Our Food Philosophy | How we set the standard for school nutrition
Our food philosophy is deeply rooted in our mission to build lifelong healthy eaters.
At Revolution Foods, our team is committed to making meals that not only taste great but are also packed with nutrition so students have the fuel they need to reach their full potential. As the leader in school nutrition, our food philosophy was developed with thorough consideration and incorporates three key pillars including culinary development, nutrition standards and sourcing.
Students are at the center of our culinary development process
As part of our commitment to stay kid-inspired, we engage students in every step of the meal development process. We start by asking students questions to learn about what they would like to see on the menu. Their insights are shared with our chefs who work in the test kitchen to develop innovations that are tasty, healthy and have “kid-appeal.” We bring prototypes of the innovations into schools so that students can taste the food and provide feedback on what they liked or didn’t like about the flavor, aroma, appearance, and overall appeal. If the students want adjustments to the meals, our chefs go back into the test kitchen and make tweaks to the recipe to ensure they meets students’ preferences. By co-designing meals with students and testing every new menu innovation or reform with them, we can be sure that our meals will be well received by the students at large.
Our nutrition standards promote healthy eating patterns
Our in-house registered dieticians and compliance experts ensure that each meal developed by our chefs meet and exceed federal nutrition targets and is aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. By featuring menus in schools that taste great and exceed the USDA nutrition standards, we are promoting healthy eating patterns among students.
Here are just a few of the ways our meals are exceeding federal standards:
- Whole grains are a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber; Revolution Foods only provides grain products that are rich in whole grains.
- Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Revolution Foods only offers fresh fruit, never canned. For schools that want to provide fruit juice as a fruit component, we ensure there is fresh whole fruit available to students as well.
- Protein is one of the building blocks of our bodies and is a good source of B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin E and zinc. Our deli meat does not contain added sodium, nitrates or nitrites, or any artificial flavors or coloring.
- We use natural flavors like herbs and spices to flavor meals, instead of adding more sodium. We also offer spice bars at our schools for students to season their food and customize their meals.
Our sourcing standards ensure our meals are made from high-quality ingredients
“We believe everyone deserves access to high-quality food made with carefully considered ingredients. As the AVP of nutrition compliance, my team of registered diettians’ and compliance experts review ingredients with strict sourcing standards so that we are selecting only the highest quality ingredients for students. Each food group has guidelines that must be met in order for the ingredients to be featured in our delicious meals. For example, when you see jerk chicken drumstick with pineapple carrot rice on the menu, the chicken used in the dish was raised without antibiotics.” – Kim Doyle
Our commitment to providing clean label ingredients means there’s a lot you won’t find in our food
At Revolution Foods, clean label means we focus on using minimally processed ingredients that are free from artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. We have a comprehensive list of 40 ingredients that we don’t allow in our meals so that we can provide the highest quality meals to the students we serve. For us, clean label extends beyond food additives. We also include limits on added sugars and sodium to ensure our meals are clean and healthy.
Below are just a few examples of our clean-label ingredients in action.
We believe that your students’ health and wellness come first which is why we developed our “never ever’s” – a list of ingredients commonly found in school meals that we will never ever allow into our food. All the ingredients on this list were evaluated based on a risk ranking tool developed and implemented by a third-party expert in nutrition and food additives. Below are a few examples of ingredients we banned.