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  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. Nov 4, 2019

Vegan Entrees Perform Well in School Lunch Settings

Vegan school lunch entrees have three times more fiber than meat-based entrees and are popular among students, according to a pilot study. Physicians Committee dietitians and researchers partnered with D.C. Central Kitchen to pilot six vegan entrees at a K-8 school in Washington, D.C. The entrees featured engaging names such as Veg Out Chili and Powered Up Pasta and met all National School Lunch Program nutrient requirements. Marketing efforts and student interaction, including food demos, tastings, and participation incentives, resulted in student acceptability. The vegan entrees had zero cholesterol, compared with an average of 54 milligrams in the standard entrees. The vegan dishes also had more fiber, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C, and less fat and saturated fat, compared with the standard entrees. Plate waste did not exceed that of standard entrees, and several vegan menu options became part of the regular rotation after the pilot. These results may encourage foodservice providers to implement similar programs in their schools.


Flores R, Eckart J, Nash K, Kwitowski E. Implementation of vegan entrées in a Washington, D.C. elementary school. J Child Nutr Manag. Published online November 1, 2019.

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