We all know how impossible it can feel to check off all the recommended servings of fruits and veggies every. single. day. (And let’s be honest, some of us don’t even know the recommended amount.) So when it comes to our beloved but picky eaters, it’s even more difficult to get them to choose the right mix of foods, especially when it comes to their school lunches.
It’s a challenge we all face and nobody understands it better than the school chefs themselves. Their job is to make sure our kids get the recommended servings of healthful foods at school. Sounds a bit tricky, right?
That’s where (and why) the Blueberry Council stepped in! Earlier this summer, we hosted school foodservice professionals in a state-of-the-art kitchen that allowed them to experiment with blueberries and learn new ways of incorporating them into foods kids already like eating.
For 48 hours, 16 professionals who reach over 1,200 schools and over 1 million students got creative at the Culinary Institute of America, and the dishes they developed were nothing short of fun and mouthwatering. Think dried blueberries in breakfast sausages, frozen blueberries in ketchup and on “fruit nachos”, and fresh blueberries in lettuce wraps and parfaits.
The verdict? Chefs learned that blueberries can be used (and legitimately enjoyed) in a variety of dishes, helping them meet USDA nutrition standards and helping kids get the nutrional rewards they need. Following our time at the Culinary Institute of America, 85% of chefs said they’d be more likely to:
- Request more blueberries to be added to school menus
- Use the Blueberry Council website as a resource
- Recommend/teach new blueberry applications to colleagues
Keep an eye on your kids’ school menus to see how these little blue dynamos are adding flavor, nutrition and a bit of excitement to their meals.
Want to join the fun? Contact Julie Stas to learn more about the School Chef Blueberry Boot Camp and other opportunities for school foodservice professionals.