Protein-based snacks benefit in-class behavior

Educators in one Iowa school noticed a change in student behavior—a change for the better. They believe this improvement could be due to a new snack program introduced at the beginning of the school year, one that provided protein-based snacks, such as hard-boiled eggs, yogurt and cheese to students visiting the school nurse. This pilot program was dubbed the Protein Intervention project, and it yielded surprising results.

Schools often serve snacks to student populations who are food insecure. Yet the type of snacks schools typically offer, such as crackers, granola bars or fruit snacks, while inexpensive and shelf-stable, are high on the glycemic index scale. These snacks exacerbate students’ blood sugar fluctuations and can contribute to challenging behaviors.

At the beginning of the 2015/2016 school year, the school launched a pilot project to test a hypothesis that protein-based snacks could help improve classroom behavior. Protein-based snacks were substituted for the carbohydrate snacks typically given to students visiting the school nurse. Records were kept of the students’ visit, snack choice, date and time. While students were allowed to choose from among the protein-based snacks available, the majority selected hard-boiled eggs.

When staff tabulated data relating protein snack consumption to behavioral referrals, the results were striking. Data showed that only 11.5 percent of these students’ behavioral referrals occurred on days when they received the protein intervention. The other 88.5 percent of these students’ behavioral referrals occurred on days when they did not visit the nurse and request protein.

Granted, this was only a small test...but the results are intriguing and worth further research. READ more details on The Protein Intervention.

2017-04-06 12:28:02

Hatching new ideas

One of the many great things about ANC is it provides a forum to strike up conversations and share ideas with so many people from different backgrounds, yet with the common focus of school nutrition. Some of our favorite ‘egg-centric’ ideas from the show came from school nutrition professionals and our fellow exhibitors.   

Case in point: We got talking with some attendees as they munched on EggPops, and while they all really liked the concept, some had safety concerns about using a stick, especially with younger kids. They wanted to know if there might be another way to make EggPops, so we suggested using carrot or celery sticks instead. It’s one of those two birds with one stone ideas. Kids get to enjoy more veggies—always a bonus—and there’s less waste. Then to illustrate the idea, we stopped by the Grimmway Farms booth to get a few carrot sticks.

Another tasty idea came via exhibitor, Tajin USA. Its Tajin spice mix is a savory combination of sea salt, mild chilies and lime zest, meant for topping fruit and vegetables. I’m sure you know where we’re going with this. Sprinkled over EggPops—let’s just say Tajin gave sriracha mayo a run for ‘favorite topping’ honors. EggPops with Tajin check the boxes on so many of today’s food trends. They’re high in protein, convenient/easy to eat, and they’ve got a multicultural flavor profile with a hint of heat. You might want to give it a try in next year’s menu plan.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth. We appreciate all the info and ideas you shared. Please keep the ideas coming. We love hearing from you!


2016-07-28 19:51:45

Winner, winner, eggs for dinner!

Once again our egg chair proved a popular spot for selfies. It also came in handy as a frame to capture photos of our contest winners! 

The lucky winners of registration to ANC 2017 are:

Day 1: Polly Houston, foodservice director, Lennox, Calif.
Day 2: Larry Jackson, cafeteria manager, Sumter County School District, Ga.
Day 3: Kelly Thompson, director of child nutrition, LaSalle Parish School, La.

AEB also took part in the Ruby Reader Contest in which Susan Adams of Oklahoma was the lucky winner of a FitBit. Congratulations to one and all! We look forward to seeing you next year in Atlanta. You can see all of the winners’ pictures on our Twitter feed


2016-07-28 19:51:01

ANC 2016 Recap

Wow! ANC proved to be a smashing success for Eggs in Schools. Seven-thousand-ish school nutrition professionals gathered in San Antonio, bringing along all their energy and enthusiasm. For three days, the AEB booth buzzed with non-stop activity. Not only did we launch our new “Eggs in Schools” branding, we also served more than 1,400 EggPops, with a selection of sauces and dusts—all the while interacting with school nutrition directors. It was gratifying to have so many attendees drop by and say, “My kids LOVE eggs.”
As you can imagine at AEB, we spend a fair bit of time extolling the virtues of eggs. They’re a high-quality protein, nutritious, only 70 calories per large egg…eggs are satiating. When kids have eggs at a meal, they stay full longer, so they can concentrate on learning and not their stomachs. The new tagline for the School Nutrition Association—Feeding Bodies, Fueling Minds™—well, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. If only we’d thought of it first…it could just as well be the tagline for eggs, because that’s precisely what eggs do. 


