Skip navigation

17 real-life bright ideas for K-12 school food service

Simple, impactful ideas are here to help you spring into action for the next season of feeding kids right. See what food service pros are serving at the moment, from fresh-baked focaccia to totally new, portable forms of nachos and eggplant Parm to zippy chicken piccata, Cinnabon-inspired treats, plant-forward sliders and more.

Schuylerville High School in New York has been open in-person in a hybrid model since September, but recently, the school has seen a “huge influx of them coming back to school,” says Sarah Keen, foodservice manager.

In the past, National Foreign Language week in March meant fun partnerships with the French and Spanish clubs of the high school, but this year, it had to be done differently.

“We’ve done an Italian pasta bar with a variety of pastas and sauces in the past,” Keen says.

So, in a textbook case of “working with what you have,” finding a surplus of commodity chicken filets in stock, “the high school cook decided to get creative.”

And that meant taking the chicken back to some real Italian roots with two classics: chicken Parmesan and chicken piccata. These dishes have been shaking off their basic image with chefs and trend watchers showing a new appreciation.

A simple idea that somehow feels totally fresh. That’s what the ideas, entrees, treats and special surprises in this collection from early spring in the school lunch world have in common. Click through to take a look.

Contact Tara at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @Tara_Fitzie

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.