As the kids return to school, we in foodservice are reminded of the constant challenge: How do we encourage young people to make healthy menu choices, while still ensuring that they have an enjoyable food experience.

We know that it is our responsibility to help them make healthy menu choices, but we also know that kids love things which are traditionally difficult to deliver in healthy way – things like fries, wings and other offerings.

One way is to offer kids those same menu items they want, but prepare them in a healthier way. For instance, wings can be baked instead of deep fried or we can offer young people a fresh grilled chicken breast, instead of a battered, deep fried option. In both cases, they’ll receive the familiar choices they they love, but prepared in a way that is healthier for them to enjoy.

Another way is in how we position the sides and options that come with the menu. For example, if the default sandwich comes with a small salad and the kids have to ask to have fries instead many of them will not ask for the change.

Maple Leaf has a large selection of healthier options for schools. Check out the School Feeding options.