The Health, Hunger Free Kids Act 2010 calls for more fresh, whole food to be used in the National School Lunch Program(NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program(SBP). Moving from prepackaged, processed foods and the traditional “heat and serve” cooking approach to more scratch cooking with more fresh whole foods will help schools meet the new guidelines , especially for sodium and calorie restrictions. Menu changes cause the need for the appropriate kitchen equipment. In school surveys, the most common equipment required to adapt to fresh, whole food guidelines was:
- Preparation – High quality knives, food processor, salad spinner, wedger, peeler and slicer ranked as the most needed fresh, whole food prep equipment. By moving away from prepackaged food, preparation will take more time; any prep process that can be done more efficiently will reduce this demand for extra labor.
- Storage – More refrigeration space, dunnage racks, anti-microbial shelving and prep tables will help handle the new demands place on the kitchen. When the new produce arrives from the farm, you will need more space to store and prep the food. New employees will need additional prep areas to work in.
- Cooking /Serving– The surveys revealed variability in new equipment needed dependent on what the facility already had. Steamers were ranked high because of the increase in steaming and decrease in frying or pan cooking. Increasing the size of your steamer to a two compartment enables you to have more volume of healthy cooking. Also, beyond just cold bars, having a designated salad bar large enough( 5 pans at least) to provide a variety of choice was also a common upgrade.
Do you need any assistance moving your kitchen towards more healthy alternatives? Call 800-755-4777 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks Again!