As part of the USDA’s nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and National School Breakfast Programs, Aramark, a leading provider of school food and nutrition services to more than 3,000 K-12 schools across the nation, continues to develop new and innovative Healthy for Life™ recipes. Designed to ensure students receive an appealing, balanced meal consisting of foods from all major food groups, the USDA’s standards focus on obtaining calories and other key nutrients from fruits, vegetables, lean protein foods, grains, and milk with proper serving sizes for a student’s age and activity level.
Some of the USDA’s menu requirements include:
~ All grain items served are whole-grain rich unless your district has requested an exemption from your State Agency.
~ Requiring fruits and vegetables. While our menus have always offered a variety of vegetables and fruits every day, students are now required to take at least ½ cup at breakfast and lunch.
~ Offering flavored milk in fat-free or skim varieties while unflavored or white milk will be offered as skim or 1%.
~ Limiting the number of desserts offered to allow for an increase in higher nutrient foods.
~ Reducing the sodium in breakfast and lunch meals with levels prescribed by age/grade group.
~ Limiting saturated fat to less than 10 percent of total calories with no trans fats permitted.
To help students understand school breakfast and lunch programs, signs are posted on each service line to show students how to select a reimbursable meal (in locations participating in USDA programs) as well as to help them recognize how their menu choices fit into the key food groups needed to ensure a balanced diet.
We draw from an extensive database of age-appropriate recipes developed by our dietitians and chefs and tested with our students to help districts meet or exceed state and national nutrition guidelines.
What’s on the Plate? For more detail, click here.
~ Fresh vegetables and fruits, fruits packed in juice or light syrup and 100% juice
~ Salads with reduced-fat dressing
~ Low and non-fat dairy options
~ Lean beef, chicken, fish, and/or vegetarian options
~ Whole grains
~ Lower-fat cheeses
If you would like to see a copy of your child’s school cafeteria menu, click on the Menus & Nutrition page, check on your school district website or contact your school’s Food Service Director for more information.
If your child has food allergies, please contact your school to discuss menu options available.