Over the past several years, national attention has focused on the health of our nation’s children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified Alabama as one of the most obese states in the nation. In an attempt to curtail the obesity and overweight issues that plague our nation, the USDA has redesigned the National School Lunch Program and Breakfast Programs guidance for school-aged children. This initiative is designed to provide healthy food options for our children during the school day.
On December 13, 2010, President Obama signed into Public Law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). This historic legislation marked the most comprehensive changes to the school nutrition environment in more than a generation. Beginning this Fall, meal items will change in your school. You will see more whole grain bread and grain products, more varieties of vegetables and fruits offered each week, and less processed food products on the cafeteria lines. Child Nutrition staff will be adjusting menus, food production methods, and delivery systems to market and promote healthy eating habits for all children in Alabama’s schools.
The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) required the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update school meal nutrition standards to reflect the Dietary Guidelines. The regulations are based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. On January 26, 2012, Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program were published. These regulations became effective July 1, 2012.
School Breakfast Program: Flavored milk must now be fat-free.
National School Lunch Program:
FRUIT: A serving must be offered daily.
VEGETABLE: More specific servings must be offered weekly (dark green, red/orange, beans/peas, starchy, other).
GRAINS: Half of the grains offered must be whole grain rich. There is now a minimum and maximum weekly requirement for grains.
MEAT/MEAT ALTERNATIVE: Daily serving size has decreased and there is now a minimum and maximum weekly requirement.
MILK: Fat-free flavored, unflavored, and 1% unflavored milk are offered. •
Nutrient standards to be met over a week:
• Calorie ranges (minimum and maximum) • Saturated fat 10% of calories or less & zero grams trans fat per portion • Sodium targets start school year 14-2015• • Single Food Based Menu Planning option with established age grade groups • Offer vs Serve: a meal must contain a fruit or a vegetable (1/2 cup minimum) • Monitoring will be conducted every 3 years beginning with school year 2013-2014 and a weighted nutrient analysis of one week of menus will be required.
***Please note that Menus are made for 14 schools in Elmore County. Menus are subject to change based on type of cafeteria (i.e., Elementary, Middle, High School), Location (i.e., Holtville, Eclectic, Wetumpka, Millbrook) and items available. For questions regarding specific items please contact the Child Nutrition Office at 334-567-1222.***