Scaling up Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food: Strategies for Success
A new, first-of-its-kind report spotlights a growing movement of pioneering school districts using their massive purchasing power to provide plant-forward, climate-friendly food that is healthier for students and the planet. The new report from Friends of the Earth, which includes four detailed case studies, builds on a 2017 analysis that showed how Oakland Unified School District reduced its carbon footprint by 14 percent and saved $42,000 over two years by serving less meat and more plant-based foods.
Based on interviews with 33 school food professionals, “Scaling up Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food: Strategies for Success” provides resources and numerous examples from 18 public school districts showcasing the climate benefits and strategies that school food visionaries are successfully deploying to serve more plant-forward foods on their lunch menus.
The report provides a comprehensive road map for boosting student participation rates and increasing appreciation of healthier, climate-friendly food. Key strategies include:
- Using fresh and local ingredients; increasing scratch and speed-scratch cooking and serving plant-forward meals in a friendly dining environment via food trucks, food courts, build-a-bowl stations, salad bars, grab-n-go carts and plant-based “pop-up restaurants.”
- Engaging students and creating opportunities for taste tests, including try-it days, recipe competitions, build-a-meal concepts, student focus groups and food festivals.
- Positive messaging that highlights the flavors and deliciousness of plant-forward items while avoiding the words “vegan” and “vegetarian.”
- Investing in staff training and better cooking facilities for scratch cooking.
- Identifying culturally appropriate recipes and employing staff ambassadors as effective and motivational spokespeople who can help instill healthy eating habits.
- Ensuring class-based and parent-focused nutrition education, including school gardens.
- Implementing creative revenue generation strategies and increasing joint procurement bids for plant-based products.
You can access the full report here.
- usda nutrition standards
- universal free breakfast
- school nutrition staff
- school meals
- school lunch
- school food infrastructure
- school food focus
- school breakfast scorecard
- school breakfast programs
- school breakfast program
- school breakfast
- salad bars
- purchasing local food for schools
- procuring local foods
- poultry production
- nutrition education
- no kid hungry campaign
- national school lunch program
- national school breakfast program
- national association of elementary school principals foundation
- minneapolis public schools
- lunchroom education
- kitchen equipment
- hunger affects learning
- high school breakfast programs
- healthy hunger-free kids act
- geographic preference
- fruit and vegetable consumption
- free and reduced price lunch program
- food waste
- food insecurity
- farm to school program
- farm to school
- dallas public schools
- childhood obesity
- childhood hunger
- chef ann cooper
- case study
- broiler chicken business
- breakfast in the classroom
- breakfast and academic performance
- boulder valley school district
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.