Stepping Up to the Tray

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1.24.2014 Improving the quality and appeal of school meals can be challenging, but schools around the nation are proving critics wrong. School districts'efforts to implement the updated nutrition guidelines for school meals have been paying off. According to the USDA, more than 80 percent of schools are well on their way to meeting healthy school lunch standards. However, that's only half the battle. Providing healthier food choices in the cafeteria will not work if the food does not appeal to students.

Presentation, taste and service are key ingredients to making school meals stand out. Presenting healthier items in a more attractive, appetizing way can increase uptake of nutritious foods, decrease food waste and attract new customers. Using fresh foods and spices to liven up the meal will increase the number of repeat customers. Lastly, a smile can go a long way. Good customer service is the key to ensuring that students enjoy what is being served to them and to encourage students to come back.

If you still don't think school meals can be both healthy and appealing, take a look at these school lunches captured by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Fruit Salad and Fresh Veggies Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia

Buffalo Chicken Wraps, Fruit Salad & Fresh Veggies
Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia

 

Rainbow Grab-n-Go Salad Kalispell Public Schools, Montana

Rainbow Grab-n-Go Salad
Kalispell Public Schools, Montana

See the slideshow that highlights some of the healthy, appealing school lunches being served across the country. link

For more information, contact Jeannie Wakamatsu at 213-482-8200, x207 or at jeannie@cfpa.net