Sea Cliff Nutrition Committee. The Apple People

Sea Cliff Nutrition Committee. The Apple People

Friday, September 17, 2010

More Improvements to Our Lunch Menu

I recently spoke with our food services consultant about some of the overall changes our lunch menus are undergoing. Here are some of the highlights:

  • High fructose corn syrup is being eliminated from our schools. We have found new pizza sauces, ketchup, salsas, etc. and replaced canned fruits with fresh. Apparently, it has been difficult to find tomato sauce for pasta without HFCS (the USDA commodity version does have it.) so their plan is to make large batches from scratch with, yes, actual tomatoes and freeze it. See this list if you are interested in all the foods we previously served with HFCS.
  • Which brings us to our next improvement -- cooking from scratch. We have already eliminated all processed foods that simply went from a truck to the freezer to an oven to the kids' plates, and we will be making more foods from scratch as the new menus are fully implemented. Getting rid of processed foods also means getting rid of MSG in addition to other additives and preservatives.
  • Lunch will have much lower sodium levels. Last year, our lunches averaged 1197mg of sodium - way too much for young children in one meal. Our goal this year is 660mg and the elimination of highly processed and many canned vegetables has put us well on our way.
  • The only added sugars will be in foods that require them like baked goods sold a la carte. Getting rid of canned fruit is extremely helpful but many processed entrees also contained forms of sugar. See the old list here.
  • Organic milk will be available for purchase a la carte.
I think these are changes we can all feel good about. Please go over the lunch menus with your child and support our school by participating in the lunch program. Our increasing participation rates mean we will be able to continue improving the program and help our children learn how to make healthy food choices for life.


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