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Collaboration Leads to a Great Bowl

In the February 2013 issue of School Nutrition, author Brent T. Frei took a look at the popularity and growth of bowl foods in school nutrition operations and beyond. To assist school nutrition professionals in offering delicious, innovative bowl items to K-12 students, a number of companies and promotional boards have created customizable bowl programs and resources. Read on to learn more about these industry efforts.

One such organization that offers bowl-related inspiration to operators is Campbell’s Foodservice. With its Build-A-Bowl™ program, school chefs “can put a unique twist on the familiar by creating soup flavors they want, the way they want them,” according to informational materials about the program.

The company offers a number of suggestions for giving new life to standard entrees. For example, using Campbell’s Tomato Soup as a base, operators can add diced chicken, croutons, mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan and Italian seasonings to create Chicken Parmesan Soup. Turkey Pot Pie can be reimagined by combining Campbell’s Cream of Potato with diced turkey, peas, carrots and saltine crackers. As an alternative to menuing specific entrées, schools could incorporate a soup bar (right alongside the salad bar) that allows customers to create their own concoctions. For more about the Campbell’s Build-A-Bowl program and recipe ideas, visit www.campbellfoodservice.com/pdf/Build_A_BowlOperationsGuide.pdf

The USA Rice Federation touts the many benefits of rice bowls on school lunch menus; among them, they are easy to plan and serve and promote healthful eating habits for students. A brochure available from the organization offers suggestions on how to assemble rice bowls that are designed to appeal to students and offers menu ideas, such as Sweet-and-Sour, Cajun and Greek-style Bowls. To view the brochure, visit www.menurice.com/uploadedFiles/Recipes_and_Culinary_Center/Brochures/pdf/Kids_Love_Brochure.pdf

Available from Super Bakery is the company’s new Eat-A-Bowl™ concept. It features a bread bowl that counts for two breads and is 55% whole-wheat. Super Bakery offers ideas for using its product in combination with USDA Foods to create such entrées as Chicken Potpie, Philly Steak Stuffed and Chicken Salad Bowls. The bread bowl meets Alliance for a Healthier Generation and HealthierUS School Challenge requirements.