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As students return to school in RSU 10, they will be tempted with new choices in the cafeteria. With the help of the cafeteria staffs, they will have more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
School Nutrition Director Jeanne LaPointe explained, “This school year, we’re reinforcing our commitment to new USDA guidelines. We will still reinforce the message reminding students of basic changes from last year, that they must choose at least one fruit or vegetable among the three meal components they need to take for a complete lunch, but there’s more to the on-going changes that we want to share with parents.”
On-going changes include:
The USDA is more flexible within calorie maximums, so students will see more grains and proteins.
Students must still choose at least one fruit or veggie serving, and they can choose more if they like. Every day, students are offered at least one cup of veggies and one cup of fruit.
The healthiest veggies will be offered more often, with weekly servings of healthy dark green and red/orange vegetable as well as beans and other legumes.
Whole grains are up again. At least 50 percent of all grain foods will be whole grain rich, and within another year, all of the grains we serve will be whole grain-rich.
Milk choices will be fat-free unflavored, 1% unflavored and fat-free flavored milks.
Meals will begin limiting sodium until a final maximum of 740 mg sodium per meal on average is reached.
This year’s changes will focus on breakfast, with the biggest shift requiring that half of all grains served are whole-grain rich. Next year all grains must be whole-grain rich and additional fruit will be offered. The RSU will continue to explore opportunities to expand breakfast serving at the Elementary Schools.
LaPointe concluded, “Putting these changes in place over the past year has required careful planning on our part, especially as we (and our customers!) have been getting used to the new guidelines. But the end result is healthier meals for our students. We know well-nourished students do better in school!”
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