25 Wellness Tips

We spoke to operators to get 25 tips from their successful health and wellness programs.

Concerns about healthy food and overall well-being are here to stay. So what exactly is working for non-commercial operators in the struggle to promote wellness? We spoke to operators to get 25 tips from their successful health and wellness programs.

Bring the classroom to the cafeteria: We have an intern program that has helped me develop a nutrition education program/promotion for this upcoming year. In grades K-5, we’re doing a coloring contest, grades six through eight will do a nutrition label essay contest and grades nine through 12 will do a healthy recipe contest. The students will have to look at what we’re serving and talk to the foodservice workers to be able to compete in the contests. For example, for the recipe contest, the students will have to get our recipes and nutritional content from the kitchen and compare that to the foods they are eating at home. Then they’ll have to figure out how they can make the food at home as healthy as the school food. I think bringing that education into the cafeteria will be a lot of fun.

—Michelle Perkins, food service supervisor, Okeechobee County (Fla.) School District

Pages

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
quinoa bowl

In a time of growing health consciousness, it might not be enough anymore for food to be merely filling. According to Technomic’s 2016 Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , diners are looking for food with a function, such as those with high protein content, immunity-boosting properties, antioxidants, probiotics and more. The data suggests 63% of consumers see these foods as healthier than those without any specific nutritional function—and would be more likely to buy them.

But are those stated preferences translating on an operational level? There, the answer is less clear. Baby...

Ideas and Innovation
phone bed call sick

We make people call and directly talk to their boss or supervisor if they are reporting an absence for a shift. While it is more cumbersome, it is a conscious decision. We have adapted and implemented electronic methods to obtain efficiencies in just about every other functional area, except for electronic absence reporting systems. The direct supervisor can put more pressure on an employee to show up—especially those with some form of the “Super Bowl plague”—than any electronic system can.

Menu Development
ranch dressing chicken fingers

While salad bars are often the first place K-12 operators look to incorporate more fresh produce, few go as far as making their own salad dressings. But last fall, in a continuing effort to transition from prepackaged meals to an all-scratch menu, Mark Augustine, executive chef of culinary and nutrition services for Minneapolis Public Schools, switched to concocting four varieties in-house—ranch, Caesar, Italian and Asian vinaigrette. The move, designed to eliminate artificial ingredients and lower fat and sodium, presented the biggest challenge when it came to ranch dressing, the school-...

Ideas and Innovation
business card

We get the new folks abridged business cards saying, “Hi, my name is so-and-so and I work in nutrition department.” We thought it would give them more ownership of the program and elevate their status and position in the organization. It also gives our team more self-confidence and self-worth as an employee, which can be a challenge with foodservice workers.

FSD Resources