Designed to ensure students receive a balanced meal consisting of foods from all major food groups, the USDA’s new standards encourage healthful eating and nutrition education. Additionally, the requirements focus on obtaining calories and other key nutrients from fruits, vegetables, protein foods, grains and milk with proper serving sizes for a student’s age and activity level.
We are committed to serving the New Fairfield Public Schools students healthy, nutritious meals,” said JoAnn Diotte, Food Service Director. “While we have always set high nutrition standards for school meals, we support the USDA’s updated meal requirements and will continue to promote healthy eating habits among our students.”
ARAMARK’s Healthy for Life™ initiative, a comprehensive wellness and nutrition education program that encourages students and their families to make healthier food choices, has been updated in anticipation of the USDA’s recommendations. ARAMARK’s team of dietitians and chefs have been proactively developing new Healthy for Life™ recipes that reduce added fats, sugar and salt and ensuring that menus offer even more fruits and vegetables while remaining appealing to students.
This year’s school menus feature low and non-fat dairy options; lean protein choices; a wide variety of fruits and vegetables including dark leafy greens, bright orange carrots and peas and beans; assorted whole grain products; and 100 percent fruit juice with no sugar added. Some of the specific menu changes for this school year that the USDA has put into effect we have already done. We will continue with these guidelines for the 2013-2014 school year:
Increase in fruits and vegetables being offered. Students must take at least ½ cup of fruit or vegetable each day.
Offering flavored milk in fat-free or skim varieties while unflavored or white milk will be offered as skim or 1%.
Availability of whole grains. More than half of the grain items served this year will be whole grain.
To help students understand the school’s lunch program, signs will be posted on each service line to show students how to select a reimbursable meal (if eligible through the National School Lunch program), as well as to help them recognize how their menu choices fit into the key food groups needed to ensure a balanced diet.
K-12 USDA FINAL RULE Brochure
For information about eating healthy including helpful tips and recipes, visit www.myhealthyforlife.com