Schools struggle to meet new meal guidelines

Cost is biggest challenge in meeting standards.

March 5—Food trays at Oskosh, Wis.-area schools will appear more colorful next fall as districts comply with the new federal guidelines that raise standards nationwide for healthier meals for the first time in 15 years.

Children won’t be able to decline their fruits and vegetables when the new standards for school meals are put into place. Instead of the current requirement for a mere one-half to three-fourths of a cup of fruits and vegetables combined, children will have to take three-fourths to one cup of vegetables plus one-half to one cup of fruit every day. Getting the kids to eat the new healthier version of lunch is one thing. Paying for it is another part of the puzzle.

Currently, the cost of a hot lunch in Oshkosh schools is $1.90 for elementary, $2 for middle school and $2.15 for high school.

The prices will go up 10 cents at each level next year, West said.

Cutting back on meat and bread will realize some savings, but adding more fruits and vegetables will tilt the scales in the other direction, she said.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

Read the full story via...

Menu Development
salad chicken

Vegetables and grains have stepped into the spotlight, thanks to the “flipping the plate” trend, but protein is still an important part of a balanced diet. Sources including meat, cheese, nuts, and meat alternatives such as tofu and tempeh can and should still be on the plate—albeit as a side dish or topping rather than the main event.

“Whatever we do [as FSDs] needs to be rooted in the culture, and today’s culture is all about healthy eating and plant-focused meals,” says Chris Studtmann, executive chef at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. “A recipe is an idea; culture is...

Ideas and Innovation
hibachi grill cooking

We saw in 2016 that many operators were trying to have some type of display cooking in their food operation. We installed a hibachi grill this fall, and within three months we had 300 residents and guests make reservations. We also use our hibachi grill for cooking classes twice a month, where our hibachi chef Abby Kramer does an excellent job teaching different cuisines. We have received so many compliments that we have decided to get another hibachi grill for a different dining venue in 2017.

Menu Development
jackfruit

It emerged as a top food trend on Pinterest’s 2017 predictions, is “the latest miracle food” according to Epicurious, and was called “a nutritional bonanza” by NPR. Jackfruit is the latest superfood garnering buzz, and Even Stevens Sandwiches has gone after the vegetarian-friendly option for a recently launched torta. Here, Culinary Director Brandon Price shares three lessons learned from adding jackfruit to the menu.

Finding the best form

Using fresh jackfruit wasn’t the answer for the chain. It has to be sourced internationally, and breaking it down cuts into labor costs. But...

FSD Resources