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Lunchtime Solutions menu program appeals to all five senses to refine student taste buds

All students are given the opportunity to try menu component options that test their senses and get the chance to see if they can identify different sense-enhancing flavors!

For the 2021-22 school year, the Culinary Team for FM Top 50 firm Lunchtime Solutions not only created themed menu components to drive participation and get students excited about meal service, but they mixed it with fun education about how one’s senses can enhance a dining experience and ultimately help identify taste preferences. It’s a test students won’t mind taking, the company believes, as even if they do not know the answer, they will all get an A just for trying something new!

Studies suggest that taste buds change every two weeks, and as students grow from an elementary level to a high school level, their taste buds change even more. Although taste is a main attribute to selecting what kids want to eat, all senses play a role in the brain’s decision-making process and one of the many reasons Lunchtime offers many choices daily. Because smell, appearance and expectations have a lot to do with the way taste is perceived, children who are tasting things, especially for the first time, are probably relying on their sensitive taste buds as well as their sense of smell and other visual cues to decide whether a food tastes “good” or not.

Here are some examples of menu items from the program, and the sense they especially activate... 

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