AN IDEA WORTH STEALING Cuckoo For Pikachu Although Pokémon has been around since the mid-Nineties, this year, the franchise and its collectible characters broke new ground with its first smartphone game, Pokémon GO. An “augmented reality” platform layers its characters over a user’s actual, geographic location—and before you can say “Bulbasaur,” the game had become a summer sensation. We don’t have the space to explain how the game works, what you “collect,” how characters “evolve” or what makes a particular Pokemon “legendary,” but we’re confident that the kids in your cafeteria know all about it! We will simply applaud some of the different approaches school nutrition teams took to capitalize on the craze, before it cooled off. In Las Vegas, the Clark County School District Food Service Department used Pokémon to engage students (and parents) in visiting its social media pages (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat), becoming a follower and commenting (along with a designated hashtag) about favorite school menu items. Winners earned “Pokécoins” for their efforts. At Hoech Middle School, part of the Ritenour School District in St. Louis, Mo., a dietetic intern from nearby Saint Louis University created an on-trend bulletin board encouraging kids to “catch all the fruits and vegetables” in the cafeteria. School nutrition team members at Coppell (Texas) Independent School District created this fun corn-raisin-tomatoes food mosaic, as well as an eye-catching (and Pokémon-catching) bulletin board border. The talented food sculptors at Provo City (Utah) School District outdid themselves with their impressive serving line display. Timing is everything when it comes to successful marketing. You need to be nimble and strike when everyone is talking about whatever it is that everyone is talking about. So, it might be too late to literally steal these particular Pokémon ideas (we don’t know, ask your students if it’s still a “thing”). But it’s never too late to be inspired by such examples so you are ready to jump at the peak of the next craze! School Nutrition lost count of the number of adorable first-day-of-school photos that filled our social media news feeds in August and September. With apologies to all the parents in our friends list, we declare THIS one to be our favorite! Kudos to the School Nutrition Services team at North East Independent School District, San Antonio, Texas, for this cute and clever way to show their back-to-school spirit! We have a special place in our heart for turtles (it’s a long story, don’t ask), so we easily fell in love with these fruit creations from Tullahoma City (Tenn.) Schools. Made from slices of apples, kiwi and grapes, they are a clever way to entice children to eat these nutritious treats. A standing ovation to the team that assembled these for each student! We ♥ Cafeteria Staff Does anyone go the extra mile quite like school nutrition professionals? We salute team members at Buckhorn Elementary in the Hillsborough County (Fla.) School District for their student retainer recovery efforts!
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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