How to Improve School Lunches Without Breaking the Bank

healthy school lunch ideas

Wondering how to improve school lunches so students are happier, healthier, and more adventurous eaters? Try these ideas!

Install a Salad Bar

One low-stress way to improve school lunches is to install salad bars in school cafeterias. Not only do salad bars increase consumption of fruits and vegetables in schools, but they also offer variety and choice, which can make kids feel independent and responsible for their own food choices. In fact, when children are offered multiple fruit and vegetable options in a low stakes environment like a cafeteria salad bar, they’re more likely to try new fruits and vegetables. By including a salad bar in your school cafeteria, you could be cultivating life-long healthy habits that will follow children into adulthood.

Give Meatless Mondays a Try

While meat is a great source of protein, it’s no secret that eating lots of meat can contribute to climate change and exacerbate certain health problems. That’s why “Meatless Mondays” are becoming more and more popular, not just in school cafeterias, but in homes across the country. Not only does it create a more varied, healthier eating incentive, but it also gives you the perfect opportunity to teach kids about healthy eating habits and minimizing their carbon footprint. Looking for meatless school lunch menu ideas? Consider these vegan burger alternatives!

Make it Educational

Schools are designed for learning, so why should lunchtime be any different? You can find fun and interesting ways to incorporate everything from nutritional advice to cultural education into the curriculum based on the lunch options you choose. To get started, we recommend selecting a different exotic fruit or vegetable to discuss in the classroom each week. Have age-appropriate discussions of the health benefits, the climate used to grow the food, and any cultural significance it might have. Then, during the week, give the children the opportunity to try that special item during lunch.

McDonald Wholesale understands that every school district is unique. That’s why we offer a range of K-12 foodservice solutions – from frozen food distribution to fruit distribution. Not only do we have experience meeting all the required school lunch regulations and budget requirements, but we provide our K-12 clients with comprehensive food distribution services, which include school bid specialists, compliance products, nutrition and ingredient statements, and menu development. Plus, we’re dedicated to making school lunches healthier. Call us at (877) 722-5503 to find out how we can take your school lunches to the next level!

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