School meal programs don’t often get the kudos they deserve, so Food Management teamed up with sponsor Bush’s Beans to host the first Best K-12 Meal in America contest. Child nutrition professionals nominated their best offerings in 11 categories (breakfast, beef, bowl, chicken, pasta, pork, sandwich, seafood, soup, taco/burrito and vegetarian/meatless).
Directors from across the country submitted their best, showcasing flavors ranging from Indian to Japanese and Southwest United States. We’ve culled down the nominations to the winners here, but we’ll showcase some of the others in the coming weeks.
All meals had to meet USDA requirements under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and must be served as a reimbursable meal under the National School Lunch or Breakfast programs.
The entrée was the main component used in judging the competition, though full meals with sides that complement the entrée were given additional points. Judging was done by Food Management editors.
Without further ado, let’s meet the winners.