Smart Lunches Blog

Rob Teplansky


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January 2022 Smart Lunches Menu

Jan 18, 2022 11:49:29 AM / by Rob Teplansky posted in smart lunches menu, child care, family style, preschool, cacfp

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Welcome to 2022! At Smart Lunches, we're entering the year with positivity and excitement. We're safely serving over 4000 lunches a day to kids in preschools and child care centers from Massachusetts to Virginia, and more partners are joining us every week.

All of our meals are prepared off-site and delivered fresh daily - a critical advantage as so many centers are struggling with staffing issues.

We're pleased to share our January 2022 menu, and to point out a few of the highlights.

Whole Grains!

An important feature of our menu, and a key criteria for CACFP, is our commitment to whole grains in every entrée. If you look closely at our menu, you will see that each selection includes whole grain rice, whole grain pasta, whole wheat tortillas, whole grain biscuits, whole wheat bread, or, well, you get the idea.

Explore New Flavors

Another thing you are sure to notice is the variety on our menu. Much has been written about the importance of expanding children's palates as key to establishing good nutrition and eating habits. (You can learn more about this in the 3-part Interview with Elise Lindstrom, RDN from 2021.)

Many of our partners will split their orders between a more traditional selection, like Mac & Cheese, Chicken Nuggets or our Pasta Bake, and something a little more exotic or ethnic. However, you can be certain that these selections are created to gently introduce new flavors with subtle spices, flavor combinations and textures that won't put off your picky eaters.

Featured in January:

  • Fiesta Tofu
  • Mexican Turkey
  • Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Arroz con Pollo
  • Lentil Bolognese
  • Chicken Curry

These exceptional entrees are paired with tasty sides like, cucumbers, mashed sweet potatoes, vegetarian baked beans, roasted root vegetables, steamed carrots, Italian green beans, mango, peaches, pineapple, oranges or applesauce.

Download the complete menu for January 2021. 

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December 2021 Smart Lunches Menu

Dec 2, 2021 10:12:05 AM / by Rob Teplansky posted in smart lunches menu, child care, family style, preschool, cacfp

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Celebrate the holiday season with hot and hearty meals delivered fresh daily to your preschool, childcare center or adult day care center. Our December 2021 menu is now available, and if you've been considering a change, contact us now to make arrangements for the New Year. If you are located within our service area, and we are able to serve you, we'll be happy to schedule a tasting so you can see for yourself why more kids than ever enjoy Smart Lunches every day.

Featured in December:

  • Turkey Sloppy Joe (New)
  • Veggie Chili
  • Chicken & Waffles
  • Turkey Tacos
  • Veggie Nuggets
  • Lentil Bolognese
  • Fiesta Chicken

These exceptional entrees are paired with tasty sides like, cucumbers, mashed sweet potatoes, vegetarian baked beans, roasted root vegetables, steamed carrots, Italian green beans, mango, peaches, pears, oranges or applesauce.

Download the complete menu for December 2021. 

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November 2021 Smart Lunches Menu

Nov 10, 2021 1:34:53 PM / by Rob Teplansky posted in smart lunches menu, child care, family style, preschool, cacfp

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Our November menu is available and features (what else?) TURKEY!! However, we guessed that anyone celebrating a traditional Thanksgiving will have plenty of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy without our help, so we got a little creative with our favorite bird.

Here's how Smart Lunches does Turkey in November:

  • Korean BBQ Turkey
  • Turkey Chili
  • Turkey Spanish Rice
  • Turkey Tacos
  • Mexican Turkey
  • Turkey Patty Melt
  • Turkey and Tortilla Roll-up

These exceptional entrees are paired with tasty sides like, mashed sweet potatoes, corn, peas and carrots, vegetarian baked beans, roasted root vegetables, mango, peaches, pears or pineapple.

Download the complete menu for November 2021. 

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October 2021 Smart Lunches Menu

Sep 29, 2021 8:48:33 AM / by Rob Teplansky posted in smart lunches menu, child care, family style, preschool, cacfp

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Our October menu is out, and we thought we'd share some interesting statistics regarding our selections.

Days Smart Lunches is serving lunches in October: 19

  • Total number of different entrees on the menu: 37
  • Total days with vegetarian options: 19
  • Total days with an egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free selection on the menu: 19
  • Total number of different ways we're preparing chicken: 12
  • Total number of different ways we're preparing turkey: 5
  • Total number of different ways we're preparing tofu or lentil selections: 5
  • Total number of times beef is on our menu: 2

For variety, nutrition, quality, reliability and value, you can't find a better solution than Smart Lunches.

