Spice Up Your Lunchroom with a Flavor Station!
Are you looking for ways to add excitement to school meals? A flavor station is a great way boost kids’ interest in school lunch by giving them choice and variety – without changing the menu! The Flavor Station at the 2018 Smarter Lunchrooms Symposium was a big hit, and with these tips and spice suggestions, you, too, can add a zesty addition to your own school’s lunchroom! Check out our new Flavor Stations page on SmarterLunchrooms.org to learn all about this hot new food trend for lunchrooms! BAM!
A flavor station is any area where students can self-select low-sodium spices and sauces to put on raw and cooked veggies, fruits, salads, and entrees. Kids love being able to customize their meals and make foods taste “just right.” This can increase participation in the school lunch program and decrease food waste.
Flavor stations can also tie into nutrition education and outreach. For example, the flavors can be discussed in home economics and nutrition classes, or become subject ideas for art projects.
Creating a flavor station can be simple and inexpensive. Location is key: choose a site that is easily accessible to all students in a visible, high-traffic area, such as on the serving line, attached to or next to the salad bar, or on a freestanding cart. Choose popular and regional flavors to include – ask your food services vendor for suggestions or check out our suggestions.
Give your station a fun name like “Flavor Town” or “Spice World,” post names and flavor descriptions in a colorful, easy-to-read sign, and train your staff to promote it as a way to increase interest in fruits, veggies, and target entrees. You can even host a taste test with food pairings!
For detailed instructions on how to create your flavor station, spice and sauce suggestions, food flavor descriptions and pairings charts, and photo examples, visit, bookmark, and share the new page on SmarterLunchrooms.org today!