Raise spirits and do fund-raising at the same time by using fruit’s natural beauty and flavor at your school concession stand. Delicious treats made from vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains are thrifty.
Educate parents and students alike with signs showing the cost per serving. Bananas are often the most affordable choice. At my grocery store, small organic banana cost about 35 cents and medium ones about 45 cents. They are cheaper and more nutritious than candy.
Your concession-stand customers will get vitamins, phytonutrients, and fiber. You’ll expand your set of potential customers by selling treats that don’t have dairy, eggs, meat, gluten, high-fructose corn syrup, or any additives. For some people at your event, you may have the onlyfood they are able to eat.
- Whole fresh fruit is a snap. Grab a bag of oranges or bunch of bananas at the store and you’re ready to sell. For fruit that won’t be peeled, such as apples, pears, and grapes, make sure you can rinse it before selling it.
- Cut fruit up to increase your profit. Skewer slices of bananas and apple wedges with toothpicks and describe them as fancy appetizers. Even young volunteers will enjoy putting together artful fruit stacks.
- Offer colorful, kid-sized vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, small pickles, and baked new potatoes.
- Dried fruit, such as raisins in single-serving boxes, make a great back-up offering in case you run out of perishable items.
The smell of freshly popped popcorn attracts a broad range of people, particularly if you pop it in vegetable oil and make flavoring optional. It’s an inexpensive whole grain with one gram of protein and fiber per cup. Make it into Power Popcorn by tossing it with nutritional yeast (“nooch”), which adds protein, Vitamin B12, and a savory flavor like Parmesan cheese. Get nutritional yeast in shakers or in the bulk section at natural food stores, in many grocery stores, or online.
Plan ahead for success
Work with the event organizer to put the healthiest choices in the most convenient spots. Make your stand be the first one seen when customers arrive. Think like a third-grader if you need to: put food the right height and make sure “bite-sized” works for smaller mouths.
Ask your local food pantry or homeless shelter if they could use any perishable food you don’t sell. You may even be able to find a home for any cores and peels in the compost bin for your school garden.
Have you sold plant-powered items at your school concession stand?
What sold best? What lessons did you learn that will help other parents?
Please share your stories in the comments below. For more recipes, pictures, and tips that will help you welcome everyone by eating plants together, please visit CookforGood.com/drgreene.
Photo credit: Linda Watson
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