Besides breakfast and lunch in K-12, noncommercial foodservice may be called on to provide snacks or meals for after-school programs, athletes or other students who may be on campus after hours. With onsite facilities having potential restrictions for when they may be used, foodservice operations need another solution to continue working and feeding kids: Enter the mobile kitchen. Mobile kitchens are exactly what they sound like. They allow foodservice programs to go wherever the students are, ensuring hungry kids can get the food they need, even when school is let out for the day. In after-hours settings, mobile kitchens can come in the form of food trucks on school grounds, semi-permanent onsite kitchen facilities and more. That being said, smaller spaces to cook in, as well as student preferences, need to be kept in mind when choosing the menu.
Here are three menu items that are ideal for mobile-kitchen innovation.
High-protein snacks pack a punch when catering to kids with big appetites who may be seeking out something to tide them over in between lunch and dinner or until they get home for the night. Consider serving chicken snack wraps made with Tyson® NAE (No Antibiotics Ever) Whole Grain Breaded Hot ‘N Spicy Chicken Tenders. Wrap chicken tenders in taco-sized flour tortillas and top with lettuce, tomato and honey mustard.
When serving kids that are on-the-go, portable options ensure it’s easy for them to eat without having to load up on lots of cutlery, trays and multiple dishes. Offer handheld options, such as Tyson® Individually Wrapped Grilled Chicken Mini Twin Patties with Teriyaki Sauce sandwiches. With familiar flavors and 17 grams of protein, these Mini Twin sandwiches provide the nutrition hungry kids need and tastes they love.
For kids who are eating dinner at school or school-related activities, having a nutritious meal is important. Operators can win big time with Tyson® Mega Minis, whole muscle chicken chunks made from NAE chicken and breaded with Whole Grain Homestyle breading. These tasty chicken nuggets are perfect for pairing with crowd-pleasing sides like mac and cheese, baked beans and steamed veggies. Best of all, since they’re pre-breaded and cooked, all operators need to do is bake them up—no need for thawing, marinating or breading.
Mobile kitchens are key for noncommercial operations that need to serve outside of standard school hours, as well as for locations that call for an onsite kitchen where there may not be one (such as at a sporting event or practice). By using portable, nutritious and quick-to-prepare chicken and other menu items, K-12 operators can run their mobile kitchens smoothly, without sacrificing great taste.
*Based on a school with 450 students that achieves 80% participation in Supper in the Classroom program.
This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc.