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- With the approval of Alternate Protein Products (APPs) in the NSLP, schools are now given the freedom to provide children with meatless, cholesterol-free entrées.
- Vegetarian burgers and other alternative protein sources can now replace 100 percent of the animal protein in the school lunch, provided they meet the APP guidelines.
- However, since these foods are not in the commodity or bonus foods program, few schools actually include them in their menu plans.
- It takes a health-conscious food service director to incorporate these low-fat, nutrient-rich, high-fiber foods into a school’s menu plan, because these foods are not available through the commodities programs and so are much more expensive for the schools to purchase.
- Despite the challenges to offering veggie burgers and other vegan entrées, a number of school districts are going above and beyond the USDA requirements by offering these items in their cafeterias. New York City, Detroit, Philadelphia, and many California school districts now serve veggie nuggets, soy taco pocket sandwiches, veggie burgers, and veggie chili on a regular basis.
Want the PCRM Healthy School Lunch Team to work with your school district? Start by taking these easy steps >