ST HELENA UNIFIED NUTRITION SERVICES = Healthy Meals
School lunch has been attracting a lot of attention in the past few years about what children are being served. Childhood obesity is a real concern so it is important that you know what we are doing to help.
We are working hard in Nutrition Services to provide School Lunch and Breakfast daily to our students. We are required to meet U.S. Government standards but we also go beyond those standards to provide the best meals possible within the limits of our budget and facilities.
We use a nutrient analysis computer system to create menus that meet the standards for all necessary nutrients for the age of our students. Our menus are well below the government levels of 30% overall fat and 10 % saturated fat, and contain no Trans fats. All our foods including snacks, meet the USDA guidelines of equal to or less than 35 % sugar, 35 % total fat and 10% saturated fat as USDA requires. Snacks at the elementary level are 175 calories or less and at the secondary level are 250 calories or less. Entrees for meals are no more the 400 calories. The USDA recommends about 2000 calories a day for an active child.
Many parents are concerned with sugar in meals and snacks. “Sugar” means all free Mono-and disaccharides, such as glucose, fructose, lactose and sucrose. Many foods, such as milk and fruits, have naturally occurring sugars in them. High-fructose corn syrup and sucrose, also know as table sugar are made up of about the same amount of glucose and fructose. The American Dietetic Association says the two sweeteners are “nutritionally equivalent” and “indistinguishable” once absorbed in the bloodstream. The American Medical Association has said its “unlikely that High Fructose Corn Syrup contributes more to obesity or other conditions than sucrose.” All foods high in “sugar” need to be consumed in moderation. The guidelines that Foods Services follows for “sugar” should be followed by ALL groups on campus or other foods brought into schools for parties or snacks. The guidelines for fats and saturated fats should also be followed by these groups.
WHAT WE DO:
Salad Bars are in all schools with fresh fruit and vegetables choices.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are served daily.
1% low-fat Milk or nonfat Milk are provided daily and are hormone and antibiotic free.
Whole grain breads, buns and cereals and snacks are served daily.
Local produce and other foods are purchased from local businesses whenever possible.
Breakfast is served in all schools and includes homemade items such as egg burritos, fruit muffins, fresh fruit, seasonal breakfast breads and crispy potato wedges.
Some items we prepare in house include Salad Dressings, Salsa, Pizza Sauce and BBQ Sauce and more.
We are now serving homemade school prepared food at least three times a week- Mexican Tuesday, Italian or Oriental Wednesday and Pizza Friday. We serve homemade Mexican and South Western recipes, meat sauce, marinara and pesto pastas, chicken, beef or vegetarian stir fry, teriyaki and Chow Mein, homemade Pizza, homemade soups, fresh Entrée Salads, Deli Subs on baked bread and more.
We have a vegetarian option daily.
Bread donated from Model Bakery is used in our menus.
We have Monthly Menus with Nutrition and Health Information and Feature “Harvest of the Month” to introduce students to the flavor and facts of the selection.
We now serve Ice Water in the Cafeterias at no additional charge.
Currently we serve water, juice and sport drinks and milk and have not served soda for some time.
We are authorized to use “Offer vs. Serve” in all our schools. This means students can take a minimum of two items of all the foods offered for a meal. If students take what they want, we hope they will eat what they take. Students can take all the foods offered at the meal if desired.
We do use a prepayment system for parent to put money on student meals cards. Check or cash can be received at all cafeterias or school offices. If parents want to make prepayments on line go to Mylunchmoney.com and follow their directions.
If you have any questions about the Nutrition Services department or what we are doing please contact me. Thank you.
USDA Food & Nutrition - USDA information on Food and Nutrition
USDA School Meals - Information about the School Lunch Program.
Dole 5 A Day - Information and Fun to encourage increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
CA Dairy Council - General information on healthy eating with an emphasis on dairy.