Getting kids to eat healthy in the school cafeteria is such a feat—as parents no doubt understand—that entire commissions and focus groups are set up to figure out just how to make kids like veggies and whole grains. Once such test program by young consumer insights firm Y-Pulse found that students are most enthusiastic about healthy foods when they’re a part of breakfast dishes like breakfast bowls and smoothies. Turns out kids don’t care what time of day it is, breakfast foods always sound good. (Same, kids, same.)
Refrigerated & Frozen Foods—my customary evening reading—reports on this study of 900 kindergarten through high school students who were given 10 lunch choices developed by chefs and nutritionists to meet nutritional guidelines. The three most-favored dishes were all traditional breakfast foods: Overnight Oats, Banana Berry Smoothies, and Tex-Mex Breakfast Bowls. Honestly, those sounds great and like something I would totally shell out $6 for at some bougie chia-seed slinging café.
“Today’s kids’ interest in all-day breakfast and snacking shows us that this is an area operators should pay close attention to in the years to come,” Sharon Olson, Y-Pulse School Meal Innovation Lab’s executive director, told Refrigerated & Frozen Foods.
The success of that trio of dishes also has to do with their portability; students gravitated toward them in part because all three came in containers that were easy to transport throughout the day. Again, super relatable, kids! I too tend to stash half my breakfast muffin in my purse for later, only to unearth its crumbling remains after three days. McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants have realized adults dig the all-day breakfast concept; why shouldn’t school cafeterias catch on?