The USDA has recently issued new school meal requirements for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. These standards will be effective for the 2012-2013 school year. This means DeWitt’s students will see some changes next school year in the foods served at school. Chartwells School Dining Services manages the food service department at DeWitt Public Schools and has already begun incorporating several positive initiatives that will allow a smooth transition to the new meal requirements.
Your student will experience the new USDA requirements when they dine in their school cafeteria. One vital change is the requirement for a student to select at least ½ cup of fruit or vegetable to make up a complete meal. There are five food groups to select foods from: fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains, and milk. Student meals must contain at least a selection of 3 of the 5 food groups with one being the fruit and/or vegetable selection. If no fruit or vegetable is selected, the student will pay the individual item prices for foods instead of the complete meal price. Here is an overview of what your student can expect to see in their school dining center at DeWitt Public School.
Increase In Fruits and Vegetables
·In the upcoming school year, all students will be offered double the amount of fruits and vegetables with meals.
·Colorful fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals important for growth and development during childhood.
·We offer a large variety of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, including dark greens, orange starchy vegetables and legumes.
·Students will now be required to select at least 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetable for their meal to be considered a complete meal or will be charged individual item prices.
Allowable Grains and Proteins
·Menus will offer specific amounts of whole grains and proteins that meet the requirements
·For some breads and meats students might see smaller size portions
·We already offer a variety of whole grains like our proprietary whole-grain pizza crust- PIZZAM!, rolls, muffins, pancakes, waffles and whole-grain/reduced sugar cereals
·We continue to work with food manufacturers to reformulate food products including lower sodium sauces and spreads
·Chartwells’ chefs and registered dietitians continually create tasty new recipes that use non-salt seasonings and herbs to replace and reduce salt
·We only serve food products and ingredients that contain zero grams of trans fats per serving and we encourage the use of healthy fats and oils
·Its important to limit unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fat because eating too many can lead to heart disease and high cholesterol, as well as other chronic diseases.
Menus by Age Groups
·New grade groups for menu planning will be aimed at ensuring students receive age-appropriate portions and nutrients.
·Changes in specific serving sizes might mean some smaller portion sizes on some items like burritos, wraps, sub sandwiches, hot meat sandwiches, calzones/ stromboli’s, and pasta dishes.
As a USDA National Strategic Partner, Chartwells School Dining Services consistently meets or exceeds many of the new requirements for school meals. For instance, earlier this year, Chartwells introduced a new white whole wheat pizza crust. The pizza crust, called PIZZAM!, which is proprietary to Chartwells, is a highly nutritious, top quality crust that contains very unique ingredients such as flax seed, a source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well as olive oil. The USDA requires foods that contain zero trans-fats per serving, which has been met with the use of olive oil and flax seed. The pizza is also leavened with natural yeast and without the use of chemicals, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors or colors.
Additionally, the new regulations require that half of grains offered at lunch be whole grains. The new pizza crust is made with 51% white whole wheat and it is a whole grain food. The new standards require schools to significantly lower sodium in menus, and this new pizza crust is 25% lower in sodium than traditional crust, and more importantly still tastes great according to our student customers.
Meal Price Increase for 2013-14
These new school meal requirements incorporate many changes which will directly impact our school meal prices. We have seen a dramatic rise in food prices and will continue to do so over the next several years due to increasing transportation costs and the continued rollout of the new meal legislative requirements. Meal prices are determined by DeWitt Public Schoolsleadership.
2013-2014 School Year Full Meal Prices
$1.35 Elementary Breakfast
$2.15 Elementary Lunch
$2.50 Middle School Lunch
$1.35 High School Breakfast
$2.55-3.25 High School Lunch
Both Chartwells and DeWitt Public Schoolsare dedicated to providing quality nutritious meals that students will enjoy and choose to eat. We hope you will encourage your students to try new fruits and vegetables and you will join us for a meal at school to see the changes for yourself. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 517-668-3177or via email email@example.com. We encourage you to see what’s on the menu at school.