Vertical VeggiesGetting kids to eat fresh produce
can be a challenge, but we’ve got a plan!


When it comes to serving kids, we know a thing or two. We know that color and variety appeal to children, and we know that kids love (and obsess over) ranch dressing. Using these principals, some cafeterias in Pittsburgh have started serving “Vertical Veggies” during lunch. A small amount of ranch dressing is scooped into a plastic cup, and long slices of fresh produce are stood up vertically (get it?) in the cup on top of the ranch. Serving produce in this manor does several things.

  1. The color of the veggie cups attracts kids and encourages them to give it a try!
  2. The variety of veggies in the cup allows kids to try something they may not usually take.
  3. The addition of ranch in the bottom prevents kids from taking multiple ranch cups and racking up the calories of their meal.

Remember, it’s not nutrition unless it’s eaten!


2 thoughts on “Vertical Veggies

  1. Hi! Is the ranch dressing one you make there using natural ingredients or is it packed with artificial ingredients? I appreciate the effort on making the kids eat better but I believe the effort should mainly be to educate our kids to eat real food, making it vibrant so they actually enjoy it, using natural ingredients instead of trying to trick them with artificial sauces so they eat the “terrible veggies”. That’s the right direction, but there’s a lomg way to go, let’s work together so we get there since the goal is the same for all of us, promote better health with better food!!

    1. Hi Bruna, the ranch dressing is currently purchased, we do not make it from scratch at this time. This year, we brought in a chef to teach our staff the culinary skills needed to cook veggies in an appealing way for children. It was a wonderful training session! See the blog post: Chef Bill Trains PPS Food Service Staff. We stand with you in these concerns and we are hopeful that we will continue to make strides to provide all students with nutritious and delicious meals!

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