Salad bars are a great way to encourage fresh fruit and vegetable consumption among children. CNCentral does support the entry of salad bars into the software and the recipes module is used to accommodate for their unique setup. Some manipulation is required to get the salad bar recipe to appear correctly on menus and production records.
Once a salad bar recipe is created, it can be added to a base menu or the menu calendar in the quantity expected to be served. From the Production Record, Kitchen managers will be able to adjust the actual planned quantities for each individual ingredient on the salad bar since most likely not every child will take every salad bar ingredient.
To setup a salad bar recipe and ensure that all options included in the salad bar show up on a production record, complete the following steps:
1. Go to your recipe database and click the blue plus sign button the select [+ Add New Recipe]
2. Determine whether the salad bar recipe will be an entrée or side, enter the recipe name and #, select a meal session from the drop-down menu, enter a yield of "1" and a measure of "1 each". Click the [Save & Continue] button
Note: Using a yield of 1 will allow you to plan for 1 serving of the salad bar assuming a serving includes all ingredients. Kitchen managers will be able to adjust the actual planned quantities for each ingredient from the production record prior to meal service
3. Enter any extra information you'd like for your salad bar recipe in the Recipe Info tab. When ready, click to the Ingredients & Directions tab
4. Use the blue plus sign button to begin adding ingredients. You can choose either [Advanced Search] or [Search Ingredients] button to choose how you'd like to add your salad bar ingredients
5. Enter the ingredient name you'd like to add to your salad bar recipe and when located click on it. Enter the amount of that ingredient that is a single serving (as offered on your salad bar) of that ingredient. An example might be .5 cups of romaine as shown below
Note: Because the recipe yield is setup as 1, entering a single serving will ensure all students who want a serving of a salad bar ingredient will have one planned for them as far as compliance is concerned. Kitchen managers will be able to adjust the actual planned quantities for each ingredient from the production record prior to meal service
6. Repeat step 5 for all ingredients you plan to offer on your salad bar
7. Click the Production Record box under display settings for each item in your recipe (this flag ensures this ingredient will show up on your production record so staff can account for how much was planned and actually served)
8. Enter any Directions & Notes desired, and when the salad bar recipe is complete, click the [Save & Close] button to save this recipe
Once the salad bar recipe is created, it's ready to be added to a menu worksheet (either a base menu or the menu calendar directly). To add the salad bar recipe to a menu:
1. From the menu worksheet, click the blue plus sign button and select either the [+ Add New Item] or [Advanced Search] buttons
2. Enter in the name of the salad bar as you set it up in the Recipes Module and when located click on it. If using the [+ Add New Item] button, enter the planned number of total servings of salad bar you intend to serve (shown below) and click the [Save & Close] button. If using the [Advanced Search] option, click the add button and adjust the planned servings once it's been added to the menu.
Note: CNCentral is going to add up the total of ALL ingredients offered on the salad bar as well as any other vegetables offered during this meal session and the compliance statistics and vegetable minimums will be based on the total options available. If students are not required to take all salad bar ingredients offered but must take a minimum of a certain amount (for example .5 cups), you will need to account for this by adjusting the vegetable minimum daily offerings.
To adjust the vegetable minimum daily offerings, click the [Edit Daily Offerings] link (shown below).
Adjust the Vegetable (and/or fruit if fruit is offered on the salad bar) Min. Including Juice fields to the minimum amount of vegetables that could be taken by a student. Click the [Save] button when complete
At this point, the salad bar has been added to the daily menu. If it's been planned on the Menu Calendar, then it will have automatically pre-populated the Production Record with the total planned servings of the entire recipe (all ingredients). Kitchen managers have the ability to adjust the planned quantities of each ingredient based on previous years production records and the knowledge of what is likely to actually be served/taken during service. To adjust the planned salad bar individual ingredients:
1. Click on the [View PR] button on the top right hand side of the Menu Worksheet (from the Menu Calendar) that includes the salad bar
2. From the Production tab, adjust the Student Portions of each of the salad bar ingredients. Salad bar ingredients are denoted by the recipe name followed by a "-" then the salad bar ingredient name. In the example below, a salad bar ingredient is displayed as "Salad Bar - Carrots, Raw, Sticks".
Note: Student portions are calculated based on a single serving of the salad bar ingredient as setup in the salad bar recipe. For example, if the salad bar recipe had a single serving of carrots as .25 cups, the student portions entered into the production record should be XX number of .25 cup servings
3. Click the [Save] button to save the changes made to the production record
**Important: When salad bars are entered as described in this article, there is no way to calculate the nutritionals (calories, saturated fat, sodium) for a single serving since this will vary from student to student based on what they select on their salad. The nutritionals are instead calculated based on a single serving of every offering on the salad bar and this could potentially skew your daily/weekly compliance.