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Chicago Schools Make Positive Cafeteria Changes

Have you been watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution or reading the Mystery School Lunch blog? Are you wondering if changing the menu at your kids school is too difficult to even try. Do you feel like there’s no hope?

One city in America has made drastic changes in the menu plan for the next school year, which begins July 1. The  documents originally released to the Chicago Tribune show that nacho service will be reduced to once a week in Chicago high schools, and once a month in elementary schools; sweet packaged desserts will also be reduced to weekly treats; and donuts and Pop-Tarts will be eliminated in the new school year.

Some of the other changes include eliminating “dessert or candy-type” ingredients at breakfast,  higher requirements for fiber in all meals,  one whole-grain offering each day and fruit juice offered only twice a week as the fruit component of the meal.

All menus will exceed the gold standard for the HealthierUS Challenge,” chief logistics officer Louise Esaian said. “We offer vegetables every day, but we are going to offer a different vegetable every day next year. We are going to focus on the dark green and orange vegetables and limit the amount of starchy vegetables.”

Do you know what this could mean? No more french fries or tater tots masquerading as vegetable choices? Is it possible? I certainly hope so.

In addition to those great changes to school lunches, the district is also mandating daily recess, 90 minutes of PE a week, and nutritional education as necessary for graduation.We all know that having a healthy diet is key, but exercise and nutrition are necessary linked components of maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

What changes would you like to make in your child’s lunch program?

April 17th, 2010

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