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May 14, 2024

Summer is just around the corner! Even when school isn’t in session, Mushrooms in Schools has a bunch of resources, recipes and other fun-gi activities for kids outside the classroom. Keep reading for more information on the Summer Food Service Program, free resources and other summer inspiration to engage the kids in your community this summer.

Summer Food Service Program 

What is the Summer Food Service Program?

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded, state-administered program. The USDA reimburses program operators who serve no-cost, healthy meals and snacks to children and teens. 

Meals are served at summer sites in low-income communities, where sponsors often also offer enrichment activities, or — in approved rural communities facing access issues — may be provided via grab-n-go or delivery. Think: the public library, summer camps, 4-H and more!

Learn more about the program HERE and check out the Summer Meals for Kids Site Finder tool to find the closest summer site near you.

Recipes Worth Your Summer Meals

Mushroom in Schools has many school nutrition, student-approved recipes. Check out our website for a full list. Below are our sunny day favorites!

Summer Food, Summer Moves

Are you a summer meal site operator looking for some inspiration? Summer Food, Summer Moves is a fun, hands-on resource kit designed to get kids and families excited about healthy eating and physical activity during the summer months. 

The kit focuses on using music, games, art, and movement to motivate kids and families to choose more fruits and vegetables, choose water instead of sugary drinks, get enough physical activity every day, and to limit screen time.

Check out activities, posters, recipes  and more on their website HERE!

Enjoy Mushrooms All Summer Long 

Beat the heat (or add to it!) with delicious mushroom dishes that make the perfect addition to summer activities. No matter how you serve them, mushrooms are the perfect addition to any summer spread or Summer Meals for Kids site. Here’s four ways to make the most of summer with mushrooms:

1. Maximize The Grill

Unlock the limitless possibilities by grilling up fruits and vegetables, like mushrooms. Try new tools and techniques like smoker boxes for added flavor, foil packs for some good camp-like meals or a cast-iron skillet for delicious grilled desserts and more.

Summer Meal Inspiration: National Burger Day is May 28 – try one of these Portable Portabella Mushroom Burgers to celebrate!

2. Indulge in Summer Flavors

Even if you don’t have a garden accessible, you can still cook like you do. Take advantage of every seasonal fruit and veggie available to create fresh, indulgent recipes that feed the body and soul.

3. Plan Backyard Everything

Take advantage of the outdoors and get creative with backyard activities. Try outdoor movie nights, plant mushrooms to take home, pitch a tent for a backyard camping adventure, roast mushrooms or marshmallows over your fire pit, or take lunch outside for a good ol’-fashioned picnic

4. Commit to New Experiences

There’s plenty of adventure to be had right at home so commit to trying something new every week. That could be a new recipe, ingredient or even a new mushroom variety. Invite kids to write down all the “new things” explored to look back and see all that was discovered this season! 

Summer Mushroom Recipe Round-up

Kids Eat Mushrooms Too Recipe Contest 

📣 Calling all mushroom lovers! Do you have what it takes to inspire the next generation of mushroom lovers? Here’s your chance to prove it – enter your favorite mushroom recipe in the Kids Eat Mushrooms Too recipe contest! 

Don’t miss your chance to enter – the Child Care contest closes on June 30th. Submit your favorite recipe that utilizes fresh mushrooms deliciously and innovatively!

  1. First Place Grand Prize: Registration for the National Child Nutrition Conference or National Head Start Conference (winner’s choice) in 2025
  2. Second Place Prize: Two Mushroom Grow Kits and Five Mushroom T-Shirts 
  3. Third Place Prize: Three Mushroom T-Shirts and Three Mushroom Sunglasses

Get ready for the K12 Recipe Contest Opening on July 30th (ends by September 30, 2024)

  1. First Place Grand Prize: Registration for the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in 2025
  2. Second Place Prize: Two Mushroom Grow Kits and Five Mushroom T-Shirts 
  3. Third Place Prize: Three Mushroom T-Shirts and Three Mushroom Sunglasses

For more information, head over to our website here. Be sure to sign up for the School Nutrition newsletter or CACFP newsletter to stay updated with the latest!

Recipe Spotlight: Ravioli Florentine

Noblesville Schools in Indiana has a new mushroom recipe featured on the Elementary menus this semester! 

“We had ravioli w/ red sauce on the menu 1st semester and decided to give it a makeover using alfredo sauce, spinach, and mushrooms! Everyone was skeptical at first, but it is actually turning out to be a huge hit and the talk of the town! We sampled at one school first before menuing and the kids were asking for 2nds and 3rds!” ~Christine Stinson

Get the recipe HERE!

#KidsEatMushrooms2 Create Waves

If you are planning to add more mushrooms to your menus (like Noblesville Schools), we would love to see what you and your students are cooking up!

Tag us on your Facebook and/or X (Twitter) post to win a Mushrooms in Schools T-shirt. 

Every time you share your recipes, we will feature you in our “Mushrooms on the Menu” newsletter (want to subscribe? Click here). We want to celebrate all the hard work you and your team do. 

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