Pizza at School Meals and MyPlate
Pizza is quite possibly one of the most popular foods in America – for kids and adults – and pizza at school helps schools see more meals sold. But how do schools ensure that pizza fulfills school meal requirements and helps fuel kids throughout the day with wholesome ingredients?
Pizza may have the reputation of being a junk food, but when prepared with whole wheat crust, home-made sauce, real low-fat mozzarella cheese and vegetable and protein toppings, plus a side of fruit, it perfectly fulfills MyPlate recommendations. In this way, pizza at school is a win for schools and for students.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Choose MyPlate recommendations promote Americans of all ages, but especially children in consuming recommended amounts of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and protein-rich foods. Pizza can be a positive delivery vehicle for all these food groups. The Anatomy of a Pizza fact sheet can be a very effective resource for School Nutrition Professionals to use for pizza in schools. Go to this resource by clicking on the photo below.
Nationally, the dairy checkoff has worked with Domino’s Pizza to create Smart Slice – school lunch-friendly pizza that fulfills school meal requirements while appealing to kids’ tastes. Not only does Domino’s Smart Slice use real, reduced sodium Lite Mozzarella cheese, it also uses 51 percent whole-wheat flour, has sauce with 35 percent less sodium than their traditional pizza sauce, and allows schools to customize toppings.
Pizza is among the top four sources of calcium, protein and fiber in the U.S. diet. The dairy community, Domino’s and school nutrition directors are working hard to make sure pizza is available for students to enjoy at lunch – and the options are endless to build a nutrient-rich, better-for-you pizza that students will enjoy.
School Nutrition Professionals across the country are continuing to increase the amount of scratch cooking for school meals. The pizza recipes below were developed for school nutrition professionals to use as part of their scratch cooking initiative. Each recipe includes component information and tips from the chef on how to help schools make the most of using scratch pizza. All of these scratch pizza recipes were developed for schools making 16-inch pizzas and cutting 10 slices out of each pizza. Click the image below to download these recipes.
The following are component information for each of the scratch pizza recipes:
- The Scratch Whole Grain Pizza Dough recipe makes an excellent pizza crust that meets National School Lunch Program Guidelines for grains. This dough provides 2 oz. of grains per serving.
- The Harvest Veggie Fest Pizza recipe provides 2 oz. of grains, 1.5 oz. of meat/meat alternate, ¼ cup of red-orange vegetables and 1/8 cup of other vegetables per serving.
- The Kung Pao Chicken Pizza recipe provides 2 oz. of grains, 2 oz. of meat/meat alternate, and ¼ cup of red-orange vegetables.
- The Luau Time Pork Pizza recipe provides 1.5 oz. of grains, 2 oz. of meat/meat alternate, and 1/8 cup of red-orange vegetables.