Celebrate National School Lunch Week!

October 5, 2022

For quick and easy celebrations, utilize Mushrooms in Schools USDA-approved resources. Our resources engage students in school lunch while also making it easy on your staff to celebrate! Below are easy, specific celebrations to add in Mushrooms in Schools resources.


Who doesn’t love a good contest? An easy way to engage elementary students is through a coloring contest because it requires less time, rules are simple, and the artwork makes a great display. Use our superhero placemats as the canvas for the art to be created.

How to set up a coloring contest:

  1. Reach out to the school administration about the contest and where should the placemats be delivered to be colored. Could they be printed and provided for the teachers to have students complete? Where should the students put their name and room number (probably on the back)?
  2. Identify a deadline for the finished artwork to be returned (and make sure everyone knows).
  3. As students are turning in their placemats, identify a space in the cafeteria to hang all the artwork. Students love to see their artwork!
  4. Allow the cafeteria staff to pick the winner (or winners if you want one per grade level), and provide the student a certificate (or pencil). 
  5. Celebrate! Make sure to take a picture of the winning artwork and post this on the school district’s website and social media page. The community will love to see the students’ artwork.

Taste Tests

Trying new recipes is a great way to involve students and create an exciting menu. Mushrooms in Schools has student-approved recipes to use for any taste test. To select a recipe, click here.
When setting up a taste test, identify at least two recipes for the students to try. Once students try the new recipe, provide students with our “I Tried It” stickers as an incentive.

Based on which recipe students like the most, this would identify the winning recipe item. 

Pro tip: Let the students’ voices be heard. Use our “I Tried It” Stickers to allow the students to vote on the recipes they try. Display a blank sheet of paper in the cafeteria, and label each side with the recipe names, for the students to cast their vote. Make sure to add the winning recipe to next month’s menu (and make sure to broadcast this far and wide).

As an alternative way to conduct a taste test, provide students the ability to try a new menu item a day before it is menued. This is great for vegetable recipes, like Roasted Mushrooms, Broccoli, Tomatoes, for the students to see the item and become familiar with it. Provide the students trying the new recipe a “I Tried It” Sticker and make sure to tell them they will see this in tomorrow’s lunch.

Pro tip: This is a great way to increase student acceptability and increase the likelihood that the students try (and eat) the item when it’s on the menu.

Social Media Campaigns

Secondary aged students are social media professionals. During #NSLW22, meet these students where they are by utilizing our social media campaign. Simply add our social media images to your department’s website and social media page (don’t forget to inquire about putting this on the school district’s website and social media page). 

If your middle or high school has a television/newspaper course (or family and consumer science course), ask those students to create similar images that relate to specific food items in your October menu. This way you could have a social media campaign for two weeks. 

Below are some simple captions to add to our social media campaign:

Mushrooms are the Answer! Mushrooms are full of vitamins and minerals #9tobeexact  #NSLW22 #MushroomsinSchools

Mushrooms are the Answer! Mushrooms are full of flavor without any salt #NSLW22 #MushroomsinSchools

Mushrooms are the Answer! DYK mushrooms contain umami – the delicious taste #NSLW22 #MushroomsinSchools

Mushrooms are the Answer! Mushrooms are grown year-around and in every state #NSLW22 #MushroomsinSchools

Mushrooms are the Answer! Adding mushrooms to ground meat, like burgers, provide great flavor while expanding your serving sizes #NSLW22 #MushroomsinSchools

Mushrooms are the Answer! Mushrooms use less water to grow than other produce #NSLW22 #MushroomsinSchools

Let Us Know How You Celebrate

As part of our monthly newsletter (want to subscribe? Click here), we’ll be featuring Facebook and Twitter posts from operators sharing their mushroom meals (and other #NSLW22 celebrations!). To be highlighted in our “Mushrooms on the Menu” section, tag us when you post on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Looking for more USDA-approved resources (all of our resources are USDA-approved)? Check out our website.

Comments are closed.