Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act
USDA Releases New School Meal Patterns
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
On Wednesday, January 25th First Lady Michelle Obama, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s new nutrition standards for school meals.
The new regulations address many components of each meal, such as:
· offer more fruits and vegetables
· serve more whole grain-rich foods
· offer only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties
· make sure kids are getting proper portion sizes.
We are still reviewing all the details of the new meal pattern, but our school district has already brought a variety of healthier choices to our school cafeterias that address goals in the new regulations. For example:
- We offer fresh fruit every day
- We already made the switch to 1% or fat free milk
- Our sandwiches are served on whole wheat or multigrain bread
(WG White Bread for peanut butter & jelly sandwiches).
- We offer salads every day made with fresh salad greens including chopped romaine.
- Multi Grain Dinner & Wheat Rolls are offered
- Rice & Pasta are mixed ½ white ½ brown or wheat
- Portion sizes have never been “Super Sized” in school lunch program
- Fruitables Juice is 100% juice made from fruit & vegetables no sugar added
After thorough review of the meal pattern, we will begin building on the progress we’ve already made and plan our menus for next school year to reflect these new nutrition guidelines.
We know it’s critical that students accept and consume these healthier options.
We’ll face some challenges to meet all the new requirements on a tight budget, but our school nutrition program will be working hard to make these healthy changes for our students. We hope parents will support this effort by encouraging their students to give the healthier meals a try.