Chartwells K12 Shares 10 Most Popular Meals as Students Head Back to School

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Each year, hundreds of Chartwells K12 chefs and dietitians create fun, delicious, and nutritious meal options for school menus

As families prepare for the hustle and bustle of a new school year, Chartwells K12, a company serving two million meals a day in 4,500 schools nationwide, is sharing its 10 most popular meals in lunchrooms. From international cuisines to plant-based meals and breakfast, these are the flavors and meals kids will be lining up for.

“We have so much fun creating dishes for students, and it’s so insightful to see what becomes the fan favorites,” said Chef Peter Gilhooly, Vice President – Culinary, Chartwells K12. “You would be amazed by how many kids are willing to try unfamiliar flavors and ingredients or menu items from different cultures. This year, kids will be eating delicious and healthy meals that are fueling their bodies and minds for a successful school day.”

Without further ado, the top 10 most popular meals Chartwells K12 is serving in schools across the country this year are:

1. Between the traditional elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese, Homemade Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese is a lunchtime hit featured in Chartwells’ Veg Out concept.

2. While toppings may change from year to year, it wouldn’t be school lunch without pizza, and the Hawaiian Flatbread Pizza is what kids are craving.

3. Comfort food to boost your mood, Chartwells’ Maple Pork Barley & Sweet Potato Bowl is part of their Mood Boost program, helping kids connect what they eat with how they feel.

4. The ballots are in, and students want more Spicy Basil Tofu Stir Fry, a leading candidate in Chartwells’ Student Choice program where students sample and vote on cafeteria menus.

5. The Torta de Jamon, one of the featured dishes from the Mexico stop in Chartwells’ Global Eats program, is a panini-style sandwich giving kids a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine.

6. Chartwells’ Asian Edamame Salad proves customization is still king as kids create their favorite combinations with build-your-own concepts.

7. Breakfast, brunch, or “brinner,” Waffles with Blueberry Compote from Chartwells’ Rush Hour concept are a great way to start and fuel the day.

8. Straw or spoon? The colorful Dragon Fruit Banana Smoothie, featured in Chartwells’ Smoothie Station concept, is just one option offered as either a traditional smoothie or smoothie bowl.

9. Plant-based is a home run with a Roasted Potato, Black Bean & Avocado Tostada, another featured recipe from the Veg Out concept.

10. Handheld items make for an easy option at lunch, as well as between school, sports, and fun with friends, and Chartwells’ BBQ Chicken Hand Pie delivers the flavor for this kid-favorite.

This list was compiled based on intel collected from teams serving school districts in nearly 40 states.

© 2020 Chartwells Schools Dining Services. All rights reserved.

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