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…

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…

Student Farmers Contribute to Success of Healthy School Meals

One Wisconsin school district is taking Farm to School to the next level! With the help of school nutrition professionals, science and math teachers and the Future Farmers of America, students in the School District of Holmen have helped raise their own chickens, grow their own crops on donated land and harvest from hydroponic greenhouses. At the helm of each project, Nutrition Services Supervisor Michael Gasper has helped organize Holmen’s Farm to School program into the great success it is today. In addition to student-grown and raised foods, he also selects produce and meats from local Wisconsin farms for school menus. Read more…

Menu Planning for More Vegetarian Options in Jefferson County Schools

A brave middle school student presented a need for more vegetarian options to the Jefferson County School Board in Kentucky. The plea, which Nutrition Service Center Manager Dan Ellnor said was “heartfelt and well researched,” made the district take a closer look at vegetarianism as a food service policy. Vegetarian options would not only increase the number of healthy, fresh options, but it would help entice students and staff who wouldn’t otherwise purchase school meals. Read more…