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.
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.
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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. Schools have a responsibility to help students and staff establish and maintain lifelong, healthy eating patterns.
Well-planned and well-implemented school nutrition programs have been shown to positively influence students’ eating habits. Taher Food Service Department is proud to play an important role in providing students with nutritious meals each school day.
Our mission and commitment is to provide high quality, fresh wholesome foods and nutritionally balanced and appealing menu selections to every New Glarus student. To this end, we will offer food products which are minimally processed, while allowing our customers to increase the consumption of natural fibers and other natural ingredients while decreasing caloric intake, saturated fat, trans fatty acids, added sugars and artificial ingredients.
To help students make informed decisions we pledge to provide clear and simple information and education on individual responsibility and the relationship of eating at school and ensuring proper health and wellness. One of our specific goals is teaching lifelong proper eating habit, that 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-fatty acids for 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 must meet our stringent standards promoting the well being of our customers. We encourage the consumption of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains in their natural forms, such as wild rice, barley, quinoa, couscous, and long grain rice.
Our Food 4 Life flyer published quarterly by our Wellness and Nutrition Department, will feature articles of interest geared toward all our customers. Each issue incorporates tips on healthy lifestyles, nutrition myths, environmental issues, new food trends and will feature seasonal promotions.
Menu & Components
The USDA meal patterns require five components must be offered and students must choose a minimum of three to qualify for a reimbursable meal. The components are 2oz. of Meat/Protein, ½ to 1 cup per day made of at least two different Fruit and Vegetable, 8 to 15 serving of Breads/Grains and 8 oz of Milk. The meal patterns are designed to provide 1/3 of the recommended dietary allowances for key nutrients. The menu must provide no more than 30% of total calories from fat, and no more than 10% from saturated fat over the course of a week.
In order to encourage students to eat a complete lunch, we offer two entrée choices at each elementary, and more choices at the Middle and High Schools. Every entrée we offer is available as a meal when bundled with a fruit choice, vegetable choice, milk and bread. We also offer tiered lunch choices such as the Footer Bar and the Pasta Bar.
At each elementary, we feature a choice of two fruits [fresh and canned] and two vegetables [fresh and frozen/canned] daily to offer students a variety of healthy options. By providing a variety of fresh and canned fruit and two vegetables daily, students may select their favorite items, instead of passing up one choice offered on a menu because they don’t care for it.
Eating fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce the risk for many health problems including: stroke, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, as well as certain kinds of cancer including colon-rectum, mouth and stomach cancer. Fruits and vegetables which are rich in potassium may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and may help to decrease bone loss.
French Fries (which are considered a vegetable by USDA definition) when offered, will be free of trans fat and baked in all elementary and middle schools. Trans fat free French Fries at the High School, if fried, will be in trans fat free frying oil.
Bread selections will feature items made from whole grains offered in white and wheat variations. Sandwich buns will also be made with whole grains. Milk selections range from skim and 1% to fat free chocolate milk.
Desserts are considered a treat with lunch, and have been limited on the menu. We will offer healthier treat selections including unique fruits, dried fruits, frozen juice bars, fruit smoothies, and cookies baked with fruit and whole grains.
On-going foodservice activities include increased education to all students on proper portion sizes of food products, the limited use of certain fat-free or reduced calorie products which may contain higher amounts of processed sugars, as well as reduction of processed food items.
In order to help students make sense of serving sizes and compare the proper portion of fruits and vegetables, here are some everyday examples to help choose the correct amount:
- ½ cup of vegetables = 7 or 8 baby carrots or 1 ear of corn on the cob
- ½ cup cooked broccoli = a light bulb
- 1 cup salad greens = a baseball
- ¼ cup of raisins = a large egg
- 1 medium apple = a tennis ball
- ½ cup fresh fruit = 7 cotton balls
USDA Donated Foods
Part of the funding of the National School Lunch Program comes to the district in the form of USDA donated commodities. As students tastes have changed, the types of foods offered as commodities have changed with them. Rather than receive whole turkeys as in the past, we now receive processed items such as Turkey Taco Meat. Examples of other items include Chicken Nuggets, Fully Cooked Hamburger Patties, and Pizza Dippers. These items are manufactured using ingredients which help lower fat and sodium. For example, cheese products are made with part skim milk, and beef products have added soy or turkey. We also receive canned fruit and frozen vegetables as commodities.
In order to meet standard nutritional requirements of our meals, we use specific steps when preparing food items. Ground Beef is rinsed and drained after cooking to skim off fat. When possible we will use ground turkey in place of ground beef as a healthy alternative. All food products which may be typically deep fried, (examples include chicken nuggets, chicken patties, popcorn chicken) are baked in ovens. When we do deep fry, we use a trans fat free frying oil. We steam, sauté or oven roast vegetables rather than boiling and we do not add butter or margarine when cooking. In some specific cases when sautéing vegetables, the use of healthier oil like canola or olive oil may be used. Seasonings are limited to herbs or spices, pepper and zests rather than salt or sodium flavored sauces.
A la Carte
Healthy school meal efforts and nutrition instruction may be contradicted in schools by environments such as snack bars, school stores, and vending machines that promote sales of food and beverages of low nutrient density. Therefore, any competitive foods that we offer A La Carte must meet the USDA standards.
A la Carte items are generally snacks and other food items which students may purchase independent of a meal. A la carte items are offered to Middle and High School students only, and are intended to compliment a meal rather than be a meal. For this reason, we follow the USDA price guidelines so that a meal is always a better value than purchasing items separately. All meal components may be purchased independently as a la carte items, yet a complete meal will be the best overall choice. A la Carte items sold comply with general USDA guidelines, and we have reduced the selections of food products containing higher fats and processed sugars. We constantly seek alternative healthier options, natural and/or organic products that do not contain high fructose corn syrup or trans-fatty acids and beverages that are either 100% fruit juice or sweetened with natural sugars; we will offer these products where appropriate and post nutritional labels and information. Point of sale materials will emphasize proper portion size to educate students when making choices.
Taher, Inc., providing Food 4 Life!
Pure Health is a Taher proprietary food item concept designed to identify healthier food choices and promote nutritional awareness. A colorful logo identifies snack and food items which meet our standard of containing no more than 30 calories from fat, so students can easily identify healthier foods options from the more traditional and higher calorie items. As part of our on-going education campaign, we use a nutrition board posted in the cafeteria that features weekly nutrition tips and other Pure Health information to encourage healthy eating.
At each elementary building, we have a colorful Nutra Kid poster, with nutrition tips aimed at younger students, to help build good eating habits. Nutra Kid, a kid-friendly character made of fruits and vegetables states the phrase: “You Are What You Eat”. Eating healthy is the number 1 rule of Nutra Kid and we hope this unique foodservice mascot helps children eat better. Our foodservice understands a constant changing environment and the reality of rising childhood obesity. We will continue to evaluate our services, products and menus as new information becomes available, and implement changes as necessary to comply with USDA guidelines and local policies.
In an effort to collaborate with national educational resources we will be promoting Nutrition Month in March. National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the American Dietetic Association. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. NNM also promotes ADA and its members to the public and the media as the most valuable and credible source of timely, scientifically based food and nutrition information.
This years’ theme is called 100% FAD FREE Snacking. The emphasis will be on educating kids about restricting popular snack items and choose healthier food products which promote a healthier you. Students will be able to see comparisons of nutrients and calories contained in the popular foods they eat as well as other healthier alternatives, while teaching them the long-term benefits of good choices while improving their health.
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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, the New Glarus School District formed a committee made up of parents, administration, faculty, and students to develop a wellness policy.
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- No changes to report.
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