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School Nutrition


Jennifer Wheeler, School Nutrition Director
Shelley Mattingly, Administrative Assistant


New Regulations Means New School Meals

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in support of healthier eating habits for students of all ages, has released new regulations for school meals that are creating a new look for lunch trays nationwide. This year the school lunch consists of a variety of colorful fruits and vegetable along with more whole grain rich breads and entrees that contain less fat and sodium.

The new regulations, summarized below, ensure well-balanced meals:

  • Age-appropriate calorie limits
  • Larger servings of vegetables and fruits (students must take at least one serving of produce)
  • A wider variety of vegetables, including dark green and red/orange vegetables and legumes for example, romaine lettuce, carrots, and black beans
  • Fat-free or 1% milk (flavored milk must be fat-free)
  • More whole grains
  • Less sodium

These new regulations are based the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which can be found at http://www.choosemyplate.gov. This website also contains information on the My Plate initiative, which reminds all Americans to make healthier choices. Students may have already seen some My Plate materials hanging around their school cafeterias which depict what a healthy plate should look like. The school food service staff is working very hard to provide healthier and tastier choices for school meals that will meet the new USDA regulations. We know sometimes change can be difficult and met with mixed reviews but by keeping an open line of communication with the students, staff, and parents we can make this a positive experience for everyone. Please remember a nutritious meal not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but success in the classroom as well. The USDA school meal regulations are available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/regulations.