Magical Beans

Healthy Kids Happy Planet > Magical Beans

Healthy Kids Happy Planet’s special focus on beautiful BEANS grew out of the USDA National School Lunch Program (NSLP) regulations, which require every school meal to offer 5 “components:”

  1. a meat and/or meat-alternate (cheese, yogurt, egg, beans
  2. one serving of fruit 
  3. one serving of vegetable 
  4. one serving of (51% whole) grain 
  5. fluid cow’s milk (plant-based option available with parent note) 

Beans (including bean burgers) are the only allowable whole food, plant-based meat-alternate. Select vegetarian meat analogues are also approved. 

HKHP believes that most school food professionals would love to serve more bean based meals, but their challenges are real. Healthy Kids Happy Planet is working to be a part of the much needed cultural shift to bring plant-based meals into the mainstream.

It begins with education, delivered to open hearts & fertile minds! 

That’s why HKHP has created several nutrition education programs & resources to support this holistic approach to nutrition education, and is working with school food professionals in a coordinated effort to link classroom nutrition education to school cafeteria

Here are just a few resources that highlight the “magic” of beans! They really do have the power to save lives and heal the planet!  

The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health brought together 37 world-leading scientists from across the globe to answer this question: Can we feed a future population of 10 billion people a healthy diet within planetary boundaries? The answer is yes, but it will be impossible without transforming eating habits…It emphasizes a plant-forward diet where whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes comprise a greater proportion of foods consumed. 

Click here for more about this ground breaking study. 

In partnership with National Geographic, longevity expert and author of the Blue Zones, Dan Buettner, travels the world to discover where people live the longest and healthiest lives. In these five “Blue Zones” there are 9 lessons, a.k.a. “power factors,” that explain what the different populations have in common.  One major power factor: Beans as primary protein source.  In all of HKHP’s education and outreach efforts, we teach this simple, yet profound lesson! 

 Click here for more at

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet. The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world.

Read full article here.

​In this important document created in partnership between the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), its first section, A Priority for Change, states “…a movement to place a greater emphasis on healthy, plant-based foods – including plant-based proteins – is the single most important contribution the food service industry can make toward environmental sustainability. Such efforts will also greatly reduce incidence of chronic disease, and, if well-conceived, mark a pathway to future industry cost management and financial success.” Read full document. 

In 2016, Nations United behind the mission of Healthy Kids Happy Planet, declaring 2016 the “International Year of the Pulses” (pulses are beans). The campaign is a global effort to encourage a shift to beans for protein, as a delicious, nutritious and sustainable answer to hunger, biodiversity and climate change. 

Watch video: Year of the Pulses (Beans) 

Book: Pulses, Nutritious Seeds for a Sustainable Future

Article / video from Atlantic Magazine, explores how food choices, specifically swapping beans for beef, is a powerful way for individuals to take responsibility in the fight against looming climate catastrophe. 

Click here for video.   Click here for article.