Between classes, homework, and extracurricular activities, lunchtime can be a student’s “happy place,” a time to rest, recharge, and socialize between the many moving parts of the school day. As a specialized managed food service provider, we’re honored to be a part of that moment for the students on our clients’ campuses. We go out of our way to create nutritious, satisfying meals that appeal to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

Recently, we asked the big question: which of our meals are the BEST of the BEST in our students’ eyes? Which ones do they cheer for when they hear them on the morning announcements? Which dishes make a ho-hum day great and a great day even better?

We’re proud to announce our Top Five Meals from Pedestal Foods campuses across the Midwest and Mid-South!


Burger Bar

This option extends to any sort of build-your-own sandwiches, from BLTs to po’boys and more. Burgers in particular are such a classic comfort food, satisfying cravings school-wide. We find that students love to mix, match, and customize their lunches with a variety of toppings, sauces, and buns. Offering a moment of culinary creativity means kids get their own unique burger, just the way they like it. When kids can create a meal that matches their tastes and dietary needs to a T, it’s a win-win!

Build-Your-Own Protein Bowl

Protein bowls are on-trend right now, and students love to see their school dining options mirror the format they see outside of campus. BYO bowls give kids the power to customize their meal, choosing the ingredients they love and skipping those they don’t. BYO bowls are an easy way for students to get the nutrients and energy they need to power through the day. Our program managers and chefs know that BYO bowls create easy opportunities to add variety, too: changing up ingredient options from week to week makes every bowl a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Taco Tuesday

This one’s a no-brainer! Tacos are everyone’s jam: flavorful and delicious and an easy win, every time. Our menus pack a variety of sauteed veggies, chicken or beef, rice, and cheese into a tasty and satisfying meal that keeps kids coming back for more. Taco Tuesday adds an instantly festive vibe to a dining program and opens the door for customization with toppings, sauces, and more.

Breakfast for Lunch

Kids love this fun change of pace! Offering bacon, pancakes, eggs, and other breakfast classics satisfies student cravings for comfort food midday. It’s not all maple syrup and OJ, though fresh fruit, eggs, and other nutrient-dense options provide kids with the energy they need at school and beyond. Breakfast for Lunch is a great way to keep them happy, fueled, and ready to learn.

Herb Roasted Pork Loin

This one’s such a favorite, we shared the recipe! Students love this flavorful, filling menu option, and parents love seeing a lean protein source high in nutrients like vitamin B12 and zinc. Our school clients like to keep this high-demand option interesting by switching up the sides, from potato salad and dinner rolls to glazed carrots, side salads, and more.


We love incorporating new ideas and options. We can’t wait to see how this list changes over the next few years, as tastes, preferences, and options continue to evolve. (We’re pretty sure Taco Tuesday isn’t going anywhere, though). Which meals make the top five at your school?