Healthy, Kid-Friendly Meal Ideas for 65 Preschoolers?

Good Questions

Q: I work as a cook at a preschool, and I'm responsible for providing a hot lunch for 65 kids under the age of 5 every day. I'm trying to move them away from some of the processed foods that they love and on which my predecessor relied (basically, frozen and boxed everything).

But a lot of my attempts have been less than successful (See: the split pea soup incident, the chickpea curry episode, etc). They tend to do well with very plain dishes (pasta with olive oil and salt seems to be a hit), but I'm running out of ideas about how to get some protein into them.

Do you guys have any thoughts? Any creative, scale-able recipes for getting your kids to eat well?

Sent by Dewey

Editor: Dewey, wow that's a tall order — but fun, too! Have you tried simple baked chicken and fish yet? Or tiny, kid-sized meatballs? Check out these two books, too; I really felt that they had some good, kid-friendly ideas:

Cookbook Review & Recipe from Time For Dinner
For the Toddler's Parents: Gastrokid

Readers, what would you suggest? Got any extra-creative ideas for Dewey?

 

Related: Too Many Cooks by Emily Franklin

(Image: Gastrokid))

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.