For the Love of Food: Cafeteria Valentine’s Day Celebrations

In the November 2015 issue of School Nutrition, writer Karly Kolaja touched based with a variety of school nutrition directors across the U.S. to find out how they celebrate Valentine’s Day. In addition to the creative ideas that appeared in print, check out these photo-worthy concepts from cafeterias and industry partners!

chicken corndogs

Not all ideas require a new recipe! When the menu rotation at Provo City (Utah) School District features baked whole-grain battered chicken corn dogs near Valentine’s Day, the kitchen staff members make a diagonal cut and turn one side the opposite way. Stick a toothpick in the corn dog to hold it together, and it’s now in a heart shape!

Who said healthy can’t be lovely? At Grapevine-Colleyville (Texas) ISD, creative kitchen employees create a heart out of carrots and dried cranberries to decorate the serving line for Valentine’s Day.

waffles and strawberries

Talk about an easy yet delicious breakfast for this holiday—Rick Turner, director of culinary development for Opaa! Food Management, recommends using frozen waffles and layering it with IQF strawberries and non-dairy whipped cream. What a treat for the students!

When you can’t serve candy on Valentine’s Day, get creative! The Watermelon Promotion Board suggests these healthy and festive Frosted Watermelon Cutouts. Use heart- and flower-shaped cookie cutters to make the shapes, and then “frost” them with plain yogurt and top with granola. This works best when the watermelon is at least ½- to ¾-in. thick.

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