Eggs in School Meals
Nutritious, Versatile and Affordable
Eggs are a natural fit in any school meal. Their nutrition, versatility and affordability make them a delicious meat alternate well beyond breakfast – into lunch, snack and supper meals as well. Eggs are also gluten free and acceptable to most vegetarians – making them even more versatile for school menu planners.
Eggs are nutritional powerhouses. They provide some of the highest quality protein of any food and are one of the few foods that are naturally a good source of vitamin D. Eggs are a nutrient dense food, containing varying amounts of 13 essential nutrients in a package with only about 70 calories in one large egg.
- The low calorie count in an egg gives school menu planners more flexibility to menu extra calories with other popular ingredients, like cheese or sausage.
Eggs are available to foodservice in a variety of forms, including fresh, refrigerated liquid, frozen and specialty prepared products. Most of these products are virtually indistinguishable from fresh eggs in nutritional value, flavor and functional properties. Eggs are sourced in the U.S., meeting all the procurement requirements for Buy American.
- The wide variety of egg products available to school foodservice – from fresh to ready-to-serve – also provide menu planners with flexibility.
- With about 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, and optimal amounts of all nine essential amino acids, a large egg is packed with the nutrients that kids, teens and adults need.
Eggs are an excellent source of choline and selenium, and a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin B12, phosphorus and riboflavin.
Top Three Reasons to Add More Eggs to Your School Menus
While there are dozens of delicious ways to add eggs to school menus, here are the key reasons to keep eggs top-of-mind as you plan menus over the months to come.
- Popular egg dishes can help increase Average Daily Participation. Every director wants to serve more school meals. The incredibly versatile and popular egg can help you increase participation both at school breakfast and lunch – with popular grab-n-go, mobile, transportable options for students of all ages.
- The affordability of eggs allows more menu flexibility. One large egg credits as 2 meat/meat alternates on school menus – at a low cost per serving. Using eggs saves money on entrées – and allows menu planners to devote more tray cost to fresh produce and other more expensive items.
- Eggs provide versatile vegetarian and gluten-free options. Offering your students delicious options that serve their unique dietary needs enables more of them to eat in your cafeteria rather than bring meals from home. With more students seeking vegetarian and gluten-free options, eggs offer more choices!