25 Wellness Tips

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

Integrate MyFitnessPal: Like many schools we encourage customers to track their caloric intake using MyFitnessPal. We actually added QR codes to the majority of our items so when students are using the MyFitnessPal app on their phones, they can just scan the item and it’s automatically placed in their daily food diary. This has been so successful the women’s basketball team approached us to train their athletes on how to use the program. They are doing an experiment to see how eating healthier will affect the team’s performance.

—Anthony Zapien, marketing manager for Sodexo, St. Mary’s College, Moraga, Calif.  

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
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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
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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
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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
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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...

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