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Eggs in Schools

Eggs as Meat Alternate

One large egg is credited as two meat/meat alternates in any reimbursable meal from breakfast to supper at a typical cost of less than $0.19 per serving.

  • This means that eggs fit into every meal pattern for a lower cost than other proteins, which can help offset the higher cost of other items like fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Using recent bid awards, here’s how eggs compare to typical school breakfast items:
    • 1 hard-boiled egg = $0.19 (2 m/ma)
    • ¼ cup scrambled eggs = $0.19 (2 m/ma)
    • 1 oz. bowl pack cereal = $0.30 (1 grain)
    • Mini-pancakes = $0.40 - $0.50 (2 grains)

NOTE: Since meat/meat alternates are not required at breakfast, ½ a large egg can (or 1 oz. of eggs) count as a 1 oz. equivalent grain when served with a 1 oz. equivalent whole grain-rich choice. Eggs can also be an additional menu item, so long as other requirements are met, and the eggs are included in the nutritional analysis.

  • Using the USDA Average Price File for Processors for SY20171, here’s how eggs compare to equivalent servings of meat/meat alternates for school lunch, snack and supper:
    • ¼ cup scrambled eggs = $0.189 (2 m/ma)
    • 2.0 oz. diced chicken = $0.29 (2 m/ma)
    • 2.7 oz. beef crumbles = $0.51 (2 m/ma)
    • 4.0 oz. yogurt (regular) = $0.26 (1 m/ma)
    • 4.0 oz. yogurt (Greek) = $0.325 (1 m/ma)
    • 1.0 oz. cheese stick = $0.153 (1 m/ma)

References
1. USDA Food and Nutrition Service http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/processor-material-prices

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