Chandler Unified School District (Ariz.): Pesto wrap
This whole-grain pesto wrap, served at junior high and high schools, includes clean label ingredients including turkey and provolone cheese. Students also get a side of the district’s housemade ranch dressing, which is made from yogurt, as a dipping sauce.
Chandler Unified School District (Ariz.): Potato bar
To keep things interesting, the team offers a build-your-own potato bar at the high schools. Russet potatoes are baked and students select their toppings, ranging from housemade turkey taco meat, three types of cheese and tons of fresh vegetable toppings—talk about a loaded baked potato.
Chandler Unified School District (Ariz.): Rainbow chicken salad
This colorful salad is a Mediterranean twist on the classic chicken salad and is served at all sites. From a base of locally grown romaine lettuce and housemade spiced, shredded chicken, students are given a whole slew of colorful fruits and veggies to incorporate into their salad.
South Madison Community School Corp. (Ind.): Chicken taco salad
This salad is served at East Elementary School in Pendleton, Ind. This is a fun, colorful and festive way to serve a school entrée. The item uses house-seasoned fajita chicken served in an edible taco bowl shell with romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes and shredded tri-color tortilla chips. The salad is served with refried beans and corn.
Lakeside Union School District (Calif.): Taco salad
Here’s another take on a taco salad, this time using beans as the protein and service in a trendy to-go clamshell. Lakeside’s version is served on Fridays and is vegetarian and gluten-free. Students can also dish out fresh salsa from the salad bar as an accompaniment.
Burris Laboratory School (Muncie, Ind.): Loaded dog
Who doesn’t like a good hot dog? These loaded dogs featuring a hot dog with either chili sauce, mac and cheese or mashed potatoes and cheese are surefire kid-pleasers. The hot dogs are served with a salad and banana. Burris’ foodservice is contract site for nearby Ball State University.
Burris Laboratory School (Muncie, Ind.): Garlic tilapia
Fish doesn’t have to be a difficult sell in school meals. This garlic-herb tilapia is served with broccoli, grapes, confetti brown rice and a salad.
Burris Laboratory School (Muncie, Ind.): Pizza bagel
Bagel pizzas have been a kid-favorite for decades. And now, they can get a healthy and tasty version at school. The pizza is served with Tuscan veggies and an apple.
Clayton Valley Charter High School (Concord, Calif.): Bento box
When Wayne Wells, executive chef with Chartwells, arrived at Clayton Valley two years ago he “could not stand the ‘open box, place in oven, heat-and-serve procedure.’” So he took his 40 years of experience in upscale dining and applied it to school food. This bento box is a clear example of the vision he’s brought to the dining program. The box includes Asian noodles and a five-spice chicken breast.
Clayton Valley Charter High School (Concord, Calif.): Fruit tart
Everyone needs a little sweetness in their lives—even at school. This fruit-forward tart is made with strawberry and Key lime curd.
Bixby Public Schools (Oklahoma): Chicken chili verde
This chicken dish is served with local watermelon, grilled local corn and an avocado pico. The district’s foodservice is managed by Salt Food Group, which is bringing a higher level of culinary expertise to the cafeterias and creating mini restaurants.
Bixby Public Schools (Oklahoma): Grilled cheeseburger panini
This is a cool twist to the classic cheeseburger. It’s served panini-style with sides of whole-grain pasta salad, broccoli slaw and baked chips.
Bixby Public Schools (Oklahoma): Orange sesame chicken
Cool packaging is definitely a trend in secondary schools, and this orange sesame chicken doesn’t disappoint. The chicken is served with housemade kimchi, vegetable stir-fry and oranges.