Shake Up School Lunch with Brunch!

In honor of National School Breakfast Week, Chef Carrie Beegle and her “A-Team” – head Cloverleaf chefs Tammy Cooper and Joyce Meyer – wowed us with simple, commodity-based recipes that bring breakfast to lunch.

Carrie and Team

Chef Tammy Cooper, Chef Carrie Beegle and Chef Joyce Meyer

Three Breakfast Inspired Recipes

Chef Carrie demonstrated three unique, restaurant quality “breakfast for lunch” ideas: blender-less smoothies, breakfast nachos and a Southwest omelet with O’Brien skillet potatoes. In addition to the recipes, she shared tips on how to present restaurant quality food in the cafeteria. “You don’t have to be a master chef to make something look pretty,” she said. Meals that look good catch the eye of kids and encourage selection!

Blender-less Smoothies: No blender? No problem! Chef Carrie demonstrated two simple ways to offer smoothies without the hassle of expensive equipment.

Smoothie Photo

“Hippity Hop” smoothie

First up, the “Hippity Hop!” Using a Burr mixer, she combined low-fat strawberry yogurt, chilled orange juice and cooked carrots to create 30 to 40 servings in under 10 minutes! This creamy, orange smoothie had a surprisingly sweet taste that kids will love. Next, the “Orange Julius” smoothie was even simpler and just as delicious! Chef Carrie whisked together low-fat vanilla yogurt, chilled orange juice and unsweetened applesauce for a creamy concoction that would give the popular franchise a run for their money!

Presentation Tip – Chef Carrie plans on combining the “Hippity Hop” with bunny graham crackers to create a complete breakfast and a special holiday treat!

For more information regarding blender-less smoothie techniques and recipes, check out the Made for Participation Smoothie Guide offered by General Mills Foodservice.

Breakfast Nachos: We all know kids love nachos – here’s another spin on them! It’s a simple construction of tortilla chips and breakfast staples, topped with Queso and fresh pico de gallo. Chef Carrie mixed cooked sausage and scrambled eggs together to create a “confetti-like” look, while layering the rest of the ingredients.

Exhibition NachosPresentation Tip – Chef Joyce Meyer roasted a medley of spiced kidney and black beans to add a little texture and crunch!


Southwest Omelet & O’Brien Skillet Potatoes: This cheese omelet topped with chili was absolutely delicious! Chef Tammy showed us how simple it was to prepare, while Chef Joyce sautéed a blend of potatoes, red and green peppers along with diced sweet onion to round out the dish.

Exhibition OmeletPresentation Tip – To add a little flair, garnish the entrée with a few scallions and a dab of Greek yogurt! The chefs at Cloverleaf recommend using a Greek yogurt-filled squirt bottle for ease.



Click HERE to download Chef Carrie Beegle’s “breakfast for lunch” recipes.

Carrie Beegle is the food service director for Cloverleaf and Mapleton Local school districts. She has 18 years’ experience in school food service with another 8 years as a chef. She has a passion for utilizing government commodity foods in unique ways. As a consultant chef for the “Healthy Cuisine for Kids” series, sponsored by ODE Team Nutrition, Carrie has been able to help many schools move towards developing healthier menu options.

Start Your Day With a Boost: Say Yes to Breakfast!

We’ve all heard the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but have you ever stopped to think why? A balanced breakfast provides kids with the nutrients and energy needed to boost metabolism and brainpower! According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), providing breakfast at school can:

  • Improve student concentration, understanding and learning
  • Improve attendance and decrease tardiness
  • Reduce the risk of becoming overweight or obese

Waking up to breakfast is essential for improving a child’s overall health, as well as reaching their highest academic achievement!

Spotlight on Breakfast

Wake Up - BFastNational School Breakfast Week (NSBW) is March 7th-11th. This week is dedicated to raising awareness about the availability of the School Breakfast Program (SBP). The National School Breakfast Program allows over 90,000 schools/institutions to serve school breakfasts to 14 million students each day!

Ohio continues to increase both in the number of breakfasts served and the number of students participating in the SBP. Nationally, for the 2014/2015 school year Ohio ranks:

  • 8th best in the number of breakfasts served
  • 7th best in the number of students participating in the SBP

Let’s increase those numbers! Use NSBW to jumpstart, enhance or promote your school breakfast program.

Celebrate Breakfast

Get students excited about the most important meal of the day!

  • Hold a breakfast item taste test event. The key is to introduce breakfast items to kids who may not regularly participate in the SBP. Find preferences and feature these items on the breakfast menu!
  • Feature breakfast for lunch. Put a twist on the daily lunch routine! Similar to taste testing, serving breakfast for lunch is an invitation for students to participate in the SBP.
  • Student poster contest promoting breakfast. Students love to be creative! Join forces with art teachers and have kids design posters. Display the winning artwork in the cafeteria.
  • Invite parents, staff and administration to breakfast. Not only do special guests build excitement around the meal, but modeling is excellent reinforcement for healthy behaviors.

Serve the Unexpected 

Sure – cereal, milk and fruit are staple breakfast foods, but it’s time to get creative! Increase SBP participation by jazzing up the menu. The USDA has recommended alternative breakfast items that are sure to win over your students.

BFast Parfait

  1. Fruit pizza on whole wheat crust
  2. A parfait with fresh fruit, topped with low-fat yogurt and crispy whole-grain cereal
  3. Vegetables, beans, salsa and low-fat shredded cheeses wrapped in a tortilla
  4. A smoothie blended from frozen fruits and low-fat yogurt, served with whole-wheat crackers and low-fat cheeses

Offer Breakfast in a Unique Way

Just like there are many alternative breakfast items, there are also many ways to serve breakfast. Offering breakfast at different locations within the school, at various times of the day or bundled into a “grab-n-go” meal may allow kids to benefit from the SBP that may typically miss out on traditional breakfast services.

  • Serve breakfast in the classroom. This allows for all students to be offered breakfast, ensuring that kids start the day off nourished and ready to learn!
  • Provide ‘grab-n-go’ breakfast. This option makes it easier for students to choose to have breakfast. ‘Grab-n-go’ breakfasts allow more flexibility and choice of when and where to eat breakfast.

School Breakfast Resources

  1. Do you want to start a breakfast program at your school? Check out the “Energize Your Day with School Breakfast” USDA Toolkit.
  2. For more ideas and resources to celebrate NSBW, take a look at the “Wake up to Breakfast” SNA Toolkit.
  3. Take the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge and become a “Breakfast All-Star.”

Share Your Ideas!

Do you have any fun, creative ideas for NSBW? Let us know how your school is celebrating breakfast by leaving a comment below!

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