When it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, Texas offers a large selection of options all year long. Kids of all ages can and should enjoy fruits and vegetables in a range of colors each week. Texas is ripe for the picking as a source for healthful eating. Let these menu planning resources help make meal times a fun and enjoyable time of day for everyone!
These resources will help you plan your menu around seasonally available items.
Cooking for the Seasons
Recipes in Cooking for the Seasons help menu planners meet the meal patterns for the National School Lunch (NSLP) and School Breakfast Programs (SBP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Each food program- NSLP, CACFP, and SFSP, have specific meal patterns. Refer to your program guides when planning your menu to ensure selected recipes credit appropriately for the designated meal component.
The standardized quantity recipes in this cookbook are designed to help you serve healthy, seasonally focused meals that will appeal to your young customers.
All of the recipes have been tested up to 25 servings. The recipes are chef tested and kid approved for taste and appeal.
Texas Seasonality Wheel
Every fruit and vegetable has a season, the time of the year when locally grown options are easier to find and when fresh flavors are at their peak. Purchasing locally grown fruits and vegetables is good for Texans and good for local agriculture.
The Seasonality Wheel makes it easy to identify the best time of year to buy fresh produce items for Texas farmers. There are two ways to use the Seasonality Wheel. Click on a month to see what's in season at that time or click on a particular item to determine when that fruit or vegetable is growing in Texas.
Fruits and Vegetables Galore
This guide, developed by USDA’s Team Nutrition, offers tips on purchasing, presenting and promoting the fruits and vegetables used in your school nutrition program. Use this tool to help make your daily meal offerings competitive with commercial options available to students and get students excited about eating healthy.
Food Buying Guide
This online version of USDA’s Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs
was designed by the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) in collaboration with USDA. The calculator tool will help you or your purchasing agent buy the right amount of food and help you determine the specific contribution each food item will make toward meeting the meal pattern requirements.
Chefs Move to Schools
The Chefs Move to Schools program, founded in May 2010, partners the creativity and culinary expertise of chefs with the unique demands found in school cafeterias. The goal is to ensure that America's future generations grow up healthy.
Additional resources can be found on USDA’s Farm to School Web pages