Smoothies, veggie pasta salad and BBQ tofu are among just some of the new items headed to Chicago Public Schools cafeterias this year after engaging with 2,100 students in summer tasting sessions to craft new menu options.
The district collaborated with their two vendors, Aramark and Open Kitchens, to showcase new dishes for students and receive feedback from students afterwards, allowing the items to be fine-tuned and adjusted in accordance with students' palates.
With feedback from students, new items such as Asian noodle salad, baked potatoes with chili and cheese, pierogis and a Chicago ham frittata alongside updates to traditional cafeteria options such as pizza and burgers will make their debut in CPS cafeterias this school year.
Students voted the cheeseburger pizza as the tastiest option, but encouraged the district to go further by offering additional versions with vegetables and other flavors.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
Menu items at schools are held to many nutritional standards, with students always having access to fruits, vegetables and milk at lunch. CPS plans to continue to arrange regular meetings with students to test new items and adjust existing options throughout the school year.
More information on CPS' Nutrition Support Services and school meals can be found on their website.