Here are some snacks that operators are serving up for lunch, mid-day and late-afternoon munchies.
Senior Vice President
Marketing & Product Development
Sodexho School Services
"Most of our operators offer both homemade and packaged snacks. In a nationwide survey we conducted, we talked to children and parents about foodservice, lifestyle, school meal expectations and meals and snacks at home. The idea of "fun" seems to be a high criterion for kids when selecting and accepting snack ideas. Here are some of our findings:
• Salty snacks still reign supreme in both product movement and preferences.
• The second most popular snack is fresh fruit—which really surprised us!
• Jell-O is making a comeback with new colors and flavors.
• Ice cream seems to be flat, yet yogurt is doing very well, especially the kid-focused yogurt-to-go type products. And we’re also seeing growth in the granola and power bar categories."
Assistant Director Residential Life
Oklahoma State University
"Our most unique signature item is a specialty appetizer called Nuts and Bolts that is served in one of our concepts.
"The servery concept is a ‘fun-dining’ restaurant called The Service Station based on a 1950s era service station theme. At lunchtime, it’s self-service with a large buffet and at night it turns into a full-service restaurant.
"The ‘nuts’ are Rocky Mountain oysters that we get from Osteen’s out of Oklahoma City. They come frozen and pre-breaded and we further season them and fry them up golden brown.
"The ‘bolts’ are giant sized French fries. This item is served in a 7-quart stainless steel oil pan with a special spicy ranch dipping sauce served out of an oil can. (This has all been approved through the board of health.) Students share them at a table or eat them as a meal. We sell 100 or more servings (1 lb. each) per week and they retail for $5.75."
Barbers Hill High School
"We have a lot of grab and go snack items, but some of the most popular are warm chocolate chip cookies and Crispitos, a large rolled flour tortilla that is stuffed with chicken and cheese and then deep-fried. Students purchase them for $1.00 each and dip them in a picante and cheese sauce.
Some new items proving to be very popular are Pizza Styx and Taquitos, a smaller corn tortilla version of the large flour tortilla that we sell for $2.00 for five pieces."
Food Service Director
Fox C-6 School District
"When it comes to snack foods, you name it, we have it. But what is new for us now it that we offer cold food vending with microwave access and snack vending, which we never had before. We don’t offer a lot of branded items except in the vending arena. For example, we do offer branded pizza, wrapped Hot Pockets and White Castle hamburgers.
"Yogurt and pretzels as an entrée or purchased separately are also very popular. We used to make our cookies from scratch but now use a frozen dough product and we still offer homemade apple crisp or cherry cobbler."
Yield: 24 poppers
8 oz. firm tofu
Salt as needed
Pepper as needed
24 fresh jalapeño peppers
(21Ú2 to 3-inch size)
Prepared taco seasoning, as needed
2 cups flour
4 eggs, beaten
1Ú4 cup water
11Ú2 cups dry breadcrumbs
1Ú2 cup Parmesan cheese
Vegetable oil as needed
1. Preheat fryer to 375°F. Cut tofu into 2 x 1/2 x 1/2-inch strips. Place tofu on a thickness of several paper towels on a cutting board and position board on a slant to allow excess liquid to drip off. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Wash peppers. Wearing plastic gloves slit peppers lengthwise up both sides leaving stem intact. Remove seeds.
3. Roll tofu strips in taco seasoning. Place tofu strips into each pepper; press pepper together. Roll pepper in flour.
4. Beat eggs and water together; reserve. Mix breadcrumbs, cheese, 1 tsp. salt and 1Ú4 tsp. pepper together; reserve.
5. Holding the stem of each floured pepper, dip into egg mixture and then into crumb mixture to coat entire surface; repeat to get a nice coating. Place on a waxed paper-lined pan and refrigerate until ready to use.
6. Deep-fry at 375°F 2 to 5 minutes until browned. Drain and serve hot.
Recipe from United Soybean Board