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Expect to see Lunchables served in some schools next year

Makers say two varieties have been reformulated to meet National School Lunch Program guidelines.

Lunchables, a food kit that has been a staple in student lunch pails for more than 30 years is now being offered to campus lunchrooms starting next year. Makers KraftHeinz announced two varieties of the build-it-yourself meals will be offered to schools' free and reduced-price lunch programs across the country.

In a fact sheet distributed to sales teams and schools online, the two varieties - Turkey & Cheddar Cracker Stacker and Extra Cheesy Pizza - have been reformulated especially to meet National School Lunch Program guidelines for the Kindergarten-8th grade market.

The cracker kit, for instance, will come in a 3.5 oz. package, a slight increase from the 3.2 oz. version sold in grocery stores. The pizza version will come in a 5.05 oz. package, compared to the 4.2 oz. retail version.

The fact sheet says each product meets Meat/Meat Alternative (MMA) and grain equivalency requirements for the NSLP. The sauce provided in the pizza kit is said to equal 1/8 cup of red/orange vegetables.

Complete nutrition facts were not immediately made available for either the school or retail versions.

Both Lunchables products will be sold refrigerated and ready-to-eat, just like the commercial version. They will not be pre-packaged with cookies, candy, or drinks like some retail kits.

"Lunchables Lunch Combinations" first hit the market nationally in 1989 under the Oscar Mayer banner. The original line contained different varieties of crackers, cheese, and meats, including a "deluxe" package with multiple combinations.

Pepperoni and cheese pizza varieties were added shortly afterwards, marketed with the phrase "Fun to eat, no need to heat."

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