firsthand with a rainbow baby carrot salad.

Call In The Subs

By simply changing up the varieties of items you use every day, you can create a new culinary experience without veering too far off course. To get started, try working with new types of apples like opal or granny smith.