25 Wellness Tips

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

Athlete feeding: Our school is probably about 60% athletes, so we launched the Fuel the Athletes program in conjunction with the football team. It is based off MyPlate. Basically we are trying to educate the athletes to follow the MyPlate recommendations of filling half their plate with vegetables and fruits, a quarter with whole grains and a quarter with lean protein. The program also talks about fueling before, during and after exercise. We came up with cool flyers that we distributed to the athletes and we have diagrams at each station that reinforce smart plate building. A lot of times in the past athletes would come in and they’d be so ravenous that they’d just pile their plates up with huge mounds of food. Now they know how to build plates that will fill them up in a healthy way.

—Josh Martin, executive chef for Sodexo, Menlo School, Atherton, Calif.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources