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Components and Nutrient Contributions- Meat and Meat Alternates



Meal Components
Examples Nutrients
Meat, fish, poultry, and eggs Beef, chicken, fish, ham, pork, turkey, and eggs Protein, iron, phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins, and zinc;

also contain fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol

Cheese Swiss, ricotta, part-skim mozzarella, cottage cheese, American cheese, cheddar, and other cheeses Protein, calcium, phosphorus

vitamins A and B-12;

also contain fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol

Dry beans and peas

(Can also count as a vegetable, but not in the same meal.)

Lentils, navy beans, black beans, lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, refried beans, chickpeas, and soy beans Protein, iron, complex carbohydrates, potassium, dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate
*Peanut butter and

other nut butters

**Nuts and seeds

Peanut butter, almond and other nut butters

Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, soy nuts, other nuts, and seeds

Protein, dietary fiber, vitamin E, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and niacin;

also contain fat

Yogurt Commercially produced yogurt, plain or flavored, unsweetened or sweetened Protein, carbohydrate, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin A
Alternate Protein Product (APP) APP is what is mixed/made into such food items as ground beef patties, meat loaf, tuna salad, chicken nuggets, pizza toppings, etc. Protein, and other nutrients vary depending on the type of APP used



* Caution: Children under 4 years of age are at the highest risk of choking. Young children should not be fed spoonfuls or chunks of peanut butter or other nut butters. Instead, USDA recommends that peanut butter and nut butters be spread thinly on bread or crackers.

** Nuts and/or seeds should be served to all children in a prepared food and be ground or finely chopped.




Menu Ideas to Increase Variety

  • Try whole-grain pita bread sandwiches or “pita pockets” stuffed with tuna, lettuce, and tomato, or chicken salad with celery andcarrots. Make a vegetarian whole-grain pita pocket with favorite veggies, chickpeas, and plain yogurt.
  • Serve peanut butter with apple chunks on whole wheat bread.
  • Serve lean meats, skinless poultry, and lower fat cheeses.
  • Try an ethnic favorite: taco, gyro, pirogue, or calzone.
  • Mix ground beef with ground turkey for hamburgers or taco filling.
  • Make a whole-grain submarine sandwich with roast turkey or ham and cheese.
  • Try lentils or navy beans in a soup.