SNA survey: Implementing proposed nutrition standards top concern for directors

Aug. 19—According to a new survey conducted by the School Nutrition Association, 69% of directors surveyed said implementing recently proposed nutrition standards for school meals, which require additional healthy options, as their top concern. Limited funding and cost of food also were named as pressing issues.

Despite those concerns, the State of School Nutrition 2011 survey reported that many schools were making improvements to the quality of meals served. Some of the highlights include: 98% of districts offer fresh fruits and vegetables; 97% of districts say whole-grain foods are readily accessible; 89% of districts offer salad bars or prepackaged salads; 63% of districts provide vegetarian meals; and 98% of districts offer fat-free or 1% milk.

The survey also found that more programs are working to bring in more locally sourced foods, with 48% of respondents offering locally sourced fruits and vegetables, which is up 11% from 2009. Thirty-two percent of districts are involved in farm-to-school initiatives and another 41% are interested in implementing these programs. Twenty-one percent of districts have a school garden and 37% are interested in planning or starting a garden.

Districts also are making more items from scratch, according to the survey. Ninety-four percent of districts prepare some entrées or sides from scratch. Of those, more than 64% prepare at least a quarter of their entrées from scratch, and more than 71% prepare at least a quarter of their side dishes from scratch—both results are an increase from 2009.

Child nutrition programs are involving students in taste testing new menu items, with 89% of respondents saying they employ this practice. Thirty-five percent of districts test all or most of their new menu items with students.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they conduct nutrition education in the classroom, with another 31% saying they plan to or have interest in implementing these programs.

One area that has not changed since 2009 was the average time for lunch. The median time for elementary school lunch is 25 minutes. The median lunch period for middle and high schools is 30 minutes.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
chefs council spread

Last October, we published the results of FoodService Director’s first annual Chefs’ Council Menu Trends survey, revealing predictions for menu shake-ups in 2016 . Many of the predictions panned out, including an increase in snacking, ever-spicier flavor profiles, veg-centric plates, fresh-pressed juices and build-your-own options. Now we’re back with next year’s forecast, culled from our panel of 50 Chefs’ Council members—culinarians representing the core segments of noncommercial foodservice. Some of the flavors, ingredients and cuisines expand on current trends, while others go off in...

Managing Your Business
coffee barista

Whether it’s a morning routine, an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening social ritual, few things are as universally appealing as coffee. Sixty-five percent of respondents in Technomic’s 2016 Beverage Consumer Trend Report say they ordered a cup of hot joe from a foodservice location in the past month, and 59% say the same about cold coffee. Everyone has an opinion about what makes it good, whether it’s a low price, a unique blend or a friendly barista.

“Coffee is so personal. There are a lot of people that are Dunkin’ fans. There’s a lot of Starbucks people,” says James Dravenack,...

Ideas and Innovation
sushi plate

We wanted to add sushi, but that’s not really my expertise. So we found a great local company that offered to put three sushi chefs on-site every day. They supply the ingredients, and if we meet the minimum revenue each week, than we receive a percentage of sales. We have been exceeding the weekly minimum sales, which we track in our POS, in two days.

Menu Development
spilled coffee beans glasses

Following an initial test at the end of May, Starbucks announced that more than 500 of its stores will be pouring nitro coffee by the end of summer. Capitalizing on the cold-brew coffee trend—which reached $7.9 million in sales in 2015 on 115% growth from the previous year, according to researcher Mintel—select U.S. cafes will give up the counter space to serve the creamy, nitrogen-infused java made from the cold-brew base. But how did nitro become the hottest new thing in coffee?

Bringing the bar to coffeehouses

It was the chrome double tap, similar to a bar’s beer tap, and the...

FSD Resources