2001 School Lunch Report Card: Key Findings
A Report by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
introduction | districts surveyed | key findings
Table B: Summary of Key Findings
Meeting USDA Guidelines
- 9 out of 12 school districts said they are meeting the nutrition guidelines—75 percent
- 3 out of 12 said they are not meeting guidelines, are not sure, or don't care—25 percent
Commodity Foods Utilized
- The five most common foods ordered among the 12 school districts surveyed were:
- ground beef
- chicken (either nuggets or patties)
- canned fruit
- Three of these top five foods are high in fat and cholesterol.
Availability of Calcium-Rich, Non-Dairy Foods
- 1 out of 12 school districts routinely served non-dairy calcium sources (specifically, they offered calcium-rich vegetables)—8 percent
- 6 out of 12 required a doctor's note to allow children to refuse milk—50 percent
Efforts to Lower Fat
- 4 out of 12 school districts said it is difficult to meet the low fat standard—33 percent
- 2 out of 12 are not making an effort to reduce fat in the menu—17 percent
- 10 out of 12 are making an effort to reduce fat in the menu—83 percent
- 1 out of 12 is lowering fat by replacing meat offerings with vegetable protein sources—8 percent
Methods used to lower fat:
- Four school districts indicated that they never fried, but grilled and baked instead.
- Five school districts switched to low-fat dressings, leaner beef, and/or lower-fat yogurt.
- Two school districts rinsed, drained, or blotted pizza and burgers.
- One school district replaced 25 to 30 percent of meat dishes with textured vegetable protein.
Availability of Vegetarian Entr¹es
- 10 out of 12 have something to serve for vegetarian requests (most commonly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pizza, or grilled cheese sandwich)—83 percent
- 2 out of 12 offer a variety of vegetarian offerings (such as spaghetti marinara, taco salad with beans, tofu pups, vegetable lasagna)—17 percent