Kraft Heinz Introduces School Lunchable Products with Healthier Nutritional Makeup
Kraft Heinz has announced that two specially-formulated Lunchables products will soon be available in school lunch programs across the United States. The announcement comes amidst proposed changes to school food guidelines by the US Department of Agriculture, which oversees the federally assisted school meal program.
The two Lunchables products are the turkey and cheddar combo and the extra cheesy pizza. The turkey and cheddar combo comes in a 3.5 ounce container that contains 2-ounce equivalents of meat or meat alternative, one equivalent of grain, and meets whole grain-rich criteria of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The extra cheesy pizza option is a 5.05 ounce container with 2 ounces equivalent of meat or meat alternative, 2 ounces equivalents of grain, 1/8 cup of red/orange vegetables, and meets whole grain rich criteria.
According to Diane Pratt-Heavner, spokesperson for the School Nutrition Association, a trade group with 50,000 members representing school food service providers, Lunchables in school cafeterias might be welcome in some school districts that are struggling with higher food costs and labor shortages. Kraft Heinz Away from Home, their foodservice division, posted the information on their website, saying that Lunchables school lunch would begin with two products.
The nutritional makeup of Lunchables served in schools will differ from their grocery store counterparts in order to meet nutritional guidelines mandated by The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Kraft Heinz said both products have a specialized recipe that incorporates more protein and whole grains to keep kids powered throughout the day, reduced saturated fat and sodium, and an increased serving size.
The primary goal of the agency is to ensure that all meals served at school are wholesome and comply with the US Dietary Guidelines. Schools must provide their students with a meal that includes five components: fruit, vegetables, protein, grains, and milk. Students must select at least three of these components for their lunch, one of which must be either a fruit or vegetable.
For example, a 3.2 ounce Turkey & Cheddar Cheese Lunchable with Crackers tray sold at Target contains 740 mg of sodium in one packet serving size. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day, and for children under age 14, the recommended limits are even lower.
0. “Lunchables are going to be rolled out directly to students” WJRT, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.abc12.com/news/business/lunchables-are-going-to-be-rolled-out-directly-to-students/article_7e6256d4-da4b-5d63-b978-40c47695a650.html
1. “Lunchables to be offered to K-12 students for lunch this fall” 10TV, 14 Mar. 2023, https://www.10tv.com/article/news/nation-world/lunchables-national-school-lunch-program/530-cc5a6497-7a24-44f1-bf54-d325eff52665
2. “Updated Lunchables Will Be Served In Schools This Fall” iHeart, 15 Mar. 2023, https://wmms.iheart.com/featured/the-stansbury-show/content/2023-03-15-updated-lunchables-will-be-served-in-schools-this-fall/