Dallas, PA – Metz Culinary Management, Inc. (Metz) is rolling out 40 new recipes for Fall 2023 to engage K through 12 students in healthier eating as part of a new menu-wide stealth nutrition strategy. This involves incorporating healthy ingredients and practices into meals that are delicious and visually appealing to kids.
School lunches play a vital role in the health and well-being of students. A well-balanced meal not only provides the necessary nutrients for growth and development but also supports cognitive function and academic performance. Unfortunately, many school lunch programs face challenges in offering healthy options that attract students. By implementing a stealth nutrition approach in school lunch programs, Metz is revolutionizing the way students perceive and consume healthier meals.
“Our culinary team puts a lot of effort in finding whole grains that have a higher nutrient content but taste like the white grains that younger kids typically prefer,” said Adam Carlson, Division Chef for K-12 and Corporate Dining at Metz. “The middle school and high school kids are generally able to handle more nutritionally-rich foods in their natural form, so we can be a little less stealthy with their menu offerings while still stretching their exposure to more healthy options.”
The New Recipes
Metz plans to offer one new entrée or side-dish every day, including:
- Peanut butter parfait that incorporates Greek yogurt layered with whole-grain pound cake and a variety of berries
- Santa Fe pita pizza with vegetables, black bean salsa and a savory sauce made with yogurt crema in place of sour cream
- Smoky 3-bean chili, rich with multiple layers of flavor and vegetables beyond the beans
- Chocolate dip made from hummus and served with apple chips
- Brownie made from black beans that mimics the taste of chocolate
- Pasta with Zucchini noodles mixed in
- Spaghetti made from spaghetti squash with marinara sauce
- Pasta bakes using whole grain pasta
Exciting Events that Also Educate
Metz also offers engaging educational events that introduce students to foods they may not have tried previously. Events include:
- Fear Factor fruit and veggie tasting where kids are blindfolded and invited to touch and taste fruits and vegetables that are new to them
- Mystery Box with a fun fruit or vegetable in a closed box where kids try to guess what the item is by feeling and tasting it
For K-6 students, each month Metz features a different cartoon character representing a healthy fruit, vegetable or whole grain, such as:
- August: Berry Blackberry with berry smoothies
- September: Excellent Eggplant featuring crispy eggplant slices
- October: Ghostly Guava showcasing strawberry guava smoothies
Incorporating healthy ingredients in creative and appealing ways while engaging and educating students fuels them with nutritionally-rich foods that support increased energy and improved concentration in class. For Metz, this means striking the balance between stealth nutrition for K-12 kids and encouraging middle school and high school students to experience new foods.
“Stealth nutrition is all about finding a long-term finding balance between introducing students to healthy vegetables, fruits and whole grains that they may not have tried and repeating their exposure to them,” said Madison Wurst, RD, LDN, Nutrition Educator and Corporate Dietitian at Metz. “We’re empowering students with a lifelong appreciation for healthier eating which leads to improved overall health and well-being.”