Special Guests Serve Up Meals During National School Lunch Week

This year’s National School Lunch Week (NSLW) theme, “Recipes For Success,” encouraged schools to share tried-and-true healthy recipes students love, as well as introduce new and innovative recipes to school menus. Each day, parents and special guests joined students to eat or help serve lunch – local celebrities such as firefighters, superintendents, teachers, local government officials and coaches helped spread the lunchroom love in cafeterias across the country! Read more…

Scratch Cooking in Schools, Just Like Mom Used to Make

Celebrating one of the great new trends in school cafeterias, National School Lunch Week (October 9-13) is highlighting the incorporation of scratch cooking to lunch menus! As part of the “Recipes for Success” theme, we’re featuring delicious looking scratch recipes, like a Hearty Vegetable Soup from a Texas lunchroom and a homemade Arroz con Pollo and Gazpacho Soup dish from a cafeteria in Vermont on the blog and on Tray Talk Facebook. Read more…

‘Recipes for Success’ Celebrated During National School Lunch Week

For 55 years, schools have celebrated National School Lunch Week (NSLW) by offering exciting menu ideas to promote the National School Lunch Program, the largest federal child nutrition program in the US.NSLW2017-Artwork-Wrap

This year’s NSLW will take place October 9 – 13 and brings together students, teachers, foodservice professionals and school staff from all across the country.  The theme, “Recipes For Success,” encourages schools to share tried-and-true healthy recipes students love, as well as introduce new and innovative recipes!

There are a variety of ways school nutrition professionals are promoting healthier choices and working to mirror restaurant trends to boost school meal participation. Weeks of preparation go into planning celebrations, with many schools incorporating customized, made-to-order options and international flavors on menus.

On Tray Talk, we’re holding contests for parents and the community to celebrate National School Lunch Week! Everyone who signs up to Follow TrayTalk.org between October 7-15 is eligible to win a grand prize worth $200, including a pressure cooker and cookbook, gift card for groceries and a NSLW Recipes for Success prize pack! Plus, check out our weeklong promotional contests on Tray Talk Facebook for chances to win $50 gift cards!

NSLW2017-Artwork-RecipesforSuccessBLUESchools also host a variety of contests during NSLW.  Students can participate in poster designs, which will then be used to decorate the cafeteria; recipe contests, where the winner’s recipe will be included on the regular school menu; parents and guests will join students to eat or serve lunch, including local celebrities, firefighters and other community members.

NSLW is a time to celebrate all of the exciting things happening in school food such increase in made-to-order or self-serve entrée bars, like chicken wing bars, burrito bars, flatbread bars, sandwich bars, pizza bars, rice bowl bars, etc. NSLW2017-Artwork-SaladWhen students can choose the ingredients to make their own meal, experts say that they often incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies that they will actually consume. Increased scratch preparation has become popular in school cafeterias – from soups to stir-fry and dumplings to lasagna, recipes feature fresh and healthy variety for students.

 

 

 

Taking Cues from Restaurants, Schools Offer Build-Your-Own Lunch Options

As students enter middle school and high school these days, their pallets are typically more sophisticated – they’re looking for bold flavors with their own favorite ingredients.

To mimic the success and appeal of made-to-order restaurants like Quizno’s, Panera and Chipotle, school nutrition professionals have taken a healthy approach to offering customizable school meals. In Rochester, NY, area schools have created themes and options for “make your own” bars where students can choose from a variety of  healthy options. Read more…

School Starts Again With A Big Welcome Back To The Cafeteria!

School nutrition professionals are celebrating the start of the 2017-2018 academic year by educating students about new technology and menu options and creating a welcoming atmosphere for them as they walk through the cafeteria. Welcome back signs are hung and decorations line the walls!

Summer months are often dedicated to perfecting recipes and staff training to bring  new and exciting things to student menus come August/September!  Read more…

Specialty Equipment Helps CA District Serve 24,000 School Meals A Day

Students in Modesto City Schools (MCS) in California started classes last week, but school nutrition professionals had been preparing for the new school year all summer long. Something exciting was in store, helping to improve the more than 24,000 meals made daily – new equipment for their specialized bakery.  Think about 24,000 meals in terms of a restaurant – what kind of facility is needed to produce that many meals every day? Read more…

School Lunch Pros Take Flavor to the Next Level

Atlanta (GA) was the host city of this year’s School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference. It was very exciting to hear about so many great things going on in cafeterias in the state and across the country.

During an educational session titled “Shake It Up School Nutrition,” GA Department of Education guest speakers Sarah Combs and Paige Holland spoke about the challenges that face school nutrition professionals when it comes to providing healthier foods that still appeal to children. Read more…