Thursday, June 3, 2010

Breakfast Bagel

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

Here's a hopeful sign: my daughter continues to report no hot food in the breakfast D.C. schools are serving in the classroom. On the downside, she says the kids are still being offered chocolate and strawberry milk to pour on their sugary cereal. Note to D.C. school food services: this would be a perfect time to start eliminating sugared-up milk products from the menu.

The last reported hot breakfast item at our school was this breakfast bagel. It actually looks more like a pizza. But I recently came across the labeling from a shipping container and the correct appellation is "breakfast bagel." It's made by Schwan's Food Service in Marshall, MN, the same company I wrote about yesterday as the maker of the frozen pizza served in D.C. schools.

The breakfast bagel is also shipped frozen, 96 2.5-ounce portions in each box. In a 375-degree convection oven they take just 8 to 10 minutes before they're ready to serve, according to the package instructions. However, I don't think our school cooks them in an oven because they're served while still inside their individual plastic wrappers, as you can see from this photo. I suspect they're heated in the kitchen's steamer. Some parents are put off by the thought of kids eating food that's been heated inside plastic wrapping.

These breakfast bagels are engineered to meet federal school meal standards. According to the package, "one 2.6 oz. Breakfast Bagel provides 1 oz. equivalent meat/meat alternate and 1 serving of bread alternate for the Child Nutrition Meal Pattern Requirements."

The bagels are "topped with law moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese and mozzarella cheese substitute, turkey sausage and textured vegetable protein product, and pizza sauce."

Here are the ingredients:

"Toppings: Mozzarella cheese/mozzarella cheese substitute (low moisture part skim mozzarella cheese [pasteurized milk, cultures, salt, enzymes], mozzarella cheese substitute [water, corn oil, nonfat dry milk, modified food starch potassium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, tri-calcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, ferric orthophosphate, vitamin A palmitate, niacinamide, zinc oxide, cyanocobalamin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6)]), turkey sausage and textured vegetable protein topping (turkey sausage [mechanically separated turkey, water, spices, salt, potassium chloride, garlic, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (hydrolyzed corn, torula and brewers yeast, wheat gluten, soy protein), sugar], water textured vegetable protein product [soy flour, zinc oxide, niacinmide, ferrous sulfate, copper gluconate, vitamin A palmitate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin B12]);

"Crust: Enriched wheat flour (niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, malted barley flour, ascorbic acid), water, sugar, contains 2% or less of: malt syrup (barley malt extract, corn syrup), yeast, salt, dough conditioner [vegetable gum, L-cysteine, enzymes], calcium propionate;

"Sauce: Water tomato paste [not less than 28% soluble solids], modified food starch, sugar, corn oil, dextrose, salt, spices, dehydrated onion, dehydrated romano cheese [pasteurized cultured cow's milk, salt, enzymes], garlic powder, paprika, citric acid, beet powder."


  1. I only wish more people took an interest in what their children eat, I am fortunate to have such a strong company backing me , I have full control over what I feed my girls...
    if you have a chance check out my blog, I show what we eat on a regular basis.

  2. Doesn't Charwell's provide the D.C. schools with their food as well?
    Isn't this a matter of money and what the district is willing to budget? You get what you are willing to pay for...unfortunately not many are willing to pay for fresh food for our children.

    My daughter and I looked at Chef Dennis' school food on his blog today, (she is 16)she said she'd love to go there...the food looks great. She hasn't EVER bought a school meal in her 11 years of public school.

  3. Chartwells is the contracted food provider for D.C. Public Schools.