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According to research, potatoes make for happy kids and clean plates. That’s great news for school foodservice operators because the potatoes your students love can help power their performance in school, too. That’s right, potatoes provide the carbohydrate, potassium and energy kids need to be their best.
Read on for the “A to Z” guide to potatoes in schools. From After school snacks to Zero fat, sodium or cholesterol, this guide will make learning about the power of potatoes as easy as A, B, C.
After School Snack Program. Offering potatoes after school helps meet the USDA’s vegetable requirement for reimbursement and provides key nutrients at an affordable price.
Breakfast. Who doesn’t love a crispy hash or brunch bowl in the morning? Potatoes are so versatile they can be served at any meal, period!
Carbohydrate. Potatoes provide the energy and carbohydrate kids need to power performance throughout the school day!
Delicious. Potatoes are a blank canvas for hundreds of flavor combinations. Asian, Italian, American, German, Mediterranean…the possibilities are endless!
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Full Between Classes. One wholesome, satisfying potato with skin contributes 2 grams of fiber to the diet or 8% of the recommended daily value keeping students fuller, longer.
Gluten-Free. Potatoes are naturally gluten-free. An ideal substitution for some of your favorite bread, grain and pasta-based dishes, potatoes add a boost of nutritional benefits too.
Healthy. That’s right, potatoes can be part of a healthy diet. It’s the toppings that typically put spuds over the top in calories and fat. Try salsa, low-fat cheese and broccoli instead!
Instant. Dehydrated instant potatoes save on time without skipping on nutrition. They also store longer and require less space making them ideal for smaller school kitchens.
Just 110 Calories. A medium potato with skin has just 110 calories. Keep them lean by simply roasting with olive oil, herbs and a pinch of salt.
Kids’ Favorite Vegetable. Baked, mashed or roasted, served in a bowl, on a pizza, from behind the line or on a bar, kids love potatoes and research shows it!**
Lunch. Potatoes count toward the required ¾ to 1 cup daily servings of vegetables within the National School Lunch Program.
Magnesium. A medium potato provides 48 mg of magnesium and research indicates potatoes contribute 5% of the total magnesium intake in the diets of Americans. **
Nutrient dense. Potatoes have the highest score per dollar, along with carrots and sweet potatoes, on eight important nutrients – potassium, fiber, protein, vitamins C and E, calcium, Iron and Magnesium.
Other Vegetables. Research shows when potatoes are present at mealtime, kids eat more of other vegetables too.**
Potassium. Potatoes with skin are a good source of potassium. They even have more potassium than a banana!
Quick. Small potato types like petites and fingerlings can be cooked quickly for maximum flavor and minimal prep time.
Resistant Starch. Resistant Starch (RS) is found naturally in potatoes and is a type of carbohydrate that is “resistant” to digestion by human digestive enzymes, just like dietary fiber.
Salad Bars and Supper. Potatoes are super for Salad bars and Supper! Try chilling lightly seasoned baked potato wedges and serve them as the base or a hearty topping to a salad. You could also create to-go cups with potato wedges and hummus, or any other dip for that matter, and serve them as a pre-portioned vegetable option.
Types. Russets, reds, yellows, purples/blues, whites, fingerlings and petites. There’s a different type for every day of the week. Try them all!
USDA. We are helping schools meet the new USDA school meal guidelines by creating recipe inspirations and serving ideas that put potatoes on the menu for kids to enjoy.
Vitamins C and B6. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C! They contain more vitamin C than one medium tomato or sweet potato. Potatoes are also a good source of vitamin B6, which helps turn the energy from food into energy your body can use.
Plate Waste. Research shows when potatoes are paired with popular entrees, they produce the least plate waste by children.
Xtra. Potatoes make for a great extra item on school breakfast menus.
Year-Round Availability. Potatoes are grown in all 50 states and are readily available all year long.
Zero. Did we mention zero fat, sodium or cholesterol?
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