The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

How to Build a Salad Bar

November 18th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Posted in kids, school food

Laying a sheet of ice

 The Boulder school district owns two kinds of salad bars: a stainless model with plug-in refrigeration costs upwards of $6,000. A simpler, polyethylene model costs around $2,500. At Columbine Elementary School, I watched kitchen assistant Tammy Steele assemble a salad bar for lunch service. The first thing she did was lay a plastic quilt of ice at the bottom of the bar’s well to keep the foods chilled.

Installing plastic cross-members

 Plastic cross-members form the structure in which the food trays will rest.

Inserting food trays

 Steele places food trays filled with an assortment of vegetables prepared by a production kitchen, as well as items like hard-boiled egg, pickled jalapeno, diced chicken and tuna salad.

Placing serving utensils

 Each item gets a separate serving piece, such as tongs or plastic spoon.

Finished salad bar with dressings

 Finally, Steel loads the dressings, typically Itlaian, ranch and balsamic.

Kids Serve Themselves

 Kids seem perfectly capable of serving themselves without much adult supervision.

Finished tray, with pizza and water

Salad bars give kids the ability to choose their own foods. You never know what they’ll do with it.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Your comment may have to wait for approval to be published to ensure that we don't accidentally publish "spam". We thank you for understanding.


  • jenna Food w/ Kid Appeal

    is the pizza and veg meal reimbursable? veg is one count, pizza is one (maybe two because it is bread and cheese?). water doesn’t count, there is no milk or fruit on the tray, no side of bread, or baggie of pretzels. looks like a nourishing meal, but might not be reimbursable. that’s one of the main obstacles districts face. how do you offer more palatable nourishing food and STILL meet reimbursable guidelines.