Wouldn’t it be great if your child’s cafeteria served healthy, nutritious food prepared just like the meals found in the finest restaurants? Council Representative, Kathleen Pries, is on the front lines of the mushrooms in schools effort, and tells us why kids are gobbling up mushrooms at lunch time!
What if we told you your kids’ love mushrooms? What if we told you they eat them every day for lunch, without complaint, and even ask for seconds? That’s right, since their official introduction to the National School Lunch Program; mushrooms have been gaining popularity as one of the trendiest ingredients to be featured on the lunch tray!
Meal regulations now demand a greater variety of fresh, low fat, low calorie, nutrient dense foods be served to students during breakfast and lunch. Mushrooms, being both nutrient dense and low fat, instantly improve any dish they are paired with and have become a go-to ingredient for school foodservice directors. Mushrooms blended with meat in school entrees like tacos, burgers, sloppy joes and meatballs instantly reduce fat, calories and sodium while adding moisture, flavor and an extra vegetable serving to students. It’s no wonder why school foodservice directors are turning to mushrooms to help meet new USDA meal pattern requirements!
Mushrooms at Cincinnati Public Schools
School foodservice directors, such as Jessica Shelley of Cincinnati Public Schools, serve mushroom blended burgers to students. Serving mushroom blended burgers allows Jessica to top the burgers with turkey bacon and cheese creating a more appealing presentation to her students. Students are encouraged to visit the salad bar to top their burger with a variety of fresh produce, including mushrooms!
Mushrooms at Maplewood Richmond Heights School District
Since mushrooms are grown indoors, they are in-season 365 days a year. Chef Robert Rusan from Maplewood Richmond Heights School District uses fresh mushrooms year-round, serving a student favorite; vegetable pizza. His home made whole wheat crust is topped high with fresh veggies including mushrooms, peppers and onions. The color and visual appeal of the fresh pizza often outsells the student favorite pepperoni pizza option.
Blending is trending, so be sure to keep an eye out in your child’s cafeteria for the many delicious changes to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program.