Does Your District Have Healthy Trashcans?

Does Your District Have Healthy Trashcans?

Does Your District Have Healthy Trashcans?

I came across an article recently that indicated kids throw away about 70% of the fruits and vegetables served at school. This statistic is based on a study of 18 elementary schools. The article stated that kids would rather have sliced apples than whole apples. The likelihood of them eating sliced apples increased dramatically versus serving a whole apple.

According to the study “When the same researchers offered kids a small incentive, such as a quarter, a nickel or even a raffle ticket, as a reward for eating produce, more kids made healthy choices and schools saved money and cut down on trash.”

I wholeheartedly agree. I have seen this exact problem at many of the schools I work with. I have worked on many initiatives that get students to eat in your cafeterias, and the most successful way I have found to determine the best ways to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables was to ask them what they want or provide them options that they will like.

I believe we have to move past the blame game with the new regulations and how they are increasing your costs. We simply have to deal with the reality that they are not going anywhere. We have to work within the regulations and make it happen.

I know it may seem harsh but sometimes I go back to my military days where failure was not an option. We had to make tough decisions and make things happen, because there wasn’t any plan B option. You might have to spend more on some fruit or vegetables. If whole apples cost you 19 cents you might have to decide to spend 28 cents on cantaloupe because that’s what students want.

Okay, I will wait for you to get back into your chair because you probably fell out of it…. Look at it this way, if you spent a little more on fruits or vegetables that the students actually consume, what are you losing? You now have students that are consuming healthy options versus having healthy trashcans. You can balance out that day or week with alternatives like pasta or grains.

You can stand by and let the media, parents or students run your program with a lack of knowledge or you can “Make it Happen” and put nutritious options into the stomachs of our future. The choice is yours.


Kern Halls, School Foodservice Consultant and Chief Innovator of Ingenious Culinary Concepts, turns empty dining halls into gold mines of student activity! By seeking out and combining just the right “ingredients” to accomplish what many call impossible: Halls gets students to “want” to dine in your cafeterias!

For his FREE report, outlining Marketing Tips to help you generate additional revenue TODAY, a $197 value, please visit!


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