Hooray for Parfait

Yogurt parfaits are a versatile menu option that can incorporate several different fruits and flavors of yogurt to spark any student’s interest. Most students see parfaits outside of school and are pleasantly surprised to find them in the cafeteria; others may be excited to try a parfait for the first time. It’s a cost-effective way to include more fruit and protein on the menu. Parfaits can be prepared the day before and refrigerated overnight. Just add the granola or other crunchy toppings before serving!


  • Increases: Participation; sales of yogurt and à la carte items
  • Enhances: Dining space, school meal image
  • Engages: Students, nutrition staff
  • Reduces: Food costs, labor costs
  • Improves: Your bottom line


  1. Will parfaits be a part of a reimbursable meal or à la carte option? 
  2. What is your expected revenue increase from parfait sales? 
  3. Do you need parfait recipes and guides? (Dairy MAX can help!) 
  4. Will your staff need training on preparation? 
  5. What kinds of equipment will you need (i.e., merchandise, chillers, etc.)? 

Helpful Tips 

  • Measure yogurt, fruit and granola for one parfait and use as a guide to make additional servings. 
  • When using bulk yogurt, a pastry bag is a fast and easy way to fill cups. 
  • If your cafeteria is equipped with a salad bar during lunch, consider a “Build Your Own Parfait” line as a breakfast option.

You could use the funds for:

  • Merchandise, coolers and incentives
  • Marketing materials
  • Tables and equipment for meal prep and delivery
  • Staff training
  • Taste testing events
  • Recycling
“Yogurt parfaits can be made with a variety of fruits, from popular peaches to pretty, red frozen strawberries. The layers of granola, yogurt and the fruit are very attractive and enticing. This has been a great breakfast item for our district. Cafeteria managers were taken by surprise when they had to make more parfaits for breakfast than they expected because the students were so eager to try them.”

Austin ISD, Austin, TX

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Refer to NSLP and NSLB program guidelines for the service of à la carte or reimbursable parfaits in your area. 

Funding and Reimbursement 

If conducting a taste testing as part of the implementation, funding is limited to $1.00 per student enrolled for the taste testing. Please note that taste testings are to support the inclusion of parfaits on the school menu and will not be funded unless there is a sustainable program being added to the school nutrition program.