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.
Students who need a substitution for milk can replace it with juice if a Dr’s note and completed allergy form are on file with the school nurse.
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.
Click on this month’s food to learn more about it!
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 Mini Corn Dogs, Chicken Nuggets, Fully Cooked Hamburger Patties, Pizza Dippers and Taco Meat. These items are prepared using ingredients that help lower the fat and salt they contain. For example, cheese products are made with part skim milk, and beef products have added soy or turkey. We also receive much of our canned fruit and frozen vegetables as commodities.
In order to meet the nutritional requirements of our meals, we take specific steps when preparing food items. Ground Beef is rinsed after cooking to skim off fat, and ground turkey is added when possible. All products that are typically deep fried, (chicken nuggets, chicken patties, popcorn chicken) are baked in ovens with no oil added. We do not add butter or margarine when cooking vegetables and they are steamed when possible. Salt is no longer added as a seasoning, and we use pepper or other herbs as flavor enhancements.
A la Carte
A la Carte items are snacks that students may purchase that are not part of a meal. They are offered to Middle and High School students only, and are intended to compliment a meal rather than replace it. For that reason, we follow the USDA price guidelines so that a meal is always a better value than purchasing items separately. We offer a la carte snacks in the main food court area, so students do not have to choose between buying lunch or a la carte. All a la carte items we sell are approved by USDA guidelines, although we have limited high fat a la carte items, and introduced more baked and lo-fat snack items in their place during the past two years. This year we have eliminated some items, and added new healthy snacks to meet the District Wellness Policy.
We understand the changing environment and the concern of rising childhood obesity. We will continue to evaluate the lunch program as new information is received, and make changes as necessary to comply with USDA guidelines and any local policies.
I would also be glad to speak to anyone who needs more information or has concerns about Nutrition and our school lunch program.
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If your son or daughter has been diagnosed with a life threatening food allergy, the Food Service Department will provide a special meal specific to their dietary needs. A limited menu is available depending on the problem allergen, that uses recipes with specific ingredients that are monitored. Parents and Students can contact Food Service to order meals in advance so they are prepared when requested. In order to provide these meals, a Special Diet Statement For a Participant with a Disability form needs to be on file with the school nurse. Please click here to download the form, and contact Tammy Mamayek email@example.com or Jenni Dettmann firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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.
TAHER LUNCH NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS:
TAHER BREAKFAST NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS:
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Taher’s Food4Life(SM) Initiative
We recognize that good nutrition and physical activity are essential for the long-term health of children. Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions; Type 2 diabetes and other childhood-onset of adult diseases also have reached alarming proportions.
Our commitment to be part of a solution led us to our Food4Life initiative, which has been our guiding principle at Taher Inc. since 2006 and includes:
- introducing children to new and different foods
- focusing on more scratch cooking, using less processed foods
- increasing the offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes
- utilizing more locally grown products when available
- providing additional opportunities for development of our cooks by working with our regional and corporate chefs, and through chef training seminars
We have eliminated all trans fats in products we purchase, and use low sodium bases in our recipes. We have specified milk without Bovine Growth Hormone, BGH.
Our menu standards follow the White House Initiative, and the HealthierUS School Challenge.
This year we have expanded our Farm to School Program to 17 different fruits and vegetables grown locally when in season. Students will be able to see the name of the farm and location when these wonderful farm fresh items are served.
French Fries are baked rather than deep fried in all elementary and middle schools. We have discontinued serving them as a daily vegetable option at the high school as well, so are only sold as an ala carte item.
Desserts are considered a treat with lunch, and have been limited to two times per week on the menu. Other changes we have made include using more reduced calorie dressings, light mayonnaise, limiting honey as a condiment, and offering 1% in place of 2% milk.
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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, our school district formed a committee made up of parents, administration, faculty, and students to develop a wellness policy.
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- Entrees only sold with a complete meal at the middle school
- Offering a choice of whole grain white and whole wheat bread
- Changed milk choices to 1% white, 1% chocolate and skim, and now BGH (Bovine Growth Hormone) Free.
- Desserts reduced to once per week
- No additional salt available to students as a condiment at elementary and middle schools
- Beverages offered in smaller sizes
- Only baked fries served at elementary schools, and no longer served with combo meals at the middle school or high school.
- Salad dressings and mayonnaise are offered in reduced fat varieties, and ranch dressing is now portion controlled through the use of packets handed out at the registers.
- Promoting Nutra Kid at Elementary Schools with Nutrition Tips and Menu board
- Nutrition boards displaying sugar and fat in snack items in Middle School and High School Cafeterias
- Offering a vegetarian entree each day at the High School.
- All competitive foods offered, such as chips and pre-packaged snacks, follow the National School Lunch Program guidelines and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
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