"Sharing best practices and resources to help improve school meals"
On this page you will find recipes, meals ideas and resources updated periodically.
If you would like to share quick tips or ideas for best practices, please e-mail
ODE USDA Foods Program.
Partner with a local Chef
To boost meal program, connect with chefs in the community.
These connections focus on the unique needs of each school/agency and the individual expertise of each chef. Schools/agencies and chefs can work in partnership to incorporate new menu items, offer culinary training to Child Nutrition staff, teach students the importance of healthy meals, and more. The creativity that chef’s bring to school meals can also build enthusiasm for the program among students, parents and teachers.
Reduce Food Waste
This booklet released by USDA discusses ways to reduce, recover, and recycle food before it goes to waste. Get ideas for your school by reading tips for school nutrition professionals, teachers, parents, students and school administrator.
Kids love samples! Willamina SD offers samples of USDA DoD Fresh strawberries and broccoli to students. What a great way to introduce students to new or unfamiliar foods. One small sample size portion is much less intimidating! Children respond favorably to repeated exposures of new foods and are more likely to consume school meals if they’re familiar with the foods. Sample trays can also add a splash of color and excitement to your cafeteria. To further enhance your sample tray, consider including the fruit or vegetable in its whole form so children can identify what they are eating. Highlight information about food samples on the monthly menu to provide an educational component and encourage students to look forward to sampling days.
ODE Featured Recipes!
A collection of fantastic recipes that ODE has chosen that feature USDA Foods!