FamilyCook’s Teen Battle Chefs Collaborate on New School Breakfast Items
New leadership will generally bring about change and, hopefully, new opportunities. When the new NYC Department of Education Chancellor came on board in fall 2018, healthy school meal advocates like FamilyCook began hearing some exciting overtures from OFNS! Partnerships are on the rise and FamilyCook’s Teen Battle Chef program has developed an exciting opportunity to work with OFNS Menu staff to develop TBC kid-approved new menu items!
This spring a dozen NYC public schools’ Teen Battle Chefs took a field trip to OFNS headquarters in Long Island City to collaborate on a School Breakfast menu idea. The TBC youth were charged with coming up with 2 recipe concepts using only the ingredients available on the OFNS procurement list! This is a limited list as the school food service staff are largely reheating and assembling menu items – not cooking from scratch.
So the kids came up with some interesting ideas such as a yummy breakfast burrito where the egg omelet is heated, then chopped and mixed with onion and some cheese, rolled into a tortilla and topped with some salsa. The kids loved how OFNS chef Emily Logan set up the ‘burrito bar’ as a breakfast bar. Another idea was and overnight oats breakfast bar with a range of toppings from craisins and diced apple to cinnamon, pineapple and more. It too was a big hit – in part because of presentation and in part because these items are more modern and appealing.
Next phase: OFNS will select menu options for the citywide menu for 2019-20 school year. They will also work with FamilyCook to develop promotional messaging that the TBC students will use to actively promote school breakfast to their peers. Strategies include:
- Breakfast menu cooking demo video in the hallway monitors
- Morning announcements about new breakfast items
- Cooking demo and sampling the new menu items in the cafeteria as a preview before they appear on the menu
Stay tuned for more on this exciting project as it develops!