Beef Rib Sandwich Standardized School Recipe by Nutristudents K-12

 

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Creating Standardized Recipes for Schools: An Artistic Approach

Imagine you’re an artist commissioned to create a piece of art to create excitement in everyone who views it. Immediately, you start thinking about which colors and shapes will help you portray that excitement. Will you use a bold palette or a softer one? You’ll consider which tools will you need to create your work and how to display it when it’s done. Then, just as your creative juices begin to flow, you’re given a few other parameters. You can only use two brushes, and one must be a synthetic, 1” flat wash, short-handled brush. You can use no more than three colors, and your process must follow the specifications outlined in the manual you were just handed. That’s a tough assignment!

Every day, school foodservice directors operate under conditions such as these. You may not be an artist, but you can relate to the challenge of creating standardized recipes for schools that spark joy among your students while adhering to the USDA nutritional guidelines. Since the current guidelines were enacted in 2012, many schools find kids putting more food in the trash than in their stomachs. Rather than get mired in the frustration of creating standardized recipes for schools on your own, take advantage of the help and inspiration available to you through the USDA, your state Departments of Education and companies like NutriStudents K-12. 

NutriStudents K-12 has mastered the art of school foodservice standardized recipes that appeal to kids and compiled them into a 30-week rotation for every age group within the USDA guidelines. NutriStudents K-12 standardized recipes for schools are hand created by our executive chef, then our registered dietician goes through them to make sure they comply with USDA guidelines. And, to ensure you can make the most of USDA Foods, our standardized recipes for schools are created with a commodities-first approach

Advantages of Standardized Recipes

While standardized recipes for schools may seem limiting, they’re a necessity for many reasons. You, as a foodservice director, can enter the details of your standardize recipes into nutritional software to verify USDA compliance prior to providing those recipes to your staff for preparation in the schools. School foodservice standardized recipes also ensure the staff deliver a consistent meal across service times and locations. These standardized recipes also simplify the workflow for foodservice staff, simplify training and allow for new staff to hit the ground running.

Importantly, standardized recipes help limit the potential of exposing students with food allergies to risky foods. Food allergies and intolerances are becoming more prevalent in schools and care programs today. Students’ allergic reactions may range from hives and sour stomachs to life-threatening conditions like a closing airway. NutriStudents K-12 allergen-free standardized recipes gives students with food allergies many choices  at mealtimes with our special menu that removes seven of the most common allergens: dairy, soy, eggs, gluten, fish and shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts.

Standardized recipes also help you streamline your weekly distributor orders and ensure you have all the ingredients needed to adhere to your published menu. Substitutions are sometimes necessary due to distributor inventory issues, but frequent or inconsistent variations can lead to confusion – for you, for your staff and for students.  

Imagine the chaos there would be in a school foodservice program if standardized recipes didn’t exist!

Working with the Limitations

Yes, school foodservice standardized recipes may limit aspiring chefs’ creative license. That said, standardized recipes for schools also need to accommodate the preferences of a school’s population. 

Hard as we try, we know not every NutriStudents K-12 menu week and especially not all our meals will appeal to every taste bud in various regions of the country. Some like it hot ... some do not! Mexican-inspired dishes tend to be popular among students but that’s not universally true of our Scandinavian friends. 

Take Albondigas Mexicanas, for example. Our inventive spin on meat and potatoes may not be totally appreciated by those who don't like spicy foods. In instances such as this, foodservice staff can deviate from the standardized recipe to appeal to the students they serve. For Albondigas Mexicanas, leave out the cayenne pepper when you're preparing the food. 

Our clients have been known to leave Sriracha out of a sauce recipe or substitute one form of a protein for another (chicken strips for chicken breast, for example), depending on which commodity foods they have in inventory. Be sure to subtract spices or swap sauces or dressings with another of like calories, fat and sodium content to remain in compliance with USDA guidelines. We also recommended making the same substitutions each time your prepare a standardized recipe for school lunch to streamline your staff’s workflow and to meet students’ expectations. 

If you love a NutriStudents K-12 menu week except for the main entree or side dish on one day, a small tweak to the standardized recipe may be all that's needed to make that menu day and week work for you.

You’re Ready for the Challenge

There are many ways we make an art of creating school foodservice standardized recipes. We can help you create a menu rotation that “sparks joy” among students. Schedule a demonstration today!

 

 

 

button-demo copy.jpg

 

We'd Love to Answer Any Questions You Have!

Call toll-free: 844-204-2847 / Email: info@NutriStudentsK-12.com

Or you can Request information

Ask us about our money-back guarantee!*

*Must meet minimum-use requirements to be eligible.