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School Foodservice

Recipe Testing Event: Garland ISD

Students have more options than ever for school lunches, from the fast-casual restaurant down the street, a customized salad brought from home, or the latest flavor of a spicy snack from the vending machine. Operators must work twice as hard to create lunchroom offerings that appeal to students and get them excited to enjoy meals from the cafeteria.

One of the ways districts are working to solve this problem is by testing new menu items with students before menuing them. Garland Independent School District in Texas saw a need for more menu variety at both breakfast and lunch, and knew that some of the student favorites could use an update. At Naaman Forest High School they tested four potato-centric recipes: build your own breakfast burrito bowl, shawarma seasoned fries served with shredded beef and tangy yogurt-based sauce, picnic in a cup with chilled potato rounds, chicken and slaw, and a creamy Italian scalloped potato. When they purchased the dish, students received a comment card to provide feedback and ultimately help school nutrition staff decide if that dish will make it into the menu rotation in the 2019-2020 school year. The overwhelming favorite was shawarma fries. All recipes had a lot of positive feedback from students, including comments like “Love this!” and “More of this for lunch, please!”

This recipe testing event was a collaboration between Potatoes USA, Garland ISD and the Culinary Institute of America’s Healthy Kids Collaborative.

Are you interested in collaborating on a day of testing customized menu items featuring America’s favorite vegetable, the potato? Reach out to [email protected]

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