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Tricks to Make Everyday Meals Pop Off The Tray

We all eat with our eyes, and kids are no exception. By making a few tweaks to the color, packaging, texture and format of your meals, you can keep kids excited for lunch while introducing them to new flavors and foods.

Color Me Hungry

Incorporating color into lunches is an easy way to visually appeal to kids, as brighter-colored foods are often associated with better flavor.1 As a bonus, fruit and veggies are often the most striking in color, resulting in a meal with more nutrition.

You can also use packaging to attain a pop of color, like with JENNIE-O® paper and foil wrappers.

1 Hunterlab 2022

Make The Wrap

Layer lettuce, cheddar cheese, sliced tomato and JENNIE-O® All Natural* Oven Roasted Sliced Turkey #231818 in a spinach tortilla and wrap in a JENNIE-O® paper wrapper. Serve with sweet potato chips and grapes.

spinach turkey wrap
* Minimally processed, no artificial ingredients

New Food, Same Format

Adding new ingredients to a classic favorite is a great way to encourage kids to try new foods. Few kids will turn away a plain grilled cheese, but adding zesty barbacoa to the sandwich makes it not only new but enticing as well.

Make The Grilled Cheese

Sandwich some American cheese and JENNIE-O® Turkey Barbacoa #131053 between slices of bread and grill to perfection. Serve with potato chips and a barbecue dipping sauce.

grilled turkey cheese

Another Way to Carry

Throw that taco into a corn chip bag to see how excited your kids get for lunch. Switching up the carrier from standard to stand-out can bring some extra energy to the table, especially in a branded chip bag.

Make The Taco-in-a-Bag

Cut the face off a bag of crunchy corn chips and pile on JENNIE-O® Taco Seasoned Ground Turkey #284028, cheddar cheese and sliced jalapeños with salsa on the side. You can also create a classic walking taco by simply opening the bag’s top to add in your ingredients.

taco in a bag

Top-Dog Texture

Using toppings to add texture and options can help them learn to love a larger variety of foods2—and what better way than with hot dogs. With so many different types of toppings and sauces students can choose from, hot dogs become a perfect taste-test meal for new foods.

Make The Dogs

Set your JENNIE-O® Turkey Franks #612620 or JENNIE-O® Turkey Kielbasas #613620 into whole wheat hot dog buns and top with fun combinations of ingredients like:

  • Classic mac and cheese
  • Fajita-style
  • Coleslaw with ketchup and mustard
  • Relish and onion
hot dogs

2 CDC 2023


To get more kids amped up about your cafeteria’s food, bring a from-home format to the menu with bento boxes. A portioned variety of foods creates a do-it-yourself element that gives kids a sense of independence and enthusiasm to eat.

Make The Box

Portion out veggies, like tomatoes and carrots, fruits like grapes, JENNIE-O® All Natural* Smokehouse Turkey Breast Sticks #207130, and crackers into each compartment.


* Minimally processed, no artificial ingredients

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