These resources include a variety of recipes that meet United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrition requirements. Being able to plan healthy and tasty meals can help further Farm to School efforts in your cafeteria.
The Lunch Box recipe database, and pre-arranged menu cycles, contains many fresh ideas on how to cook “kitchen- and kids tested” meals. The Lunch Box project offers hundreds of resources and tools easily adopted in any cafeteria. This phenomenal resource includes information on developing salad bar and breakfast programs, funding with grants, and webinars packed with great information.
The Michigan Junior Chef Competition cookbook contains a collection of recipes developed by the winning eight teams from different years. This statewide competition was aimed at creating recipes based on “nutrition quality, use of USDA foods and local, seasonal Michigan ingredients, time and labor to prepare meals, taste, appearance and presentation, creativity, and use of student-friendly foods.”
The Vermont Food Education Every Day (FEED) organization works to “raise awareness about healthy food, good nutrition, and the role of Vermont farms and farmers in helping sustain a healthy community.” This cookbook, created by several children nutrition experts, school lunch program directors, and people from Vermont FEED, has numerous recipes for feeding children foods that they and can contain local ingredients. Find ideas on how to develop your own nutritious recipes in the New School Cuisine cookbook.
Project Bread is an advocacy organization working to end childhood hunger. This cookbook and toolkit was developed for school lunch directors for the purpose of serving more wholesome, substantial meals that pack nutrition and taste, all through a kid-friendly lens in the Project Bread cookbook.
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service developed an initiative called Team Nutrition to support the Child Nutrition Programs. Team Nutrition developed the Team Nutrition Recipes and Cookbook Toolkit. The toolkit is full of USDA recipes “that feature foods that everyone should consume more of: dark green and orange vegetables, dry beans and peas, and whole grains. All are low in total fat, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.”
The goal of an old Maryland Team Nutrition grant winners was to coordinate Culinary and Healthful Enhancement of Foods (C.H.E.F.) teams in local school systems to create and market menu items for schools. The recipes found in the C.H.E.F Cookbook and Promising Practices focus on boosting whole grains, high-fiber foods, fruits and vegetables, and low or non-fat dairy products. Most recipes provide opportunities to source ingredients locally and can work with your budget and local produce providers.