How do I know what nutrients are in school meals?You can learn all about the nutritional content of foods served in Oak Harbor Schools. This is especially useful for students with special nutritional needs. The district looks at those needs on a case-by-case basis in an attempt to develop a meal plan that works for every student.New USDA meal requirementsThe USDA has recently issued new school meal requirements that will be effective for the 2012-2013 school year. Here is an overview of what your student can expect to see in their school dining center.
Increase in fruits and vegetables
We will offer a larger variety of nutrient-dense vegetables, including dark green, orange, starchy vegetables, and legumes. Students will now be required to take 1/2 cup of fruit and/or vegetable for their meal to be considered a full meal. Colorful fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals important for growth and development during childhood.
Allowable grains and proteins
Menus will offer specific amounts of whole grains and proteins. This is intended to make sure students are receiving age-appropriate, nutritionally-adequate meals that provide the right amount of energy from healthful food sources. We already offer a variety of whole grains on menus with items like a whole-grain pizza crust, rolls, muffins, pancakes, waffles, and cereal.
We have already identified several products for use next year and will continue working with food manufacturers to lower sodium in products. Chartwell's chefs and registered dietitians have worked to modify and develop creative new recipes using non-salt seasonings, herbs, and tasty fresh foods.
Unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fat can lead to heart disease and high cholesterol, as well as other chronic diseases. We will only use food products and ingredients that contain zero grams of trans fat per serving.
Menus by age groups
New grade groups for menu planning will be aimed at ensuring students receive age-appropriate portions and nutrients. New calorie requirements will be implemented to align with these newly established grade groups.