2017 trend: Health on the menu

senior citizens eating healthy old people

The definition of health has broadened since our 2015 survey. Chefs’ Council members still are concerned about cooking with less salt and fat to reduce both sodium and calories, and allergies and food sensitivities are top of mind. But ingredient sourcing has increased in importance, with issues such as clean labels, local and seasonal produce and food safety gaining ground. 

Salad add-ons

hummus pita

"We have recently opened a cafe in our main fitness center that will offer healthy food options (and a few cheat day/indulgent items) to go. Add-ons for salads include avocado, ‘hummuspheres’ and lean proteins.”

—Carrie Anderson
University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign

Fruit- and vegetable-juice vinaigrettes and dressings

vinaigrette salad dressing

“Fruit- and vegetable-juice vinaigrettes and dressings in K-12 for a healthier salad bar option.”

— Ryan McNulty
Metz Culinary Management

Kosher-certified station

kosher stamp certified

“A kosher-certified station featuring Middle Eastern dishes and halal offerings.”

—Jose Martinez
University of California at Berkeley

Seasonal sandwiches

brie sandwich

“Our sandwich selection for summer has been a hit with seasonal items like our Peaches and Scream, made with toasted sourdough, heirloom tomatoes, habanero peach mostarda, Brie and sprouts.”

—Daniel Skay
Castle Rock Adventist Hospital

Fresh juices and superfoods

vegetable juice

“Fresh juices and superfoods [promoted as such] are very popular now, and we intend to expand on these.”

—Jim Mazzaraco
Corning Inc.

Protein as an accent

modern market breakfast plate

“We are in the process of making the protein more of an accent on the plate, making it the last item guests can choose and having control of what that portion is.”

—Kurt Kwiatkowski
Michigan State University

Vegan desserts

raw vegan date hazelnut cookies

“Vegan desserts are our latest success in this area. They’re a healthy option, a good value and can be offered at several meal occasions.”

—Ron DeSantis
Yale University 

Plant-based proteins

falafel pita

“We are constantly using equipment in new and inventive ways to change the flavor and texture of plant-based proteins, sampling new plant-based products and testing new recipes to find ways to excite the palate.”

—Carrie Anderson
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Butternut squash

butternut squash

"Our new roasted butternut squash and dried cranberry lentil salad got very positive feedback. Squash is the new kale.”

—Bill Laychur
Pennsylvania State University

Kombucha

kombucha jar glass

“A kombucha bar is in the works.”

—Jose Martinez
University of California at Berkeley
 

Bubble tea

taro bubble tea tapioca

“I’m adding bubble tea next year.”

—Eric Cartwright
University of Missouri

Fresh-pressed juice

juice squeeze

“We are currently using fresh-pressed juice that is being made locally, but is high-pressure processed so we can safely sell it.”

—Drew Patterson
Wexner Medical Center

Infused water

water citrus

“I’m adding more infused water. It has really taken off, and it’s free.”

—Greg Gates
Kaiser Permanente

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

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Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

Ideas and Innovation
sparkling water

Our carbonated soft drink sales at Earls.67 reflect a national trend; we’re continually down on carbonated soft drink sales by 8% to 9% on an annual basis,” says Cameron Bogue, beverage director at the contemporary-casual chain Earls Kitchen + Bar.

The issue with spa water

Many operators are intrigued with the offering, but they are learning that infused water can’t be offered at a cost to guests unless there is added value beyond cut-up fruit. Bogue says, “I was adamant that I didn’t want to charge for spa water.”

Agua fresca alternatives

At the original location of

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FSD Resources