Federal Guidelines on School Lunch
Message from Dr. Snyder
12, 2012) We thought it might be a good idea to explain the
changes that were mandated this by Federal legislation and the impact
they have on the actual lunches that are served at school.
student must receive on their tray a grain, a protein, fruits,
vegetables, and low fat or fat free milk. The service size is
dependent upon grade level. For example, in high school every
student gets 1 cup of fruit, 1 cup of vegetables, a maximum of 2 ounces
of protein, a maximum of 2 grains (e.g., two slices of wheat bread) and
a milk. The total number of calories ranges between 750-850, with
a maximum sodium content of 740 mg. This presents challenges as
many of our athletes consume and utilize far more calories than that, be
we are mandated by these guidelines. We are getting some rather
impudent feedback from some students who think this is stupid as they
don't want the fruit or vegetables, but what they do not seem to grasp
is that we have no choice. It is more cost effective for families
to buy what is called the Type A lunch than to go a la carte. Let
me give you an example. If your student takes all five items, the
cost is $2.75. This is also a federally reimbursable lunch.
If your child buys just a sandwich and a milk off the a la carte menu,
it costs $2.95. A la carte menu items are not federally
reimbursable. By not taking the lunch for which we get reimbursed,
the cost of a la carte items will be driven upwards. Sadly, the
legislation has mandated that students must take all five components,
even if they throw away a perfectly good piece of fruit or vegetables.
This is a high school example. At the middle level, the calories
per lunch may not be more than 700 and the sodium is maximized at 710.
Elementary meals are even fewer calories. The information
pertaining to the federal guidelines is posted on the menus.
We are asking you to explain to your children that we are not trying to
force unwanted food upon them or to policy their eating habits, but we
are forced to comply with the new school lunch guidelines.
Dr. Teresa Thayer Snyder