The collaboration between Tyson and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation builds on the two-year old ground-breaking school meals industry agreement the Alliance, founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation, has in place with 16 leading school meal manufacturers, group purchasing organizations, and technology companies. The new commitment from Tyson comes just in time as school food service professionals around the country will begin contracting processes for the coming year.
"School food manufacturers are integral to providing our children with healthier meals," said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO, Alliance for a Healthier Generation. "When companies like Tyson Foods guarantee that their prepared foods meet substantive nutrition standards and are easily accessible to food service directors, they ensure that all schools, even those that might lack scratch cooking facilities, can serve healthy breakfasts and lunches to their students."
Product commitments, such as Tyson's, fall in at least one of the following categories within the Alliance's science-based guidelines for school foods:
- Lean protein products, such as lean red meat, skinless poultry, lean deli meats, fat-free or low-fat cheese, beans, and tofu
- Low-fat lunch entrées with reduced total fat, saturated fat and sodium levels
- Whole-grain products, such as bread, pasta and pizza crust
- Fresh, canned or frozen fruit
- Zero trans fat cooking oils
Tyson employs a nutrition team that includes registered dietitians and has a Kid Tested, Kid Approved™ program to develop student-endorsed foods school foodservice operators can feel confident serving."We work closely with school foodservice operators to produce healthy, nutritious food options," said Michael Turley, vice president and general manager of Tyson Foods' government sales business. "Almost all of our current school lunch offerings, which include whole grain and grilled items, meet the new government standards for calories and lower sodium. We also meet many of the Alliance's nutrition standards."