Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 to help ensure students across the U.S. have access to the nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults. This legislation regulates the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) child nutrition programs, including the National School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program, and requires schools to serve nutritious, balanced meals in their cafeterias. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act went into effect in the 2012-2013 school year and required schools to increase the amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains they serve to students, while reducing the amount of sodium and fats included in the food items sold in cafeterias.
Here is an overview of how these standards have been implemented in Clayton’s schools:
Increase In Fruits and Vegetables
We offer a larger variety of nutrient-dense vegetables, including dark green, orange, starchy vegetables and legumes. Students are required to take 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetable for their meal to be considered a full meal. Colorful fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals important for growth and development during childhood.
Allowable Grains and Proteins
Menus offer specific amounts of whole grains and proteins. This practice is intended to make sure students are receiving age-appropriate, nutritionally-adequate meals that provide the right amount of energy from healthful food sources. Whole grains are included in a wide variety of menu items including pizza crust, rolls, muffins, pancakes, waffles and cereal.
We continue to work with food manufacturers to lower the amount of sodium included in their food products. Chartwells chefs and registered dietitians have worked to modify and develop creative new recipes using non-salt seasonings, herbs and tasty fresh foods.
Unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fat can lead to heart disease and high cholesterol, as well as other chronic diseases. We only use food products and ingredients that contain zero grams of trans fat per serving.
Menus by Age Groups
New grade groups for menu planning are aimed at ensuring students receive age-appropriate portions and nutrients. New calorie requirements have been implemented to align with these grade groups.On July 1, 2014, the USDA’s “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards went into effect in schools across the country. These requirements ensure that all foods and beverages available for sale to students in school, including snacks, are tasty and nutritious. The standards incorporate science-based nutrition guidelines and set limits on the amount of calories, sodium, fat and sugar included in items sold to students during the school day. Learn more about the Smart Snacks standards.
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Both Chartwells and the School District of Clayton are dedicated to providing quality nutritious meals that students will enjoy and choose to eat. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Chartwells Food Service Director Michelle Fohey at (314) 854-6640 or via email at email@example.com.