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Potatoes in School Lunches
How did the Idaho Potato Commission handle USDA regulations that removed potatoes from school breakfast and lunch menus? And how many potatoes are used in the school lunch program?
Much of the criticism of potatoes, which peaked in 2011 and 2012, centered around frozen and fried potato preparation. Most of the school programs I am familiar with have eliminated fryers completely in kitchens and fries or hash browns, if offered, are baked.
There were many programs that the US Potato Board, the National Potato Council, and the Idaho Potato Commission undertook to highlight the nutritious ways for kids to consume potatoes.
Rather than go into all the things the US Potato Board, The National Potato Council, the Idaho Potato Commission did to help keep nutritious ways to have kids consume potatoes in school I’ve attached some links:
- Wake Up to Excellence Recipe Contest: Breakfast recipe contest was reported in the School Nutrition Magazine, November 2011, along with a large 8 page article on potatoes in school foodservice
- National Potato Council Health & Nutrition information
- National Potato Council Survey of School Food Service Professionals Reveals Serious Concerns Over Proposed USDA School Meal Regulations
- National Potato Council: Limitations on Potatoes Would Cut Down on Kids' Ability to Get Key Nutrients
- Potato Goodness: Potato Nutrition A to Z – Yes, Potatoes are Good for You
I really don’t think we should have to defend fresh potatoes when baked or used in potato bars from a nutritional standpoint. The facts speak for themselves: SELF Nutrition Data Potato Nutrition Facts & Calories
Frozen potato processors such as Simplot have also addressed school programs with their “Smart Foods For School Families” program.
As far as the number of potatoes used in the school programs, the USDA may have that info, but I am not aware of a source to find it easily.
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