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, is patterned off of the guidelines of the National School Lunch Program.
Our school meals are designed to provide 1/3 of the recommended dietary allowances for key nutrients. The menu is written to 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 entrée choices every day. Every entrée we offer is available as a meal when bundled with 2 side items, our fruit and vegetable bar and a milk or bottled water. We believe it is important to encourage students to eat a balanced meal, so variety helps with that goal.
Our program offers a self serve fruit and vegetable bar. By providing three vegetables, a fresh fruit and a canned fruit, 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 will introduce the students to a greater variety of fresh fruit like Passion Fruit, Blood Orange, and Papaya, just to name a few.
Desserts are considered a treat with lunch, and have been limited to once per week on the menu.
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 no longer added as a seasoning, and we 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. Examples of A la Carte items we sell are juice beverages, cheese cups and hummus cups, a variety of premade salads and sandwiches, cookies, packaged snacks, chips and ice cream.
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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
Every day our body requires a certain amount of energy from carbohydrates, protein and fats to function properly. Because no single food provides all of the nutrients our body needs, eating a variety of foods ensures that we get all of the necessary nutrients and other substances associated with good health.
Good nutrition and physical activity are two essential parts necessary for the long-term health of our customers. The link between nutrition and learning is well documented. Healthy eating patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being. Healthy eating is demonstrably linked to reduced risk for mortality and development of many chronic diseases as adults. We believe schools have a responsibility to help students and staff establish and maintain lifelong, healthy eating patterns.
For this reason, Taher Inc. has embraced an Initiative called Food 4 Life for the past 10 years. We are committed to the health, wellness and responsible eating habits of our customers in each of the 4 stages of life in which we serve them. As Students in K-12 Public and Private Schools, Young Adults in Colleges, Adults in the Businesses we serve, and for the Senior Citizens in the Elderly Feeding Programs we provide meals to.
Our mission and commitment is to provide high quality, fresh wholesome foods and nutritionally-balanced and appealing menu selections to every customer. To this end, we will strive to offer food products which are minimally processed. We believe this allows our customers to increase the consumption of natural fibers and other natural ingredients while decreasing caloric intake, saturated fat, added sugars and artificial ingredients. We eliminated Trans Fat from our menus and ingredients and source products produced without BGH and other growth hormones.
To help students understand individual responsibility and make informed decisions, one of our specific goals is teaching proper eating habits which reinforces the belief of moderated consumption in all food groups.
We constantly seek new recipes and products which mirror our commitment for culinary excellence by combining nutrition and taste. All of our products meet strict nutrition guidelines which include the use of only non-hydrogenated oils in our fryers, minimizing the intake of trans fats by our customers and the reduction of products containing high fructose corn syrup as a primary ingredient.
We incorporate fresh, regionally-grown fruit or produce, organic and natural products, and unprocessed and preservative-free foods whenever feasible. Our menus are analyzed for nutrient balance and each of our recipes meets our stringent standards promoting the well-being of our customers. We encourage the consumption of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains – such as wild rice, barley, quinoa, couscous and brown rice, in their natural forms.
We offer a Healthy to a T newsletter each month aimed at younger students, to help build good eating habits. We promote Nutrition Month with a nutrition display board to educate students on how diet effects their bodies. Students can 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 Dining Services program as new information is received, and make changes as necessary to comply with USDA guidelines and any local policies.
We 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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