3 Tools to Help You Add Smoothies to the School Menu

By Mary Ann McCann on 09/19/2018

Tags: Nutrition, Schools, Breakfast, Kids Health

You don’t have to look very far to see smoothies are a hot new food item. From fast food restaurants and boutique coffee houses to ready-to-serve right off the shelf at your local health food or grocery store, smoothies are everywhere. Thanks to the invention of the electric blender in the 1930s and consumers’ increased interest in healthier food consumption, smoothies have grown into a full-blown industry. Now, you can choose from a number of smoothie options based on nutritional needs or ingredient composition. 

With the USDA’s approval in July 2015 (SP 10-2014), schools can now serve smoothies as part of a reimbursable meal. Adding a homemade smoothie program to your high school or middle school menu could easily boost meal participation and student wellness by providing a perfect grab-and-go or second chance breakfast option to the student on the move.

Child nutrition professionals recognize the importance of dairy in the diet, and this power-packed meal starts the day with two servings of dairy. Dairy-based smoothies using low-fat white milk, yogurt and fresh fruit are the most common, but what about using low-fat chocolate milk or even vanilla yogurt to enhance the flavor? Research indicates students drink more milk when chocolate is added to the range of choices, which helps make creating different smoothie options an easy task.

Dairy MAX has developed some tools to help child nutrition directors navigate through the process to add smoothies to the menu. Here are a few: