More and more young diners are paying close attention to the menu—not only what they eat, but where it comes from, how it’s grown and how healthy it is for their bodies and the planet. Above all else, they’re also watchful when it comes to flavor.
As a K-12 or college and university foodservice director, you’re aware of the call for sustainability. Young diners can be very idealistic, expecting every meal to meet high standards when it comes to ethically sourced foods, clean ingredients, animal care, environmental friendliness and more. The reality is that when serving such a diverse group, it’s impossible to meet everyone’s needs with every product or every meal.
But it is possible to be transparent. And what better way to build a healthy community? Informing diners about the food you serve, how you prepare it, the recyclable products you serve it on, and even reminding them of its nutritional qualities or how your choices reduce waste and make the most of fresh, local foods.
There are a lot of ways to bring transparency to the table. Our selection of recipes includes ideas for offering healthier choices with plenty of flavor, featuring scratch preparation using fresh ingredients and a dash of global appeal.
Wow the K-12 crowd by offering creative and healthier snacking that calls on red beet hummus served with vegetables and pita for dipping. For a heartier treat, try an egg-packed breakfast muffin with plenty of protein and vegetables presented in a pastry-like package. Take loaded potatoes to a new level with sweet potatoes topped with barbecue chicken and green salsa.
Feed college and university appetites three new recipes with a touch of fresh and exotic flavors. An arugula salad with shaved veggies, plums and avocado dressing is a winner with the taste buds. For a global touch, try milk-braised pork and wrap it in a gluten-free/vegan lentil tortilla and take it over the top with the spice of a charred-pepper queso. For a touch of lighter fare, try the grilled Arctic char with Thai seasoning and miso dressing—all wrapped in a crispy-cool leaf of Boston bibb lettuce.
Building a healthy community never tasted so delicious.
Beets add color and a sweet, snackable flair to create a party on the plate. Served with rainbow carrot and celery strips, honey pita pieces and cauliflower florets, it’s a bite-sized treat for all ages.
Step aside, egg-muffin sandwich, this meal starts with a corn muffin batter that includes bacon, cheese, green onions and red peppers. A six-minute egg is baked inside to complete the package.
A baked, slightly caramelized sweet potato gets the taco treatment, topped with salsa verde, barbecue pulled chicken, avocado, sour cream, black beans and chives.
Shaved Crudites Salad with Plums
Take a bed of peppery arugula and sprinkle it with a confetti of rainbow carrots, celery, fennel, radish, red plums and grape tomatoes. A dollop of green goddess dressing completes the flavor celebration.
A cheesy lentil tortilla-like shell encases milk-braised pork for a Latin American-style treat that gets topped with even more cheese—a queso made with a bit of zest from three types of charred chile peppers.
Start by searing cubes of Arctic char flavored with a dash of Thai seasoning. Nestle it in a Boston bibb lettuce wrap with pickled carrots and cilantro, sauced with creamy miso dressing for an unbeatable flavor combo.