4 menu items heating up school meal programs this summer

K-12 operators have come up with a variety of dishes to serve during the warmer months.
A child eats an apple in the park
K-12 operators are serving bento boxes, tacos and more. | Photo: Shutterstock

While school may be out for summer, many school nutrition operators are still hard at work feeding kids as part of their summer meals programs. Check out four dishes that schools will be serving during the warmer months. 

1. Build-your-own Caesar salad

Students at Greenville County School District in Greenville, S.C., get to enjoy a build-your-own Caesar salad bar this summer. Food Service Director Joe Urban originally offered the salad bar as an LTO at select schools during the school year, and it became one of the most popular LTOs in the program’s history. 

Students get to customize their salads with blackened chicken, wild-caught Alaskan salmon or a plant-based protein served by staff members. They can then select from a variety of toppings, including croutons, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, jalapenos and Parmesan cheese. Caesar, Italian and Ranch dressing is also available for students to top off their creations. 

2. Bento boxes 

Baltimore County Public Schools is offering students a selection of bento boxes when they dine with the district this summer. Each box contains whole-wheat crackers, a protein (hard-boiled eggs, pepperoni and cheese, or hummus), two fresh vegetables and one piece of fresh fruit.

3. Hummus and crackers

Broward County Public Schools in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is serving a new vegetarian option. Students can enjoy hummus served with whole-wheat crackers, steamed baby carrots, a strawberry fruit cup and milk. 

4. Housemade taco filling 

While the nutrition team at Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Ky., is still facing procurement challenges stemming from the pandemic, it is bringing back its student-favorite taco blend this summer. Made with a 60/40 ratio of ground beef to ground turkey, Assistant Director of Nutrition Dan Ellnor says the housemade blend has great flavor and texture, and has a lower fat count compared to the taco blend they were using previously. 



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