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New School Meal Requirements

School Meals are Changing - New 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!  The new requirements will help Commerce City Schools build on the work we are already doing to provide more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthier entrees in our school cafeterias.

Some of the new requirements Include:
    •    Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables offered daily
    •    Reducing the sodium content in meals
    •    Setting age appropriate calorie limits for meals served
    •    All grain and bread products are whole grain to increase fiber content
Students are required to have ½ cup of fruit or vegetable on their tray for it to count as a full meal.  Anything less than a full meal will be charged at as individual items.  We offer a variety of fruits and vegetables daily to give students more options in the hopes that choosing fruits and vegetables will be easy.

 The age appropriate calorie limits 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 the Commerce City School Cafeterias, we have already made progress toward meeting the new requirements.  
Some things we are already doing:   
    •    A variety of  fruit and vegetables are served every day.
    •    Purchasing more local and GA Grown produce whenever possible
    •    Sandwiches are served on whole grain buns.
    •    All pasta served is whole grain rich.
    •    Breakfast muffins, donuts, pop-tarts, etc… are whole grain.
    •    Milk that is available is only unflavored low-fat or fat-free chocolate.
    •    Purchasing lower sodium foods whenever possible.
    •    Dark green and orange vegetables are served on a weekly basis.
    •    Dried beans and peas are served at least once a week.
    •    Garden salads include romaine lettuce and spinach.
    •    All foods are baked or steamed.  We don’t  even own a fryer!

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.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.  We are here to help!

Susan Shirley Harvin 
School Nutrition Director