A non-profit physicians group is urging schools to combat childhood obesity by offering vegetarian meals.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's “Guide to Healthy School Meals for Grades K-12” was created with four major criteria in mind, the group says:
- Students find vegetarian food acceptable.
- School food service is able to provide vegetarian options.
- Vegetarian foods are available for K-12 schools.
- Vegetarian foods fit as part of a reimbursable lunch.
“Many food manufacturers have created competitively priced vegetarian foods that can be sold in schools,” the guide says.
The guide lists vegetarian alternatives to meat, such as textured vegetable protein (used as a substitute for ground meat), seitan (made from wheat gluten and used in recipes to replace strips or chunks of meat), tempeh (made from soybeans to replace ground meat) and tofu (for use in soups, sauces and desserts).
“Vegetarian meals, which are usually higher in fiber and lower in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than non-vegetarian meals, are a delicious and easy way for schools to promote good health,” the guide asserts.
The guide is online at http://www.healthyschoollunches.org/resources/guide_healthy_school_meals.pdf.