Eating Right Starts Early

Childhood obesity affects one in six American youth, so it’s important to encourage kids to start eating right at home. Pulses are low in fat but high in fiber and protein. They’re also rich in zinc, which is crucial to build a healthy immune system.

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed in 2010 to improve the quality of food sold in schools. Read more about the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act at the USDA here.

How do pulses fit into the National School Lunch Program?

Beans, dry peas, lentils, and chickpeas (pulses) are not only excellent sources of fiber, but also high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Pulses are considered both a vegetable and meat alternate in School Meals.

But did you know, pulse crop ingredients like flour can be used in pasta and baked goods as well?

Here is a quick overview of how pulse crops can be used in the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs:

Pulses in School Meals:

Who says kids don’t like healthy food?

Pasta with Lentil Bolognese is a kid-friendly dish that tastes so good, they won’t notice it’s healthy, and lentil Chili is delicious on baked potatoes, hot dogs or hamburgers.

Find new recipes featuring pulses as legume vegetables created by Chef Brenda Thompson-Wattles with the Idaho Team Nutrition.

Idaho Grown School Recipes

More School Nutrition Resources: