K-12 survey: Making a menu

Here's what K-12 operators across the country are serving up.
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Creating a menu that pleases everyone involved isn’t easy. Here’s a look at what schools are serving up.

In addition to lunch, what other meal parts do you serve?

96.9% are serving chocolate milk.

Fan favorites

When asked which new dishes are popular with students, these items came up again and again.

Breakfast for lunch

Students enjoy mixing dayparts, say many survey respondents. Centinela Valley Union High School District in Lawndale, Calif., takes that concept to heart by serving traditional breakfast dishes for lunch such as whole-grain pancakes, turkey sausage, eggs and hash browns.

Walking tacos

For a healthier spin, foodservice staff at Hamilton School District #3 in Hamilton, Mont., add lentils to the taco meat.

Popcorn chicken bowls

Inspired by KFC’s Famous Bowl, these four operations have created their own versions of the popcorn chicken- and mashed potato-based dish that meet student tastes and school nutrition standards.

  • Blackjack Bowl (Named after the school mascot):

Dawson-Boyd Schools; Dawson, Minn.

  • 'Busco Bowl (Named after the town the district is located in):

Smith-Green Community Schools; Churubusco, Ind.

  • Tribe Bowl (Named after the school mascot):

Twin Lakes School Corporation; Monticello, Ind.

  • Tiger Bowl (Named after the school mascot):

Bluffton-Harrison MSD; Bluffton, Ind.

Next up

What would operators like to add to their menus in the next year? Here’s a sampling.   

  • Grapefruit
  • Wings
  • Tikka masala
  • Vegetable fried rice
  • Gumbo
  • Build-your-own-burger bar
  • Sweet potato fries 
  • Quinoa
  • Philly cheesesteak
  • Lentil pasta
  • Chicken and waffles
  • Homemade lasagna 
  • Fresh fruit salad
  • Fish tacos
  • Meatball subs
  • Ramen bowls
  • Homemade calzones



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