We recently spoke with Sabrina Thompson, Food Service Director for Pike County Schools in Kentucky. The first Fieldstone product that came to mind for her was the gingerbread cookie. She says the kids love them, especially in the elementary school and Head Start program. She often pairs the cookie with milk and will sometimes includes a marshmallow dip. “It’s a very popular and economical choice for the program.”

She also uses the 1.25 oz. granola packets, which she says are perfect for grab & go breakfasts. They will tape a packet of granola to a yogurt cup with a spoon and make berries available for a great do-it-yourself parfait. They will feature this on the breakfast line and it provides a bread, dairy and fruit. She considers this a trendy breakfast offering which helps to make breakfast cool and has been popular with middle and high school girls.

Pike County Schools also features the oatmeal cookies with creme and creme-filled fudge cookies along with the nutty buddy wafer bars on their a-la-carte menu for lunch and the crispy rice bar for breakfast and lunch. Sometimes she will use the crispy rice bar or nutty buddy as a free bonus with meal entrees that are not quite as popular to help drive participation. She says it’s relatively inexpensive and helps expose kids to food choices they may not otherwise make.

Ms. Thompson views the new nutritional guidelines as her current biggest challenge. Providing additional fruits and proteins without raising prices and or driving down participation is challenging. She believes the sodium guidelines may be the most difficult new regulations of all when it comes to finding options that kids will eat. She believes manufacturers need to provide more options that fit the new nutritional guidelines that are recognizable to students.

Thanks to Sabrina Thompson for sharing her thoughts with us. If you would be willing to share your thoughts about Fieldstone products and your food service ideas and challenges, please write to us at steve@riverworks.biz.