3 Ways Schools Can Make Sure Parents Approve Of School Meals

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Providing meals at schools requires a delicate balance to make sure students happily eat the meals, parents feel their children are getting quality meals, state and federal nutritional standards are met, and school budgets are followed. Working with respected and professional food services is just the first step to making sure that all of the requirements are satisfied. The school must also reach out to students and parents for feedback. Below are some ways that you can get parents involved in food selection. 

Hold a Parent Meal Day 

It is a good idea to occasionally open your school cafeteria to parents so they can experience the food and atmosphere that their children eat in. When hosting a parent meal day, you should follow the regular meal schedule instead of opting for a special meal. Don't schedule the meal day when you are serving the most popular dishes. Instead, try to give an authentic dining experience to parents. If your school offers both breakfast and lunch, allow parents to experience both meals once a year or once a semester. 

At the end of the meal, ask for feedback and make notes about any concerns or suggestions parents have. 

Provide Meal Schedules

Either once a month or once a week, send home printed meal schedules with your students. Remind them to show these schedules to their parents. You should provide nutritional information as well as the names of dishes that will be available. It is also a good idea to provide this information online, so parents can look it up if their children lose the meal schedule. With the online schedule, provide a contact form to receive feedback from your students' parents. 

Send Food Services Surveys Home Each Semester

It is important that you take into account your students' tastes, preferences, and cultural influences. Each semester, you should send home a food survey to be completed by your students with the help of their parents. Ask for ideas for future meals, what types of food the child consumes at home, and for feedback on current meal offerings. This data will help guide your future meal selection and contracts with your food service provider. 

Getting input from your students' parents is a good way to prevent frustrated, disgruntled parents. It is also a smart way to determine what your school menu should offer and make sure students are getting the nutrition they need.

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