buying and preparing bulk meals for large groupsbuying and preparing bulk meals for large groups

About Me

buying and preparing bulk meals for large groups

I work as the head cook of a family campground. Our campground includes three meals and two snacks each day in the mess hall. In order for us to keep our rates low, part of my job is to purchase the food as affordably as possible and create tasty dishes for the guests staying on the grounds. I created this blog as a way to sort through my own thoughts and to help other organizations find affordable ways to purchase and prepare meals for large groups of people. Hopefully, you will learn everything you need to know in order to maintain a budget and prepare delicious foods.

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Considerations For Planning A School Meal Program

Planning the menu for a new school year can be daunting since there are many regulations and logistical issues to cover. Here are some things to consider when planning great school nutrition services.

Following Nutrition Guidelines

The United States Department of Agriculture's new regulations on school breakfast and lunch programs may be the first place to start when you're planning school meals. The new rules include such guidelines as having a dessert with at least 50% fruit available twice a week, and disallowing schools from providing foods that include pastry more than twice a week. With all of the new guidelines, you may need to consult a dietician in order to find foods that meet these requirements and fit within your budget.

Budgeting for Ingredients

You school's lunch menu may boil down to the amount of money you have to spend, and this can change each year due to the volume of students eating school lunches. When you're planning the menu for a new school year, you may need to know the ratio of students who will pay full price for their school lunches versus the number who will use reduced price lunch programs. These totals can affect the money you receive upfront for purchasing ingredients. You can send out a survey before the school year begins to get an estimate of who will be using the school lunch program.

Accommodating Allergies

Again, surveys can be your friend when deciding what ingredients to purchase. If you do a beginning of the year survey and find that an unusual number of students have a lactose allergy, you should plan to incorporate a lactose free option on a daily basis.

Making it Appealing

In order to plan a great menu that meets all of these standards, you will need to choose school nutrition services that provide fresh, high quality, and varied ingredients. You can enlist your school nutrition services provider to help you create a diverse rotating menu, using a wide variety of ingredients. Companies such as New Horizon Foods may offer options for nutritious meals.

A great food service provider will also be flexible enough to help you evaluate your menu's success; items that don't sell well can be replaced by items that have the same nutritional content, but are more appealing to students. Some schools are even using chef consultations to choose ingredient combinations for their menus. The success of your program will depend on your ability to adapt to everyone's needs and provide excellent service.