School Breakfast All Day

August 17, 2023

“Breakfast All Day” is a trend we’re loving right now as a way to get elementary and secondary students excited about school meals! With the new USDA proposed rules coming out in Spring 2024, this is a great time to try out protein- and flavor-packed breakfast items that you can incorporate into your menus throughout the day.

Mushrooms in Schools has #RealSchoolRecipes for your menus, and of course, tips on getting the most out of your mushrooms – keep reading and dig in! 

Pro Tip for Student Buy-In: Level up your school breakfast and lunch programs by providing students with an outlet to voice their opinions. This could include taste-testing recipes prior to adding to the menu, or serving competing recipes that students vote on, to determine which will be added to the permanent menu cycle. Student leader groups can assist in organizing voting, as well as encouraging their peers to participate. This allows students to have ownership over what goes on the menu, which can increase overall participation, consumption, and satisfaction (win-win-win!).

Get the Most Out of Your Menus

When menu planning, we recommend researching how mushrooms (or any other product) can be well used throughout your menu cycle – and this applies to school breakfast menus, too. We recommend utilizing a product in “3 ways or 3 days.” Having an ingredient on our shelves that can only be used once in our cycle is not efficient – but luckily when it comes to mushrooms, this doesn’t have to be the case! 

Mushrooms can be served fresh in a few days after they arrive in your kitchen. They can also be utilized in various cooked dishes to extend their shelf life, ensuring every last mushroom is fully used in your school meals (Looking for more culinary tips? Check out our Layers of Flavor Training – worth 1 CEU!). 

Start by maximizing the quality and freshness of ingredients based on your delivery schedule. Based on produce delivery arriving every Monday, we recommend utilizing the produce in the following ways:

  • Add recipes that use fresh produce on Tuesday through Thursday
  • Focus your Monday and Friday offerings on frozen ingredients, or recipes that involve cooking the fresh produce. 

Quality and appearance are so important when it comes to your school meals – students will notice when veggies are crisp and bright and will be more likely to eat them. This is also important as we prepare for a sodium reduction in school meal programs – by utilizing produce during peak times and incorporating flavor (and having the plan to increase the usage) – students will notice powerful flavors. 

Easy-to-Add Roasted Mushrooms

To get the most out of your recipes and produce, let’s discuss how to roast mushrooms to extend their shelf-life and your menu’s flavors. Follow these easy steps to pack mushrooms with tons of flavor:

  • Toss the prepped mushrooms in oil, salt, and pepper 
  • Add other seasonings, like granulated garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, or cayenne! Students love the spicy flavors! (Remember that adding herbs and spices to mushrooms does not change the nutrient profile – the more flavor the better)
  • Place the mushrooms in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Do not crowd the mushrooms as this will cause them to steam. 
  • Bake the mushrooms in a 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven until they’re lightly browned and tender, approximately 15 minutes. 
  • Note: allow them to cool on a rack to stop steaming. If you dump them right into a steam pan, they will continue to steam. 

The big point to remember is having a hot enough oven and giving the mushrooms enough time to caramelize and develop a deeper flavor. All you need is a little oil and seasoning to make roasted mushrooms (grab the recipe here), and if you’re adding them to other recipes, you can roast them while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Try Our Recipes! 

Let’s power up your school breakfast menus with mushrooms! Our fan-favorite recipes are perfect for a monthly special (such as a Farm to School Month celebration) or a way to include students in meal service. Another fun way to utilize all of our USDA-approved recipes is to offer breakfast for lunch! Maybe you market this as “brunch” for secondary students – these recipes are perfect to feature student-favorite breakfast recipes all day.

We all know secondary students love to customize their meals – why not start with our omelet or breakfast burrito recipes? You can provide students with the option to add other toppings or fixings to make the flavors explode. Or, why not create a fancy dining experience with various quiche options one day? 

These recipes are also a great way to increase participation at lunch. Students of all ages love breakfast for lunch – so why not bring them their favorites? We would recommend the Rainbow Potatoes as a side for waffles or pancakes.

Share and Win!

Add one of our tried and true recipes – or use one of your own mushroom recipes – to your school menus and your team will be featured in our Mushrooms on the Menu! Tag us on Facebook and Twitter to get a special shout-out – and grab FREE t-shirts for your team. 

You and your team could be the unique feature of our monthly newsletter! Send your success stories to us at: [email protected]. Have questions? Send them our way and we are happy to help!

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