Recipe Contests Highlight CA District’s National School Lunch Week

School districts across the country are gearing up to celebrate this year’s music-themed National School Lunch Week (NSLW), “School Lunch: What’s On Your Playlist?” from October 14-18.  Schools like Capistrano Union School District (CA) are busy planning new recipe launches and highlighting some favorite school lunches during the week. The Food Service Department will share photos of their daily special entrée and daily vegan special entrée on their popular Instagram account, CapoFood. CUSD will also be creating morning announcements to hype up lunch every day during NSLW, complete with music, menu highlights and dancing.

“We are hoping that this week will put a bright spotlight on our program and reach some new students, parents and staff that might not be aware of all our program has to offer,” said Nutrition Specialist Shannon Illingworth. “We are so proud of the variety in our menu, especially our vegan choices.” Read more…

Shaking It Up for National School Lunch Week in Georgia

Dade County Schools in Georgia didn’t let fall break and parent conferences get in the way of celebrating National School Lunch Week (NSLW). School nutrition and food service staff planned NSLW celebrations a week early this year, holding the annual event from October 8-12 to help educate students and parents on the importance and value of school lunch!

Staff members throughout the district wore fun apparel with this year’s NSLW theme, “School Lunch – Lots 2 Love”. Chef hats, t-shirts, aprons – everything they wore celebrated healthy school lunches and all there is to love about them! Cafeterias were decorated with Lots 2 Love messaging. Read more…

Parents Take A Peek Inside The Cafeteria

A great way for parents to learn about their child’s school nutrition program firsthand, National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day started in 2011 by Kiwi Magazine together with School Nutrition Association. Typically during National School Lunch Week in October, schools invite parents to eat lunch with their children and see what has changed over the years.   Read more…

Schools Don’t Let Fall Break Sideline Lunch Week Celebrations

Fulton County Schools in Atlanta (GA) didn’t let their Columbus Day holiday break get in the way of celebrating the importance of National School Lunch Week (NSLW). Even though schools were closed October 9-13, Fulton County honored NSLW October 16-20 with a whole week of exciting events and school meals. Roughly 7.9 million healthy  school lunches are prepared for more than 91,000 Fulton County students each year.


“School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fat and sodium,” said Alyssia Wright, executive director of the district’s School Nutrition Program. “National School Lunch Week helps us educate parents and students about all the benefits of our lunch program, and the appealing choices we offer.” Read more…

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 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.