School officials try healthier cafeteria options - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Back To School

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

School officials try healthier cafeteria options

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, July 27, 2014 7:56 am

Bean burgers, peanut butter substitutes and pre-sliced vegetable packets were on the menu recently as school lunchroom managers from around the country sampled offerings in a hunt for fare that will meet stricter health mandates — without turning off sometimes-finicky students.

“I have my work cut out for me,” said Sara Gasiorowski, who was among the roughly 6,500 people attending a conference for school nutrition professionals at the convention center.

A director of food services for the school district in Wayne Township, Ind., she was looking for healthy, affordable breakfast options as her district expects higher dairy and produce costs.

This fall, new requirements from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will alter the makeup of school meals, calling for less sodium and more fruits and vegetables. Grain-based foods such as breads, tortillas, crackers and pastas will have to be rich in whole grains. Calorie, fat and sodium limits will be placed on snacks and drinks sold in school vending machines, snack bars and a la carte lines.

Schools must meet the requirements to be reimbursed by the federal government for what they spend on serving free and low-cost meals to low-income students, an important source of income for districts in an era of strapped school budgets.

Part of an effort to fight high childhood obesity levels, the nutritional mandates are being ramped up after first taking effect in 2012. Since then, more than 1 million students have stopped choosing to purchase school lunches, according to the School Nutrition Association. The group also says school cafeterias have wasted nearly $4 million in fruit and vegetables each day, as students end up throwing out foods they are served under the guidelines.

That has left districts searching for foods and recipes that fit the guidelines but are also more appealing to children.

Jackie Morgan, director of food services for Milton Public Schools outside Boston, sought whole-grain pasta for her district’s youngest students, who rejected the administration’s earlier attempts to make a healthier version of a lunchroom staple: macaroni and cheese.

“All of the children walked to the trash barrel and threw it away,” she said, recalling that failed experiment about four years ago.

By midafternoon, she’d covered about a third of the 400 exhibits but had not found a pasta that made the grade.

The school nutrition group, which organized the recent conference and represents about 55,000 school cafeteria and nutrition professionals, wants Congress to eliminate some of the new standards while keeping others at the same levels first imposed in 2012.

Other school nutrition experts said they were searching for foods that would be safe for the majority of children as more and more report nut and other allergies.

Jean Ronnei, chief operating officer for St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota, went to an exhibit by SunButter, which makes a sunflower seed paste that’s peanut- and gluten-free.

She said she discovered the paste, which tastes and looks like peanut butter but is not quite as sweet or viscous, at a previous conference. After bringing it to a panel of students for their approval, Ronnei says her district now uses it in sandwiches in place of peanut butter.

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Dark smoke hangs over scenic stretch of California coast

Previous Next The blaze that has destroyed 20 homes was burning inland over a ridge and was not for the most part visible on the Pacific Coast…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 2:17 pm @ http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/07/27/dark-smoke-ha…

Gunman Barricaded at Senior Center In Tempe, Arizona; SWAT on Scene

ARIZONA — Police In Tempe, Arizona were responding to an active shooter and barricade incident at the Westchester Senior Center Wednesday. The…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 1:53 pm @ http://breaking911.com/breaking-active-shooter-at-…

Colorful Destinations Around the World

Lavender paints a field purple in Provence, France. The apex of the Dome of the Rock shrine glints gold in Jerusalem, Israel. The red rocks of…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 1:49 pm @ http://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/travel-in…

Mediterranean Diet for Brain Health

advertisement Find more information on Dr. Weil and integrative medicine. DrWeil.com The premiere resource for in-depth, timely, trustworthy i…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 1:23 pm @ http://www.drweilblog.com/home/2016/7/27/mediterra…

Arizona Cardinals sign veteran linebacker Donald Butler

The Arizona Cardinals have added some linebacker depth just one day before training camp is set to begin. The Cards announced Wednesday that t…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 1:19 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/sports/sports-blogs-local/ari…

US Aid Chief Asks Security Council to Support Pauses in Syrian Fighting

Print Syrian Fighters Seize Half of Manbij From Islamic State Syrian Government Airstrikes Hit 5 Clinics in Rebel-held Areas The United Nation…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 1:21 pm @ http://www.voanews.com/content/un-aid-chief-asks-s…

Suns Announce Complete 2016-17 Coaching Staff

The Phoenix Suns announced Head Coach Earl Watson’s coaching staff on Wednesday, naming Jay Triano associate head coach, Tyrone Corbin and Nat…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 1:17 pm @ http://www.nba.com/suns/press-release/suns-announc…

How to Stay Cool in Metro Phoenix This Summer

Becky Bartkowski A A In New Times' 2016 summer guide, we're all about keeping cool — from eating and drinking to staycationing. Here's your gu…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 12:49 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/how-to-stay-co…

BLOG: Jared Dudley's passion for Phoenix a breath of fresh air compared to Stoudemire's disrespect

Within a 24-hour period, Phoenix Suns fans have witnessed the epitome of class from one of their favorite players and a complete lack of class…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 12:49 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/sports/sports-blogs-local/blo…

Fed up after 5 months without pay, public servant quits job in disgust

A public servant is enraged she had to quit her job and pull her daughter out of full-day daycare because the government didn't pay her salary…

Published: July 27, 2016 - 12:49 pm @ http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/phoenix-payda…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…