Dear Southington Family,
This year our school lunches will continue to have a new look with many more healthy choices for your child every day! For the first time in nearly two decades, the federal government has issued new nutrition standards for meals served to America’s schoolchildren, based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For more information on the Dietary Guidelines, see ChooseMyPlate.gov.
We want to let you know about some of the changes your child will see in our cafeteria this year. The new requirements include strict limits on the calories, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium in school meals. We are meeting these nutrition standards by offering students a selection of low-fat and fat-free milk, larger portions of colorful fruits, vegetables and legumes, and a variety of whole grains and lean protein choices. All lunches include five meal components:
- A meat or meat alternate such as yogurt, lean beef, chicken, or low-fat cheese
- A grain such as whole-wheat bread or brown rice
- A fresh or canned fruit selection
- Raw or cooked vegetables in a variety of colors;
- Low-fat or fat-free milk selections
Each child must select at least three of these five components on their tray to make a meal, including a fruit or vegetable. The biggest change is that children must select a fruit or vegetable with their lunch every day. Without a vegetable or fruit, students will be charged the ala carte price instead of the meal price.
Our school district will be encouraging students to try the new foods being offered this year. We are also asking for your help. Please explain these changes to your child before they arrive at school. Every student needs to be prepared to select at least one fruit or vegetable with their lunch every day. We are planning our menus to include selections we know students like, as well as many different foods they may not have tried before. Please encourage your child to try these new foods. They just might find a new favorite!
We look forward to serving your child this year and we welcome your feedback regarding our menus and choices. School meals are a great value and a huge convenience for busy families. To find out more about our school nutrition program visit our web site www.southingtonschools.org. Have a great year!
Nya Welinsky, Food Service Director