- Vegetables from all “subgroups” are required for a healthy, balanced diet, but “other” vegetables can really set the curve on your school lunch menus.
- With 37 vegetables to choose from, the “Other” vegetable group contains more superfoods – including mushrooms – than any other vegetable category.
- This group includes some of kids’ favorite foods, like green beans, avocados, onions, celery, cucumber, and of course, mushrooms!
- Start your menus by placing the flavorful “other vegetables” throughout the week and easily add the remaining subgroups to achieve school meals that are delicious and nutritious.
- Very low in calories, sodium and fat – and cholesterol-free, mushrooms provide a hearty, meaty flavor that can be used in virtually any cuisine.
- Blend chopped mushrooms with meat, so students’ favorite meals can be made healthier without losing taste, volume or satisfying texture, encouraging students to crave vegetables.
- Mushrooms are rich in umami – the fifth taste described as a savory, meaty taste sensation. Combining umami-rich ingredients has a flavor multiplying effect, which explains the delicious pairing of mushrooms and meat.
- On average, mushrooms have 90 percent fewer calories than a ground meat alternative* and add important nutrients like vitamin D, potassium**, riboflavin, niacin and the antioxidants selenium and ergothioneine.
- Fresh mushrooms are available year round and commercially produced in almost every state by more than 282 growers.
* Ground meat includes an average of traditional and lean versions of ground beef, turkey and pork per 100 grams.
** Potassium (8%)
Blend finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat in every serving of a meat-based meal, and your program can:
- Add at least 1/8 cup other vegetables to every tray
- Expand meat entrées – maintain portion size while staying within meat maximums
- Reduce calories, saturated fat and sodium, and increase nutrition in each serving
- Maintain taste, texture, and student acceptability
In the USDA’s New Meal Pattern, you can use a combination of finely chopped mushrooms and proteins every day of the week.
Download the K-8 AND HS MEAL SUGGESTIONS CHART here.