Do you have a gluten-free child that wants to eat the lunch served at school just like everyone else? Sure there are some schools out there that will serve gluten-free lunches to kids, but are they the same (or close to the same) as the meals their friends are eating? Probably not, especially if we are talking fish sticks or chicken nuggets. This may soon change, though. Elevation Brands and Slade Gorton announced yesterday the launch of gluten-free/allergen-friendly “center of the plate” Child Nutrition (CN) products for the school foodservice industry.
More about the announcement:
The product line to be sold under the Ian’s and ICYBAY brands meets all nutrition standards for the School Lunch Program as defined by the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA.
No other company has developed this wide of a range of gluten-free/allergen-free products that also meet all new school lunch standards including “whole grain rich” criteria, less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat, and 0 grams of trans fats. Sodium levels fall between 160-390 mg per serving, supporting requirements that a child’s total lunch contain less than 640 mg of sodium.
“We’re offering fish sticks and chicken nuggets—high-demand products with mass appeal—that meet the strictest Child Nutrition guidelines, and we’re doing it with allergen-friendly Gluten Free ingredients,” said Chuck Marble, CEO of Elevations Brands. “These products were developed to be part of a general school menu, simplifying meal management and fostering a feeling of inclusivity for kids with food allergies.”
Ian’s developed this new CN foodservice line, which will be exclusively distributed through the Slade Gorton’s ICYBAY brand. The new line features two chicken and six fish options with two distinct gluten free and allergy friendly whole grain batter and breading systems.
Chicken products are gluten-free and free of the top eight food allergens, including peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and soy. Fish products are gluten-free and free of seven of the top eight allergens, all manufactured in their USDA facility.
The products are formulated to meet all identified phases of the Child Nutrition standards, including whole grain rich criteria that go into effect July 1, 2014 and the final phase of sodium targets, which must be met by 2022/23.
All products go beyond minimum standards with other quality benchmarks: Fish products are MSC certified and made of whole muscle Alaskan Pollock (not minced). Chicken products are whole muscle breast meat without added hormones or antibiotics. The only oil used in production is a non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil (high in monounsaturated fats, or “good fats”). And all products have a “clean label” which means they do not contain preservatives, artificial colors or artificial flavors.
The product line will carry the Child Nutrition (CN) designation from the USDA, providing assurance to schools in the K-12 market that products meet nutritional requirements.
These new CN foodservice offerings may also appeal to colleges and universities looking to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
For the complete ICYBAY-Ian’s catalog of gluten-free allergy friendly food offerings, see the product search.
This is great news, as not only are these new products safe for those with Celiac Disease, but they meet the standards required by the Child Nutrition Act. According to the Slade Gorton website, the new products will be available in schools, institutions, restaurants and workplace cafeterias.