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Best Menu Concept: Smoothie Program, Pinellas County (FL) Schools

Best Menu Concept: Smoothie Program, Pinellas County (FL) Schools

Other 2014 Best Concept Winners: Best Station/Unit Concept: Manna, Castle Rock (CO) Adventist Hospital Best Special Event: Bayer 150th Anniversary Employee Celebration, Bayer Corp. and Parkhurst Dining Best Management Company Concept: Mindful, Sodexo Best Convenience Retailing Concept: District Market, University of Washington Best Wellness Concept: Smart Choice Smart U, University of California at San Francisco Medical Center Best New Facility: Bruin Plate, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Best Renovation: Hampshire Dining Commons, University of Massachusetts at Amherst Best of Show: Restaurant Associates Best Customer Service: Compass Group at Microsoft Take a tour through the 2014 FM Best Concept Award Winners >>

Getting kids to actually consume the required fruit/vegetable component of a qualified school meal has been a problem for many districts, but at Pinellas County, several thousand middle schoolers a day are eagerly taking and consuming this component in the form of smoothies.

Pinellas rotates 35 different smoothie recipes, one per day, at each of its 20 middle school sites. The formulations include such concoctions as Orange Blast (sweet potato, orange and pineapple juices), Pineapple Peach (peaches with pineapple and apple juice) and Green Monster (spinach, sour apple juice concentrate, apple juice).

All incorporate almost a cup (7 oz.) of 100% fruits/vegetables, with no added sugar. The smoothies are made fresh using a soft serve machine from Taylor Co.

The program also has encouraged student participation with contests to come up with blends for the menu rotation. The program started with only a dozen recipes last fall and now has almost three times as many options.

Project Team:

Art Dunham
Director of Nutrition Services, Pinellas Cty. Schools
Taylor Freezer Sales Co. Inc.:
John Kersting
Sean Kersting
Rob Neelen
Service Mgr.
Michael Consentino of Taylor Co.

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