How It Works

Plant Forward Continuum

Schools can start slowly: begin by reflecting on the current menu, then strategically add or adjust recipes that move the overall menu along the continuum. Schools can find recipes that fall along each point of the continuum in the recipe section of The Lunch Box. 

How to Get More Plants into Your School

More Plants Please! consists of two main resources for school districts: Recipes and Marketing & Promotional Materials. Together, these recipes, marketing materials, and resources can help any school district take the first steps towards a healthier student population and a healthier planet. 

Recipes and Menu Cycles 

We consider a recipe to be plant forward if it appllies to one of the following:

  • Is free of animal protein 
  • Is vegetarian 
  • Is a traditional meat-based recipe where some of the meat has been replaced with plant-based proteins that credit to the meal pattern

We’ve compiled a complete list of the new recipes developed specifically for More Plants Please! (in addition to existing plant forward recipes) on the Recipes tab. These recipes include dishes like Chickpea Masala, Zucchini Boats, and Quinoa Burgers to introduce children to new and delicious menu items that help establish healthy eating habits with a positive environmental impact. These recipes are also combined to create six one-week plant forward menu cycles that still offer meat-based options but are focused on incorporating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins into meal programs. 

Promotional Materials: 

To encourage students to eat more plants and try more plant-based meals, download and print large (24 in x 36 in) wall posters to hang in classrooms, hallways, and the lunchroom. These posters highlight both the health benefits and the positive environmental impacts of eating more plant forward meals.

To cultivate a plant forward community in and out of school, you can download and print two flyers that explain what plant forward means, why it’s healthier, and how to eat more plant-based meals. The take-home flyer for families includes ideas for making one-bowl plant forward dinners to encourage the whole family to eat less meat and more vegetables, and the flyer for staff encourages plant forward appreciation, action, and support amongst your school faculty and staff members.

We’ve also compiled an annotated list of links to research and news articles here.

Register to Download The Lunch Box Tools

Please help us keep The Lunch Box tools and resources free for all users by registering here! It will help us demonstrate to our supporters how this site is used in school food work.