What will children eat in 2022? Chartwells K12 reveals top 10 food trends


School chefs and dietitians share their knowledge by serving 2 million meals a day on the flavors, dishes and menus kids love to eat

OAK BROOK, Illinois., December 9, 2021 / PRNewswire / – “I’m hungry!” “What is there to eat?” These are perhaps some of the most common phrases children hear throughout the year, but knowing what they want is a puzzle in its own right. Today, culinary experts and registered dietitians from Chartwells K12, a company that creates personalized dining programs for 4,500 schools across the country, revealed the top 10 food trends for children and their families in 2022. From From breakfast all day to cultural dishes and culinary returns, these trends continue to represent children’s favorite foods today and into the future. The 10 trends are presented in this video: https://vimeo.com/654590537.

Chartwells K12 (PRNewsfoto / Chartwells K12)

“Every day our team serves millions of children in thousands of schools across the country,” said Belinda Oakley, CEO, Chartwells K12. “Because of this, we have incredible information about what kids like to eat. Not only does it help us shape school menus, but it encourages even more students to eat in the cafeteria, which recent research shows is the healthiest place Americans eat. “

This is the second annual list that Chartwells K12 has compiled based on decades of experience and expertise in figuring out what kids love to eat. The result? Fun, delicious and tasty creations – that are healthy. Don’t think school lunch is nutritious? A recent study of Journal of the American Medical Association found that “schools are now the healthiest place Americans eat.”

“Knowing that many of our students are getting the best meal of their day at school, our goal is to make sure they leave the cafeteria happier and healthier than they came by creating food. and the experiences they love, ”said the chef. Peter Gilhooly, Vice President – Culinary, Chartwells K12. “This list was curated by our own research, as well as student feedback, and we’re excited to share what they’ll be eating next year.”

Top 10 Chartwells K12 Food Trends for Children for 2022 are:

  1. Breakfast all day, here to stay! – As the days continue to bring busy schedules and early departures, breakfast, brunch and brining are still in fashion for kids! Traditional favorites like a breakfast burrito and a sausage, egg and cheese cookie are just as likely to be seen on menus as the creative offerings of Chartwells K12’s all-day breakfast concept, Peak hour, like a spicy chicken and cookie Tater Tot breakfast sandwich, fried rice or ham for breakfast, mozzarella and whole grain spinach for breakfast. More and more popular this year is the smoothie for the delicious combination of fruit and yogurt ready to eat on the go!

  2. No fork, no problem – Breakfast isn’t the only meal kids eat on the go these days, as hand-held items are an easy option at lunchtime, as well as between school, sport and fun with friends ! Bento boxes filled with meats, cheese, vegetables and hummus are top of the list of favorites, along with creative wraps like a vegetarian rainbow hummus wrap, walking tacos and Chicken Fajita Shawarma make it popular appetizers for all ages.

  3. Fuel your performance – Whether it’s competing on a sports team, staying active with friends, or looking to improve their overall well-being, Gen Z continues to prioritize healthy, nutritious meals that they can eat. help build mind-body connection and eat to compete! Kids focus on staying fueled and hydrated by eating meals like Chicken and Fajita Rice Bowls and Hummus Dip with Vegetables and Flatbread to get you through the day.

  4. Vegé-Out! – Beyond #MeatlessMondays, vegetables and plant-based foods take center stage! With kids placing a high priority on their personal health and the health of the planet, protein replacements and vegetarian options are the star of the meal. Veggie burgers are more popular in schools than ever before, along with creative vegetarian and flexitarian touches like watermelon edamame poke, Kung Pao tofu stir-fry, and veggie sweet potato and white bean chili.

  5. Cultivated by yourself – With special events and cafeteria menus celebrating fresh produce from local farms throughout the year, children develop a lifelong connection to their fruits and vegetables, as well as a desire to know where they came from . Over the past year, the number of children and families growing their own produce and herbs in their backyards has increased, but thanks to hydroponics and other modern technologies, gardens are also growing indoors. schools across the country. An indoor hydroponic garden like Farmshelf allows students to grow their own produce at school and brings the latest innovations and the freshest flavors to the cafeteria.

  6. Culture Cuisine – Eating at school is often the first place a child can taste and discover foods other than family recipes or traditional cultural dishes. The power of food to connect people with each other and with different heritages is more prevalent than ever as children seek out new ethnic flavors from around the world and seek out foods that represent their own traditions to bond deeper and share. more of themselves with their classmates and friends. From roasted chicken wings with masala curry from Chartwells’ Chaat House concept to a Middle Eastern scrambled breakfast with potatoes, caramelized onions, spicy tomatoes and scrambled eggs, students discover that the school lunch menus represent a world of flavors.

  7. To eat together – As the students returned to school this fall, the children also returned to the cafeterias to enjoy meals together again. Through the flexibilities provided by the USDA National School Meals Program, students have the opportunity to enjoy free meals throughout the 2021-2022 school year. Dining together at school is the perfect opportunity for students to enjoy their favorite meals together and get inspired to try new foods.

  8. Let’s go retro – Scrunchies, fanny packs and tie-dyes aren’t the only ones making a comeback! Look for healthy variations of kids’ favorites from the 70s, 80s and 90s, as grilled cheese lights up with a gourmet sparkle on an eggplant, zucchini, tomato and provolone panini, cheese and crackers become on-the-go protein packs, sloppy joe is elevated to Sloppy Joe Pie with mashed sweet potatoes and other sandwiches including pulled pork ham and Cuban Swiss and Sonoran chicken tortas, both recently named to Food Management magazine’s Best Sandwiches award list.

  9. Noodle bites – Whether it’s a cozy meal at home or an evening out dining, noodles in all their forms are at the top of menu choices and have long been a culinary favorite for children and adults alike. adults. By adding a variety of vegetables, discovering new ethnic flavors, and customizing their ideal combinations, kids love the comfort food options beyond simple noodles. Favorites include the Korean Bulgogi Chicken and Soba Noodle Bowl and the New’s Mac N Butternut Squash Cheese. Revolution Noodles and Mac & Cheesyology Notions.

  10. Build yours – Not only do students help shape menus and reinvent their dining experience at school through programs like the one at Chartwells Student choice, but personalization is king as kids craft their favorite combinations and craft their own concepts in cafeterias across the country, from noodle bowls and burger bars to deli sandwiches, pizzas, Mexican dishes and more.

About Chartwells K12
The goal of Chartwells K12 is to ensure that students leave the cafeteria happier and healthier than they entered, serving food kids love to eat and creating personalized dining programs. With more than 16,000 associates in 4,500 schools, ranging from large public institutions to small private and charter schools, Chartwells K12 draws on decades of experience in food, education and operations led by the best culinary, nutritional, wellness and sustainability talents. For more information, visit www.ChartwellsK12.com.

Media contact: Lisa claybon, Vice President of Communications, [email protected]



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