Thursday, February 14, 2013

News from the Kitchen

The school day just got healthier thanks to new federal requirements for changes to school meals.  As a parent, you have the ability to help make the school meal changes a positive and exciting experience for your child. The new school meals have more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; low-fat milk; and less salty and fatty foods. School meals now do a better job of giving your kids the healthy foods they need. Help your child check out these new meals and find what they like.

It takes time to get kids to learn to like new foods. Here are some tips to help your children eat healthy foods:
  • Make time to join your child for lunch in the school cafeteria.
  • When your child gets home from school, ask what he/she ate for lunch.
  • Eat meals with your child as much as you can. Let your child see you eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains at meals and snacks.
  • Grocery shopping can teach your children about healthy eating. Talk to them about where vegetables, fruits and grains, and milk and meat come from. Let your children make healthy choices.
  • Try new foods yourself. Describe how they smell, feel and taste. Offer one new food at a time. Serve something your child likes with the new food.
The School Day Just Got Healthier. Together we can help our kids learn healthy habits that last forever.

The following are specifics about recent changes on the JES menu:

  • Almost all from scratch
  • Processed foods off the menu
  • Local Misty Knolls Chicken
  • Cabot butter and Stonyfield organic yogurt
  • All whole grain pasta
  • Almost all whole wheat flour
  • Brown rice only
  • Beans 2-3 x week
  • Fresh fruit and veggie bar T-F, with seconds
  • Five rainbow groups of veggies per week
  • Real Maple Syrup

In other Kitchen News:
  • The State of Vermont Department of Nutrition and the USDA Foods were both here at JES for an inspection review. They report that we are exceeding the national requirements. They were very happy with what they saw! We won't stop here, though! We are continuing to improve on our menu and look for ways to add healthy recipes that the kids will love. One avenue that is helping in this area is taste testing! Our third taste test is next week and the kids have been very excited about the process. See our post on Taste Testing for more details.
  • We are hoping to move to all round tables in the cafeteria.
  • click here for a link to the USDA site for details about school lunch requirements.

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