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 options for well balanced meals, that offer value and quality to meet the needs of all students.
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.
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.
In order to encourage students to eat a complete lunch, we offer several entrée choices. Every entrée we offer is available as a meal when bundled with a fruits and vegetables from the Fruit and Vegetable Bar, along with a carton of milk.
We will introduce the students to a greater variety of fresh fruit including Papaya, Passion Fruit and Dates, with our Harvest of the Month Program. We have partnered with Catalano Produce, to source more local produce from Wisconsin Farms. We are excited about the quality and freshness that this program will provide students.
Other changes we have made include eliminating all trans fat from the products we purchase.
USDA Donated Foods
Part of the funding of the National School Lunch Program comes to the district in the form of USDA donated foods. As students tastes have changed, the types of foods offered as donated foods 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 from USDA.
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. 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 intended to compliment a meal rather than replace it. 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.
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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 students. 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 Food 4 Life initiative, which has been our guiding principle at Taher Inc. since 2006 and includes:
- introducing students 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, and unit visits
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.
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 Wisconsin farm and location when these wonderful farm fresh items are served.
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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- More Made from Scratch recipes on On Display Station
- Whole Grain Hamburger Buns
- New Fruit and Vegetable Bar option with entree
- Changed milk choices to 1% white, 1% chocolate and skim
- Nutrition boards displaying sugar and fat in snack items
- Daily vegetarian choices
- Using part skim cheese on homemade pizza
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