4 health-centered takeaways from MenuDirections 2018

menu direction panels

Attendees of FoodService Director’s 2018 MenuDirections conference in New Orleans were served a variety of healthy culinary practices from speakers and their peers. Here are four key ideas conference-goers took home from the event last week.

1. Breaking from tradition

Kerri Dotson

The Mediterranean diet can help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, Kerri Dotson, culinary medicine educator at Tulane University’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, shared in a general session presentation. Operators don’t have to add traditional Mediterranean dishes to share the diet’s benefits with diners, Dotson said, proposing that they incorporate aspects of the diet into mainstream offerings. She suggested adding fruit to salad bars and in desserts, as well as tweaking dishes such as pasta with meat sauce by replacing some of the meat with fiber-rich, low-sodium lentils.

2. Sorghum-sweetened desserts

Sorghum lecture

Sorghum, a nutrient-dense, gluten-free grain, is being used in sweets. Chef Robert Landolphi of the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn., says he has added sorghum beer and sorghum syrup to brownie batter to create a fun gluten-free treat for St. Patrick’s Day. 

3. Operators go beyond blended burgers...

blended burger

Meat-and-mushroom blends aren’t just for use between bread or buns. At one panel discussion, attendees were able to sample a lettuce wrap as well as a taco made with a mushroom-and-beef mixture. Speakers also suggested using the blend in items such as meatballs and meatloaf.

4. …and share the story behind the healthy food they serve

Frank Turchan

At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., Executive Chef Frank Turchan’s team invites farmers from the university’s farm to meet with students throughout the year. The visits allow students to get an inside look at how some of the produce served in the dining halls is grown, Turchan said. 

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has appointed Satya Menard as global CEO of its schools and universities segments.

Menard has been with Sodexo for 20 years, holding senior roles within the company such as CEO of benefits and rewards services for Central Europe and CEO of Central and South America for on-site services.

Most recently, Menard was CEO of service operations, a capacity in which he coordinated internal support to operations including service experts in facilities management, food, supply chain and information services and technology.

Menard will transition to the role beginning...

Sponsored Content
little caesars

From PODS ®.

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars® is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the United States. Founded in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant, Little Caesars has become the third largest pizza chain in the world with stores in 23 countries and territories worldwide, including in each of the 50 U.S. states. Each day it serves more than three million pizzas to its customers.

All the equipment used by Little Caesars is supplied by Blue Line Distribution, a wholly owned subsidiary of the restaurant franchise. This includes foodservice...

Industry News & Opinion

A new law in Washington will expand Breakfast After the Bell programs throughout the state, the Daily Fly reports.

Signed into law on Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee, HB 1508 requires that schools in which at least 70% of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals offer Breakfast After the Bell by the time the 2019-2020 school year begins.

The food offered at breakfast must meet federal nutrition standards and can’t be made up of more than 25% added sugar. Schools must also give preference to food that is fresh and grown in the state.

The breakfast period can...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles will begin offering fresh kosher meals three times a week at its USC Village Dining Hall, the Daily Trojan reports.

The meals will be delivered to the dining hall every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening by a local kosher butcher beginning March 20. The butcher will also deliver sandwiches, salads and other kosher items to a marketplace on campus.

Around 15 Orthodox students who are on meal plans will be able to enjoy the meals, according to the Daily Trojan. Students can receive their meals at the cashier’s desk in...

FSD Resources