Building a Better Salad Bar

Directors share tips for success and offer insight into how new meal regs are forcing changes.

New items on salad bars in Denver Public Schools include peas, black beans, pickled beets and an Italian green bean salad. Like Shelly, the district allows individual managers the option to use the salad bar at breakfast, by offering fruits and juice in the morning. Students have a choice of four vegetables and four fruits on the salad bar every day. Composed salads like a spinach salad, potato salad, coleslaw, and a cucumber and tomato salad are offered on the bars. When a composed salad is offered, it counts as one of the four daily vegetable offerings.

Sandy Grady, area supervisor, suggests using shallow shotgun pans instead of deep ones for unpopular items because it makes the bar appear fuller. She also uses large containers for popular items like watermelon so she doesn’t have to replenish as frequently. “Put the vegetables before the fruit as the students come through the bar,” she adds. The move entices students to pick up more vegetables.  

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