New regulation could boost eggs in schools

January 23, 2020

Schools may find it somewhat easier to offer eggs and egg-containing dishes at breakfast under a proposed rule issued Jan. 23 by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service.

Schools are allowed to offer eggs and other protein foods in the School Breakfast Program but are not required to do so. They are however, required to offer grains, such as toast or bagels. Since school meal programs almost always operate on tight budgets, the tendency is to put first priority on what is required.

Up to now, schools have been able to substitute a protein food for a grain, but only after at least one grain has been offered. Under the new proposed rule, the requirement to offer the first grain would no longer apply – and eggs basically would be fully substitutable for grains in school breakfasts. Depending on what other foods are offered, the rule may reduce schools’ total food costs and make it easier to justify serving the protein food, whether it is eggs, yogurt, sausage or another protein.

The rule is open for a 60-day comment period.