Healthy Menu Project for 2009/10 School Year Continues
First published on 11 June 2009 Posted in Nutrition
INSERT FRESH HERE!
Beginning in the fall of 2009 Chilton Schools instituted a new healthy menu initiative. The "Insert Fresh Here!" program was designed to replace existing processed foods with nutrient dense and fresh whole food alternatives. White flour breads, buns, and pastas have be replaced with nutrient dense whole grain alternatives. New menu items began showing up on September 2009 menus including whole grain pastas, fresh potato dishes, and fresh vegetable dishes; all this in addition to the daily fresh fruit and veggie bars.
The "Insert Fresh Here" menu program was developed by the Nutrition Department in accordance with the upcoming changes in the National School Lunch Program nutrition requirements now writen into law. Reduction of sodium, sugars, and trans fats as well as the addition of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are the focus of the changes. The Northeast Wisconsin Farm to School Initiative was formed by the Chilton and Hilbert Nutrition Programs to assist school districts in making the changes necessary to comply with the 2010/2011 standards. The mission statement of the initiative states... we connect students to the foods they eat while promoting local agriculture and sustainability. By offering and encouraging students of Northeast Wisconsin whole foods, we encourage nutrition awareness everyday.
The addition of locally raised, grass fed (lower in overall fat) beef combined with fresh fruits and vegetables to the program were the first major steps taken to accomplish the recommended changes. Adding 70-80% whole grain items to our menus along with a reduction in sodium, added dark green and orange vegetables, and the addition of cooking from scratch has brought our program within the new guidelines.
We applaud the changes now taking place in the National School Lunch Program and look ahead to whole and nutritious foods increasing on lunch trays across the U.S.