School Meal Requirements
You may have heard that there will be new requirements for school meals. The new requirements are great news for our students! They will help Waukee Nutrition build on the work we are already doing to provide more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthier main dishes in our school cafeterias.
Some of the New Requirements Include
- Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables
- Reducing the sodium in meals over the next 10 years
- Setting calorie maximums for the first time
- Increasing whole grains
- Limiting the amount of meat/meat alternatives and grains
Students will now be required to have ½ cup of fruit or vegetable on their tray for it to count as a full meal. At the elementary schools, supervisors will be at the end of the line to ensure students are getting the reimbursable meal with the ½ cup fruit or vegetable. At the secondary level, if a student doesn’t have the ½ cup of fruit or vegetable, there will be options at the cash register to choose from. If the secondary student refuses to take the ½ cup of fruit or vegetable, the items will be charged as individual a la carte items. We plan to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables daily to give students more options in the hopes that choosing fruits and vegetables will be easy.
Schools are now limited on how much meat/meat alternate and grains that can be offered. This means that some of the main dishes may not be as large as they have been in the past. Remember, though, there will be more fruits and vegetables available to fill out the meal and ensure students have plenty to eat! In Waukee Nutrition, we have already made progress toward meeting the new requirements.
What We Are Already Doing
- Fresh fruit and vegetables are served every day.
- Sandwiches are served on 53% whole grain buns.
- In the next year most pasta served will be whole grain.
- Reduced fat items have been incorporated into the menus.
- Main dishes have been changed to include lower sodium options.
- Dark green and orange vegetables are served on a weekly basis.
- Dried beans have been incorporated into some of the recipes.
- Salad bars are available every day that include romaine lettuce and fresh spinach.
We’ll face some challenges to meet the new requirements on a tight budget, but our school nutrition program will work hard to make these healthy changes for our students and make each meal something our students will enjoy!
How Can 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, joining your child for lunch and talk 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.
ou have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We are here to help!
Jeannie Allgood, Director of Nutrition
Nancy Hogstad, Assistant Director of Nutrition
Nate Grebner, Talent Development Manager
Sarah Neary, Nutritionist
Build Healthy School Lunches Videos
Things are changing in school meals. Check out these short videos for an inside look into the new school lunch!
Lunch Safari – K-5: Go on a safari to find the healthy lunch at school!
School Lunch Report – Grades: 6-8: The video report by a middle school student explores school lunch. Grade A+!
What’s for Lunch? – 9-12: Rap into what’s happening at lunch!
Healthy School Lunch – Any adult who knows a student: A healthy student is more prepared to learn. Learn how School Lunch promotes growth and good health!
My Tray Parent Brochure PDF