2016-07-28 19:48:52

Out of the mouths of babes

“To whom it may concern, I hear there are no more omlets in the lunch room. This is outragoues. Kids are going crazy without omlets. If we do not get them back we will be crazy.” 

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, so imagine our delight when we read this quote from a third-grader—in her own spelling—in a recent article in the Bangor Daily News. The article, “Third-grader leads effort to put eggs back on breakfast menu,” chronicles the efforts of nine-year-old, Leyla Carreira, who started a petition drive at her school because she missed eggs on the breakfast menu. 

Now that’s initiative…and what a great cause. It’s wonderful to hear of a young student who realizes the value of eating nutrient-rich eggs in the morning. Without knowing the terminology, she understands eggs are satiating and they keep her tummy full, so she can concentrate on her schoolwork. Kudos to Leyla!

While we are disappointed that in the end, despite her best efforts, the school district decided to remove eggs from the school breakfast menu, as representatives of America’s egg farmers, we’re very appreciative of her efforts. Another chapter in this story is being written, so stay tuned for the further tales of “Eggs in Schools in Maine.”


2016-06-27 14:31:29

Road tripping to San Antonio

We’re just a few weeks out from this year’s ANC. Looked at the forecast, and not surprisingly for Texas—it’s going to be HOT! In a way that’s good, we won’t mind being inside soaking up all that air conditioning. Did I say that? I meant knowledge. The heat is already getting to me.

While we’re on the topic of ANC, you know you’ll probably find yourself walking around the conference and all of sudden you’ll be famished. Why is it always that way? Well when that happens, this is your personal invitation to stop by the American Egg Board booth #347 for a satisfying, nutrient-dense EggPop. If you haven’t tried one yet, now’s your chance. And if you have, you know just how good they are. EggPops — for the uninitiated — are hard-boiled eggs on a stick. Simple, yes! Tasty, yes! Satiating, yes! But the magic is in the flavorings. We’ll have an array of sauces and dusts for dipping and rolling. You’ll no doubt want to plan your day around EggPop snacking.

When you stop by the booth, don’t forget to enter the drawing for a free registration to ANC 2017 in Atlanta. We’re giving away a registration each day. All you need to do is come by and fill out a short form, either try an EggPop or take a selfie in our groovy egg-shaped chair, and then share your photo on Twitter - #eggsinschools. Our egg chair looks like a relic from the 1960s, but don’t worry it’s not. 

Bottom line—drop in to the AEB booth 347. Grab an EggPop, snap a selfie and enter to win. Hope to see you soon in San Antonio! 


2016-06-27 14:30:38

Eggs in Schools debuts

Welcome to the new Eggs in Schools website! Personally, I love the new site design and hope you will as well. We’re also excited to begin a new chapter in our work with school nutrition professionals. Our aim is to share stories from the field, bring you more useful ideas, and give you recipes that are already formulated and ready-to-use. Most of all, we want to make the site more interactive—turning it into a “community” where you can share ideas, post pictures and lend your expertise to colleagues and peers around the country. What you’ve experienced or learned in your school could be invaluable to another school, so please share.

As you can see, the site is still under construction. We’re continuing to add content and looking for stories about how you use eggs in school. We’d love feedback from you about how you serve eggs in school; what your students particularly like or don’t; and what your challenges and successes are with serving eggs. We’ve got three easy ways to share—Twitter (@eggsinschools), Pinterest (#eggsinschools) and via email. So enjoy exploring the new site. And I hope you’ll come back often to see what’s new – and don’t forget to share. See you at ANC in San Antonio!


2016-06-27 14:27:38