Posts Tagged ‘Kids’

Mushrooms Take Center Stage on School Lunch Trays

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 in Schools

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.

Tri-Mushroom Flatbread

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.

 

The Second Annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Brings Kids (and mushrooms) to the Kitchen

 

Part of the beauty of childhood is the joy that comes from experiencing news flavors, textures and ingredient combinations for the very first time. The memories surrounding these ingredients and dishes are never forgotten, but carried along as we grow into adults. However, parents across the country face the obstacle of getting their kids to take that first bite. The solution is as simple as getting your kids in the kitchen before the meal even begins. In coordination with the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, the USDA, MyPlate, Epicurious and the US Department of Education, the second annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is taking kids beyond the lunch table and placing them in the kitchen.

The contest runs between April 3 – May 12 and is open to children between the ages of 8-12. Contestants are invited to enter their best original lunch recipe inspired by MyPlate. One winner from every state will be invited to a special “Kids’ State Dinner” in Washington D.C. this summer. As an added bonus, a few kids might actually get to see their dishes served during the dinner. Following the MyPlate guidelines, the recipe should feature the five food groups. In addition, fruits and veggies should fill half the plate, along with whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy.

Mushrooms’ versatile nature makes them the perfect ingredient to fuel your inspiration for a variety of meals.Their natural texture makes diced mushrooms a perfect ingredient to blend with meat in kids’ favorite dishes, such as Sloppy Joes. More nutrition and delicious flavor is a win with parents and kids alike. The MyPlate Pinterest account is filled with mushroom recipes from Mushroom Stroganoff to Veggie Burritos. Of course, what better guidance could you find than other kids? An entire digital cookbook of last year’s winners can be found here, with winning recipes for a heavenly lunch wrap filled with quinoa, veggie pizza topped with mushrooms and a macaroni casserole.

What are you waiting for? Turn tonight’s dinner into a winning dish!