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Start the School Year with Improved Tools & Resources

Roll out your salad bars and serve up fresh fruits and vegetables.

This blog post has been reposted with permission from Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, read the original blog post here.

Salad bars add variety, choice, and color to lunch trays nationwide. It is the start of the school year, and if you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to start exploring the tips, tricks, and how to’s of The Lunch Box. With the launch of the new Lunch Box website, we offer you easier access to tools that help meet the new weekly meal pattern requirements, especially for dark green, red, and orange vegetables, starchy and other vegetables, and legumes.

You’ve been granted a salad bar - so what’s the next step? Jump over to the Assessment and Planning section to conduct a Salad Bar Site Assessment. This tool will allow you to navigate your site assessment ranging from meal period details to how frequently produce is delivered. Key resources include training materials, budgeting guidelines, and marketing programs to educate administrators, parents, and students.

Next up: Staff Training. The salad bars implementation video provides a great overview. Professional development is crucial to salad bar success, and your staff should be excited, educated, and ready to help others understand the role salad bars play in school nutrition.

Feeling excited to plan the salad bar layout and menu? We recommend heading to the Operations. Expect the kids to eat you out of house and home the first week. These tools will allow you to perfect the flow of the salad bar, while ensuring student trays qualify for reimbursable meals.

From there, it’s on to the Food Procurement and purchasing. The takeaway here is creativity and flexibility in planning. The salad bar can fulfill daily fresh fruit and vegetable requirements - no more canned green beans and fruit cocktails! Budgeting Tools will ease the transition. No matter how large or small the school district, procurement will flow best by developing Requests for Proposals (RFPs), and, remember to keep your money local when the season or availability allows for it.

The table is set. Now, let’s rally everyone to do lunch. Steps for District-wide Communications are available. The school district as well as the children should be excited and educated, the available signage and posters will help garner excitement and support! Remember to involve all segments of your community: school leadership, principals, students, parents, and caregivers. Looking for ideas? Rainbow Days and Tastings involving local farms and producers are a great place to begin.

Have fun clicking around; there’s a wealth of information available to you. If we missed something or if you have a question, do not hesitate to contact us. We are in this together.

Providing our school-aged children healthy salad bar choices lays a foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating. Be part of the salad bar revolution!


The Salad Bar Crew


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