FM Top 50 firm Metz Culinary Management, Inc. is rolling out 40 new recipes for Fall 2023 to engage K-12 students in healthier eating as part of a new menu-wide stealth nutrition strategy. The initiative involves incorporating healthy ingredients and practices into meals that are delicious and visually appealing to kids to meet the school nutrition challenge of offering healthy options that attract students. Metz plans to offer one new entrée or side-dish every day.
“Our culinary team puts a lot of effort in finding whole grains that have a higher nutrient content but taste like the white grains that younger kids typically prefer,” explains Adam Carlson, division chef for K-12 and Corporate Dining at Metz. “The middle school and high school kids are generally able to handle more nutritionally-rich foods in their natural form, so we can be a little less stealthy with their menu offerings while still stretching their exposure to more healthy options.”
The company is also offering engaging educational events that introduce students to foods they may not have tried previously, such as a Fear Factor fruit and veggie tasting where kids are blindfolded and invited to touch and taste fruits and vegetables that are new to them, and a Mystery Box with a fun fruit or vegetable in a closed box where kids try to guess what the item is by feeling and tasting it.
In addition, for K-6 students, Metz plans each month to feature a different cartoon character representing a healthy fruit, vegetable or whole grain. August saw Berry Blackberry with berry smoothies while September has Excellent Eggplant featuring crispy eggplant slices and October will feature Ghostly Guava showcasing strawberry guava smoothies.
“Stealth nutrition is all about finding a long-term balance between introducing students to healthy vegetables, fruits and whole grains that they may not have tried and repeating their exposure to them,” suggests Madison Wurst, RD, LDN, nutrition educator and corporate dietitian at Metz. “We’re empowering students with a lifelong appreciation for healthier eating which leads to improved overall health and well-being.”
Here are a few of the stealth nutrition menu options being rolled out...