Since the implementation of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2012, the food served to children during the school day (breakfast, lunch and after-school programs) has become healthier and more nutritious. Changes to guidelines include using more whole grains, reducing sodium content, limiting calorie counts, and increasing servings of fruits and vegetables.


Canned pears have a long history with school meals, contributing to generations of children's energy and wellbeing. That canned pears remain a favorite fruit is reflected in the volume of canned pears the USDA purchases each year for the National school lunch and breakfast programs. Over one million cases of diced, sliced and pear halves were procured for the current school year. To reduce calories and added sugar, the USDA specifies pears packed in pear juice or extra light syrup.


Most schools serve canned fruit in a straightforward manner, simply portioning it or offering it on salad bars. But there is a growing trend to do more "scratch" or "speed scratch" cooking in school cafeterias. Items like pear yogurt parfaits and whole grain quick breads or muffins using canned pears as an ingredient are the types of easy, popular items that schools prepare for kids to eat and enjoy.


Working moms and dads rely on school breakfast and lunch as a resource to fuel their children with nutritious meals. With the new guidelines in place, school meals guarantee your kids eat wholesome food throughout the day all year long.


Check out the menu ideas that the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service contribute to school foodservice menus at


Note: The USDA recommends filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. When it comes to nutrition "all forms count," and canned fruits and vegetables are always in season and packed at their peak of freshness to seal in taste and nutrition.


Mark Miller is the Promotion Director of the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service.

A pear is a pear is a pear, except on Valentine's Day. Then this favorite fruit becomes a word game. We've dreamed up some romantic associations for pears-Pear-a-dise, Pear Up, Perfect Pearing, Pearfection-and we challenge you to fill up our hearts with other clever associations. Send your billet doux (sweet words) to, along with your name and email address for a chance to win a pearfectly charming, pear-shaped bud vase. Entries due February 14th.

Arbor Day began in 1872 as a way to promote the planting of trees in Nebraska and was proclaimed a national event in 1907 by President Teddy Roosevelt.


In addition to things like supporting the ecosystem, cleansing the environment and providing jobs, trees yield many of the fruits that we enjoy on a daily basis. For example, praise the pear tree for providing a natural source of good flavor and just plain goodness!

Need recipe ideas to celebrate Arbor Day? Check out our new school foodservice recipes. We've added Pear & Chicken BLT Salad,Chicken & Pear Salad Pocket,Asian Noodle & Pear Salad, and more.

Send us your recipe or detailed recipe description of the canned pear menu item you plan to serve during April to celebrate Arbor Day, and we'll send you a "starting size" Bartlett pear tree to plant at your school. (Offer limited to first five responses with recipes/descriptions. Email recipe to, along with your name, school name and address, email and phone number.)


Canned pears contribute their delicate fruit flavor and satisfying fruit goodness to the twenty quick fix meal solutions in this guide.
Download this game and test your skills of finding your way through the maze. Be sure to visit the kids page at for many more activity pages.