The Food Service Department is proud of the role it plays in providing students with a nutritious meal each school day. Our goal is to provide students with a well balanced meal, which is appealing to students’ tastes, and meets the guidelines of the National School Lunch Program.
The USDA meal patterns require five components must be offered to qualify for a reimbursable meal. A Meat/Protein, Fruit, Vegetable, Bread, and Milk must be offered in specific quantities. These meal patterns are designed to provide 1/3 of the recommended dietary allowances for key nutrients. The menu must also provide no more than 30% of the total calories from fat, and no more than 10% from saturated fat over the course of a week.
Harvest of the Month
Our “Harvest of the Month” program promotes different fruits, vegetables, herbs and legumes throughout the school year. We provide fun facts and nutrition information and will serve it at least one day during that month.
In order to encourage students to eat a complete lunch, we offer three different entrée choices each day for Elementary students and four at the Middle and High School. Every entrée we offer is served with our Fruit and Vegetable Bar and Milk.
Our Fruit and Vegetable Bars provide three raw vegetables, a fresh fruit and a canned fruit, so the students can pick their favorite items, instead of passing up one choice offered on a menu because they don’t care for it. We introduce the students to a greater variety of fresh fruits and vegetables including Passion Fruit, Papaya, Beets and Okra, just to name a few. Our Harvest of the Month features a specific fruit and vegetable that is served and educational posters are displayed in the cafeteria with facts and recipe ideas to use them.
French Fries are baked rather than deep fried and are served a few days per month. Other changes we have made include offering more reduced calorie dressings, light mayonnaise and limiting Ranch dressing to days salad is served. We feel it is important to teach children what a vegetable tastes like without the dipping sauce, which also provides no nutritional value. We are pleased that Kohler students are enjoying the Fruit and Vegetable Bar and eating more of the foods that are good for them.
In order to meet the nutritional requirements of our meals, we take specific steps when preparing food items. Ground Beef is rinsed after cooking to skim off fat, and ground turkey is added when possible. All products that are typically deep fried, (chicken nuggets, chicken patties, popcorn chicken) are baked in ovens with no oil added. We do not add butter or margarine when cooking vegetables and they are steamed when possible. Salt is used sparingly as a seasoning, and we prefer to use pepper or other herbs as flavor enhancements.
A la Carte
A la Carte items are snacks that students may purchase that are not part of a meal. They are intended to compliment a meal rather than replace it and are only available to Middle and High School students. We have reduced the amount of pre packaged snacks and introduced more baked and lo-fat snack items. Most of the items sold are made from scratch without the chemicals found in processed foods. We also use the guidelines from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation when choosing ala carte items. We continue to follow the school Wellness Policy, and will make other changes as requested by the Wellness Committee.
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We have included a Nutritional Analysis of your favorite menu items. Students and parents can use this data to help make the best choices for a well balanced diet.
Taher’s Food4Life(SM) Initiative
We recognize that good nutrition and physical activity are essential for the long-term health of children. Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions; Type 2 diabetes and other childhood-onset of adult diseases also have reached alarming proportions.
Our commitment to be part of a solution led us to our Food 4 Life initiative, which has been our guiding principle at Taher Inc. since 2006 and includes:
- introducing children to new and different foods
- focusing on more scratch cooking, using less processed foods
- increasing the offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes
- utilizing more locally grown products when available
- providing additional opportunities for development of our cooks by working with our regional and corporate chefs, and through chef training seminars
We have eliminated all trans fats in products we purchase, and use low sodium bases in our recipes. We have specified milk without Bovine Growth Hormone, BGH.
Our menu standards follow the White House Initiative, and the HealthierUS School Challenge.
This year we have expanded our Farm to School Program to 17 different fruits and vegetables grown locally when in season. Students will be able to see the name of the farm and location when these wonderful farm fresh items are served.
We post nutrition tips aimed at younger students, to help build good eating habits. We are promoting Nutrition Month with nutrition display boards in the cafeteria. Students will see a comparison of sugar and fat contained in the popular foods they eat, to help them understand the impact good choices makes on their health.
We understand the changing environment and the concern of rising childhood obesity. We will continue to evaluate the lunch program as new information is received, and make changes as necessary to comply with USDA guidelines and any local policies.
I would also be glad to speak to anyone who needs more information or has concerns about Nutrition and our school lunch program.
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In the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, the U.S. Congress established a new requirement for all local agencies with a federally funded National School Lunch Program. All local school districts are required to develop and implement wellness policies by the start of the 2006-07 school year. In response to this requirement, our school district formed a committee made up of parents, administration, faculty, and students to develop a wellness policy.
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- Expanded Farm to School Program using local products
- Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
- Fruit and Vegetable Bars with more vegetable choices
- Offer milk choices of 1% and skim
- Beverages offered in smaller sizes
- Only baked fries served on occasion
- Salad dressings and mayonnaise are offered in reduced fat varieties
- Ranch dressing served with salads and discouraged as dipping sauce
- Nutrition board displaying ways to choose healthy outside of school
- More vegetarian choices
- New made from scratch Food 4 Life Recipes
- Using reduced fat cheese on homemade pizza
- All competitive foods offered, such as chips and pre-packaged snacks, follow the National School Lunch Program guidelines and School District Wellness Policy.
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