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9 fun new K-12 school lunch menu items kids will devour

Kids—your toughest critics! Here’s how food service chefs from the school nutrition world are getting kids’ attention with just the right mix of familiarity, fun and nourishment. You’ll find gourmet hot dogs, a burrito smothered in queso, Mediterranean “dippers,” a pancake taco and more.

When the Gwinnett (Ga.) County Public Schools (GCPS) culinary team got a little bored with chicken and waffles (although they were still popular at the high school level), they moved onto a new trend, shaking things up with the chicken and churro basket: chicken tenders, cinnamon-dusted churros, blood orange wedges and a maple syrup dipper. “It’s just cute, satisfying and trendy,” says Rachel Petraglia, GCPS district culinary coordinator.

Looking for even more excitement on the menu, Petraglia and team added gourmet hot dogs. “Our hot dogs are a school lunch classic and we procure a really good all-beef one, but to elevate these, from time to time the schools make them ‘gourmet,’” she says. “One is a take on jelly doughnuts…”

Click through to see the cool new churros and gourmet hot dogs, along with other new items from the school food pros at GCPS, New London (Ccon.) Public Schools and San Diego (Calif.) Unified School District.

Contact Tara at [email protected]

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