Promotions and Ideas

Keep the excitement in school meals alive through promotions and new menu ideas.

 
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Celebrating Valentines Day with Heart!!

Looking for ways to celebrate Valentines Day besides heart shaped chicken nuggets?

Why not make your own heart shaped items? If you have heart shaped cookie cutters, your imagination and creativity have no limit to the items you can garnish with a few heart shapes. Fruits, vegetables, breads and cheeses all can be quickly cut into shapes. This salad shows many heart shaped items - including tomatoes, cucumbers and cheese, but it can be just as festive with a few heart cut-out vegetables as a garnish.

Healthy Hearts Week

  Oatmeal Muffin Squares. Enjoy a breakfast favorite - no spoon needed.    -- Photo credit: USDA Team Nutrition

Oatmeal Muffin Squares. Enjoy a breakfast favorite - no spoon needed.

-- Photo credit: USDA Team Nutrition

Are your schools participating in jump rope for heart and hoops for heart? Why not plan a heart healthy menu to coincide with the activities? Oatmeal and other whole grains are perfect heart-healthy energy foods for active kids. USDA/Team Nutrition also has heart-smart recipes, like the Oatmeal Muffin Squares pictured above. Hungry for more? Check out more recipes especially for Child Nutrition Programs on Team Nutrition's website or What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl

Colorful Red and Pink Foods

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Red and pink foods can also lend a festive color to meals. Load up the salad bar with red and pink options. Or add red and pink foods as garnish to sides. Fresh Strawberries, cored and cut in half look like hearts. Watermelon heart shapes are fun in a fresh fruit cup. Just one watermelon heart per fruit cup can add that flair that makes the meal special.

Red and Pink food ideas:

  • Berry Cherry Power Bar (Recipe from Iowa Team Nutrition)
  • Cherries
  • Cherry Crisp/Cherry Cobbler (USDA recipes)
  • Chili (Try this Smokin' Powerhouse Chili from USDA.)
  • Cranberries (or Craisins)
  • Marinara Sauce on Pasta or as a Bread Stick Dip
  • Pink Fruit Dip (made with yogurt and a little red coloring)
  • Plums
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Red Apples
  • Red Grapes
  • Red Peppers
  • Red Skin Potatoes 
  • Roasted Red Vegetables (Tomatoes, Red Pepper, Beets, Red Skin Potatoes) -- Try this Local Harvest Bake USDA Recipe.
  • Salsa and Pico de Gallo
  • Smoothies (Strawberry, Raspberry, Blueberry for  red color)
  • Strawberries
  • Strawberry Cream Cheese
  • Strawberry Sorbet or Fruit Freeze
  • Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Grape Tomatoes
  • Yogurt - Cherry, Mixed Berry or Strawberry flavors
  • Watermelon

 

 Use a cookie cutter to easily cut heart shapes from watermelon slices.  --photo credit: Highlights.Com, https://www.highlights.com/parents/family-activities/21-heart-shaped-foods-valentine-s-day

Use a cookie cutter to easily cut heart shapes from watermelon slices.

--photo credit: Highlights.Com, https://www.highlights.com/parents/family-activities/21-heart-shaped-foods-valentine-s-day


 Healthy Elf is stuck on good nutrition. #healthyelf

Healthy Elf is stuck on good nutrition. #healthyelf

Elf on the Shelf

Have some holiday fun with the Elf on the Shelf. Perfect for elementary and even middle school students, the mischievous elf can help promote healthy eating and highlight new menu offers. Having kids find the elf or try the food the elf is promoting will entice them to try new items and be involved in your program. Here's a link to a program that did just that: http://www.elkintribune.com/news/education/3525/elf-helps-boost-breakfast-sales. Additional "Healthy Elf" ideas from the Dairy Council of California are below, 

 

 

 

A few more Elf Features...

Minion bananas - drawn by the elves and the elves keeping watch for good behavior are just two more ideas for some fun and promotion of fruit! Sources: https://diyprojects.com/diy-elf-shelf-hiding-places/ and https://afewshortcuts.com/elf-on-the-shelf-minion-banana-friends/.

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