Here are just a few of our featured selections in October:

  • Turkey Spanish Rice
  • Korean BBQ Tofu
  • Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Zucchini Parmesan
  • Turkey Chili

These exceptional entrees are paired with tasty sides like, mashed sweet potatoes, corn, peas and carrots, Italian green beans, root vegetable medley, mango, peaches, pears or pineapple.

Download the complete menu for October 2021. 

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September 2021 Smart Lunches Menu

Sep 9, 2021 11:34:08 AM / by Rob Teplansky posted in smart lunches menu, child care, family style, preschool, cacfp

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September marks the beginning of harvest season - a food fanatic's favorite time of the year. Peaches and apples. Zucchini and cucumbers. Peas, carrots, corn. Plus, the spices, curries and chilis we associate with hearty, full-flavored autumn recipes. You'll find all of this on our September menu...and more. 

New selections on the September menu include:

  • Veggie Nuggets
  • Fish Stick Tacos

These new selections join existing favorites like:

  • Chicken Fried Rice
  • Teriyaki Veggie Noodles
  • Turkey Chili with Whole Grain Rice
  • Whole Grain Pizza Bread Sticks

Download the complete menu for September 2021. 

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August 2021 Smart Lunches Menu

Aug 3, 2021 5:43:44 PM / by Rob Teplansky posted in smart lunches menu, child care, family style, preschool, cacfp

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Even in the middle of summer, our culinary team is cooking up new recipes, adding variety, and introducing new flavors for our lunchers to enjoy. There's something for everyone, from chicken and turkey selections, to beef and fish, as well as daily vegetarian and gluten free options.

New selections on the August menu include:

  • Chicken Patty on a Whole Grain Bun
  • Chicken Salad with Whole Wheat Bread
  • Chicken and Waffles
  • Veggie Sausage Pasta Bake

These new selections join existing favorites like:

  • Grilled Chicken with Whole Grain Rice
  • Lentil Curry with Whole Grain Rice
  • BBQ Meatloaf with Whole Grain Biscuits
  • Mac and Cheese

Download the complete menu for August 2021. 

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NUGGETS Episode 6

Jul 21, 2021 10:23:17 AM / by Rob Teplansky posted in eat healthy, Health & Wellness, healthy eating, Smart Lunches, child care, NUGGETS, preschool, David Morris, cacfp

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Evaluate and Improve Your Food Program: Part 3 of our Interview with Culinary Nutrition Specialist, Elise Lindstrom, MA, RDN

"At the core of it, the CACFP guidelines have been a powerful framework for us in establishing our operating parameters and being able to say with confidence to our partners, this is a good lunch."

- David Morris, CEO, Smart Lunches

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July 2021 Smart Lunches Menu

Jul 14, 2021 3:56:40 PM / by Rob Teplansky posted in smart lunches menu, child care, family style, preschool, cacfp

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Summer is for BBQ, and our July menu offers ample opportunities to celebrate! Selections include:

  • BBQ meatloaf with whole grain biscuits
  • BBQ tofu with whole wheat pita
  • Korean BBQ turkey
  • BBQ chicken with whole grain rice

Download the complete menu for July 2021. 

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NUGGETS Episode 5

Jul 8, 2021 6:44:44 AM / by Rob Teplansky posted in eat healthy, Health & Wellness, healthy eating, Smart Lunches, child care, NUGGETS, preschool, David Morris

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Get Picky Eaters to Step Outside of Their Comfort Zone: Part 2 of our Interview with Culinary Nutrition Specialist, Elise Lindstrom, MA, RDN

"It's a flavor adventure! They get to try new things, and I really believe it sets them up for being willing to try new things in their life in general."

- Elise Lindstrom, MA, RDN

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NUGGETS Episode 4

Jun 23, 2021 1:30:42 PM / by Rob Teplansky posted in eat healthy, Health & Wellness, healthy eating, Smart Lunches, child care, NUGGETS, preschool, David Morris

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Interview with Culinary Nutrition Specialist, Elise Lindstrom, MA, RDN

"Changing the trajectory is crucial, because eating habits are established during early childhood and those tend to continue into adult years."

- Elise Lindstrom, MA, RDN

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