The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has reported that the diet quality of school-age children and adolescents is poor (1). School meals can play an influential role in a child's development of a healthy eating pattern. For some, school meals can provide two-thirds or more of their daily caloric intake. As a nutrient-dense, high-quality lean protein, beef is a flavorful food that can be a foundational part of dietary patterns and healthful school meals. Providing high-quality protein, zinc, iron, choline, phosphorus and B vitamins including B6 and B12, beef makes a perfect complement for other healthy foods on the plate like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy -- which all provide their own unique mix of nutrients like vitamin C, folate, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber.
School meal programs can provide nearly two-thirds of daily calories for kids, and therefore play an influential role in the development of a healthy dietary pattern.
These recipes were developed by a team of culinary experts that help growing kids get all the essential nutrients they need for optimal health while still meeting the requirements for healthy school meal patterns. The recipes are cost-effective and efficient, and meet USDA requirements for school lunch programs.
1. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Legacy, NDB #13364. Version Current: April 2018. Internet: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/