The Soyfoods Association of North America Celebrates National School Lunch Week
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In honor of National School Lunch Week, the Soyfoods Association of North America applauds the schools offering soyfood options in their cafeterias. To meet growing demands for healthy, plant-based foods, schools nationwide are serving tofu, veggie burgers, soy crumbles, soymilk, soy yogurt, and other soyfoods.
School food service programs are increasingly taking advantage of the nutritional and economical value that soyfoods can provide their students. Soyfoods work within school meal requirements to offer a complete protein source that also supports fat and calorie reduction. Schools serve fortified soymilk in place of cow's milk, edamame as a vegetable, and tofu, soy-based deli slices, soy nuts, crumbles, burgers, soy nut butter or nuggets as meat alternatives.
This summer, USDA Food and Nutrition Service released four final rules required by the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act to ensure snacks and marketing messages in schools are consistent with healthier school lunch and breakfast standards. These rules extend the school breakfast and lunch standards to foods sold throughout the school like vending machines, school stores, and a la carte items in the cafeteria. They also require schools to create wellness policies to promote health throughout the school.
For younger children, earlier this year the USDA released the final rule for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which updated meal patterns to include more whole grains, a greater variety of vegetables and fruits, and less added sugars and solid fats. It also stated that child care providers may now serve and get reimbursed for tofu, soymilk, and products made from these soyfoods as well as soy-based meat alternatives. Through the CACFP, more than 4 million children receive nutritious meals and snacks each day as part of the care they receive.
In a press release about the rule, Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon reiterated the importance of starting nutritious, delicious food at an early age. "Research indicates that America's obesity problem starts young, with obesity rates in preschoolers more than doubling over the last three decades and one in eight preschoolers classified as obese," Concannon said. "Since taste preference and eating habits develop early in life, CACFP could play a crucial role in the solution. This final rule marks another important step toward ensuring young children have access to the nutrition they need and develop healthy habits that will contribute to their well-being over the long term."
To comply with all these new rules, the USDA released a memo in August outlining for providers how to properly credit tofu and soy yogurt in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
Providing nutritious food for children's growth and development is very important, and soyfoods can easily fit into the picture. Great-tasting soyfoods provide essential vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, potassium and high-quality, complete protein for growing kids. These nutrients help kids build strong bones and lean muscle for balance and coordination, and serving soyfoods help kids learn to make healthy food decisions early in life.
Recent studies have indicated that eating soyfoods at an early age may protect against some diseases later on in life. For example, studies show eating soyfoods during childhood and adolescence may help protect against breast cancer as an adult. Soyfoods may also help preventing constipation, maintaining a healthy weight, and enduring athletic performance.
In addition to schools adding soy protein to their menus, parents can offer tasty, kid-friendly and cost-effective soyfoods at home. Grocery stores offer soymilk single-serve packs, soy nut butter and pretzel packs, soy yogurt and soy non-dairy frozen desserts in mini sizes. Tofu, veggie burgers, crumbles, hot dogs and sausages fit into any favorite chili, spaghetti sauce or stir-fry. And fruit soy smoothies made with fortified soymilk are fun ways to get added calcium. Children love the taste and never know the difference!
For family-friendly recipe ideas, please visit the Soyfoods Association's Pinterest page. For additional information, please visit the Soyfoods Association website, soyfoods.org, which features resources for School Food Service Professionals as well as additional health information.
If you would like to speak with a researcher in this field of study, please contact Andrea Albersheim at 202-659-3520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Soyfoods Association of North America
The Soyfoods Association of North America is a non-profit trade association that has been promoting consumption of soy-based foods and beverage since 1978. The Soyfoods Association is committed to encouraging sustainability, integrity and growth in the soyfoods industry by promoting the benefits and consumption of soy-based foods and ingredients in diets. More information is available at www.soyfoods.org.
Soyfoods Association of North America
Andrea Albersheim, Director of Communications
202-659-3520 | email@example.com
SOURCE Soyfoods Association of North America