A cycle menu is used to prepare, forecast and predict the food that is available during a period of time, generally 21 days to 1 month. Cycle menus allow organizations and schools to have an idea of the costs of upcoming meals and allow them to prepare lunches accordingly.
A cycle menu is generally used in school settings and can help students, teachers and administrators know what type of food will be served on each day of the school year. This type of menu is easy to plan and is constantly repeated over a period of time. Many schools choose to use a cycle menu that has a variety of different foods available to students throughout the a period of 3 weeks.
School administrators, state officials and nutrition experts work together to develop these types of menus. The menus allow schools to know exactly how much meals will cost throughout the year. They take the most popular options for nutrition and flavor and develop them into patterns that will be easy to understand. Cycle menus are able to change from semester to semester and year to year, but many schools will stick with one menu once they have found the options and choices on the cycle menu that work best for the school.