What is a Fresh Food Buffet?
A Fresh Food Buffet (or Salad Bar) is an array of delicious fresh vegetables, fruits, grain products and protein foods brought to your school to encourage healthy eating. A CHEP Fresh Food Buffet typically offers:
At the Fresh Food Buffet, children are given the opportunity to serve themselves. This allows them to make healthy choices by selecting what they wish to eat and how much lunch is right for them. With supervising adults encouraging students to try something new and to select choices from all food groups – but not serving the children – the ‘fear factor’ associated with trying new foods is minimized.
Why a Fresh Food Buffet?
Fun – this is a great time for children to interact outside the classroom
What have kids said about the Fresh Food Buffets?
“I wish we could have this for lunch every day!”
What have teachers said about the Fresh Food Buffets?
“The students seemed calmer [after the salad bar lunch compared to other hot lunch days]”
How do Fresh Food Buffets work?
Contact Robin, CHEP’s nutritionist, for help arranging a Fresh Food Buffet. She will help to plan what foods to choose, how much food you will need to order, how many volunteers you will need to help as well as any other questions you may have. You can call her at 655-5311 or email at email@example.com.
As soon as you choose a date for the lunch, you will want to call your School Board Resource Centre to book the Fresh Food Buffet equipment kit.
We encourage schools to talk about nutrition with students a few days before the Fresh Food Buffet. There is a Fresh Food Buffet education kit with lesson plans and activities around healthy food for students in K – Grade 8. Schools can borrow this kit by phoning your school board resource centres.
On the arranged day, a group of teachers, staff, parents and/or students prepare fresh vegetables, fruit, grains, milk and alternatives and meat alternatives at the school. When the buffet is set up, students are invited to serve themselves and enjoy the food!
What is in the Fresh Food Buffet Equipment Kit?
All of the cutting boards, knives, containers and tongs you will need to host a Fresh Food Buffet lunch for 200-250 kids.
What is in the Fresh Food Buffet Education Kit?
A Resource Manual: “Salad Bars in Schools: A Fresh Approach to Lunch”
Lesson plans and activities for:
Sanitation guidelines for salad bars
Posters promoting vegetables and fruit
Electronic copies of the resources
Both CHEP and the Fresh Food Buffets aim to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits locally wherever possible and where practical.
CHEP already has connections with many local farmers and can connect schools to farms to offer wonderful fresh, local food at the Fresh Food Buffet lunch.
What else do I need to know?
Click here to see CHEP’s “How-To Manual” for Fresh Food Buffets. We have compiled all of our experience helping schools to host a salad bar lunch at their school in this manual.
Click here for CHEP’s “A Fresh Food Buffet is Coming to Your School” poster. You can print this off and post at your school to promote an upcoming lunch. Or contact CHEP for copies of the poster.
With thanks to FoodShare Toronto and their manual Salad Bars In Schools: A Fresh Approach to Lunch.
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