Menus Planning, Changes and Choices
Menu planning is a daily process for Nutrition Services with many pieces. When menu planning, Nutrition Services menu planners consider student preferences, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations, Kansas State Department Of Education – Child Nutrition and Wellness (KSDE) policies, food quality, food safety, production processes, serving methods, purchasing procedure and the list goes on and on.
Due to the number of meals produced daily – 45,000 breakfast and lunch a day, menu planning must be done by March for the following school year. Once the menus are done, there is a forecasting team within Nutrition Services that coordinates how much and when deliveries will be. Then, the district’s Purchasing department is responsible for issuing bids. Nutrition Services also is assisted by the Supply department because they receive deliveries as well as help with delivery of non-food items.
Through the year, Nutrition Services staff is collecting feedback from all sources and making changes to the menus in improve customer satisfaction while meeting federal menu planning regulations. Staff is continually looking for new and innovative foods to offer to the students. When a product is found, students are involved in the sampling process before a product makes it to the menu.
With choices, comes challenges as Nutrition Services and schools try to determine what foods 55,000 students might select on a given day. Click here to read a document about menu changes.
How do the students go through serving lines to make their choices? Watch the videos below on how students use choices to make healthy meals.
Choices Video - Elementary Breakfast