New look for school lunches
School Lunch changed due to
new National Nutritional Standards
School lunches look a bit different this year to students, not
just in Port Jervis, but across the country.
Menus feature more fruits, vegetables and whole-grain rich
foods. Students will also notice a change in the portion size of
their main entrée - while fruits and vegetable portions are
increasing, the protein & grain portions are shrinking to
reflect a new look of the “center of the plate.”
Our meals meet the new USDA Nutrition
Standards, which requires the following:
• Age-appropriate calorie limits
• Larger servings of vegetables and fruits
(students must take at least one serving)
• A wider variety of vegetables, including
green & red/orange vegetables & legumes
• Fat-free or 1% milk
• More whole grains
• Less sodium
This change is part of the “Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act”
championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, and signed into law in
2012, which includes
new calorie limits for school meals according to grade levels.
The new National Nutritional Standards for school meals that’s
behind this change is just one of five major components of the
Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, part of the Let’s Move!
health and wellness campaign.
The goal of the program is to combat childhood obesity
and to encourage healthy eating habits in children
both at school and at home.
To meet the new requirements on the vegetable component,
schools must offer specific categories of vegetables which are
organized into subgroups based on their nutrient content.
These groups consist of: Dark Green Vegetables, Starchy
Vegetables, Red & Orange Vegetables, Beans & Peas (legumes) and
Other (ex: avocado, beets, cabbage cauliflower, onions and
Meals will also contain less saturated fat and lower amounts of
sodium. These changes, starting in Sept. 2012, are just the
first steps in a three-year plan to phase-in the new standards.
Changes to breakfast meals and snacks served in school will
happen over the next two years.
Overall, the new standards will cost about $3.2 billion to
implement nationwide over the next five years according to the
United States Department of Agriculture. The government plans to
reimburse schools an additional six cents per meal.
In order for meals to qualify for state and federal
reimbursements, students must take at least three of the five
offered components each day, one of which MUST BE A FRUIT OR
VEGETABLE. The additional six cents in reimbursements is to
help offset the cost of buying more fresh fruit, vegetables and
whole grain foods. Even with the additional reimbursement, many
districts around the state will need to increase lunch prices,
if not this year, in the near future.
How Parents You Help?
The school nutrition program needs the support of parents to
succeed! Parents can support this effort by encouraging your
child to give the healthier meals a try, talking to your child about the healthy options, or simply introducing
your child to these healthy changes at home.
You are your
child’s primary role model, when they see you choose healthy
foods they are more likely to choose them as well.
Let's Eat for the Health of It is one of several
helpful resources that parents can use to help their children
make healthy food choices. Links to more resources are posted at
the top of this page.
Let's Eat for the
Health of It
School Meals are Healthier