Welcome to Prairie Valley Community School District’s Nutrition Program
School Meals are Changing - New School Meal Requirements
You may have heard that there will be new requirements for school meals. The new requirements are great news for our students! The new requirements will help Prairie Valley Community Schools build on the work we are already doing to provide more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthier entrees in our school cafeterias.
Some of the New Requirements Include
• Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables
• Reducing the sodium in meals over the next 10 years
• Setting calorie limits for the first time
• Increasing whole grains
• Limiting the amount of meat/meat alternatives and grains
Students will now be required to have a fruit or vegetable on their tray for it to count as a full meal. Anything less than a full meal will be charged as individual items (ala carte pricing). We plan to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables daily to give students more options in the hopes that choosing fruits and vegetables will be easy.
Schools are now limited on how much meat/meat alternate and grains that can be offered. This means that some of the main dishes may not be as large as they have been in the past. Remember, though, there will be more fruits and vegetables available, to fill out the meal and ensure students have plenty to eat!
At Prairie Valley Community Schools, we have already made progress toward meeting the new requirements.
What Are We Doing
• Sandwiches will be served on whole wheat buns/bread.
• All pasta served will be whole grain.
• Milk that is available is only low-fat or fat-free.
• Main dishes are being changed to reduce sodium.
• Dark green and orange vegetables are served on a weekly basis.
• Dried beans have been incorporated into some of the recipes.
• We will be working on setting up fresh fruit and fresh vegetable bars to be available during lunch time for additional choices every day.
We’ll face some challenges to meet the new requirements on a tight budget, but our school nutrition program will work hard to make these healthy changes for our students and make each meal something our students will enjoy!
How Can You Help?
The school nutrition program needs the support of parents to succeed! The Department of Education has four videos available in communicating the changes in the school lunch program. Each four to seven minute video is targeted to a different age group: elementary, middle school, high school, and adult. Along with your children, please view the Building Healthy School Lunches Videos that are available on the Department of Education School Nutrition website at http://educateiowa.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2666%3Abuilding-healthy-school-lunches-videos&catid=59%3Anutrition-programs&Itemid=4678
Parents can support this effort by encouraging your child to give the healthier meals a try, joining your child for lunch and talk about the healthy options, or simply introducing your child to these healthy changes at home. You are your child’s primary role model, when they see you choose healthy foods they are more likely to choose them as well.
Thank you for your support and if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We are here to help!
Prairie Valley Community School District
MaChelle Showers, Food Service Director
To meet State nutritional requirements Prairie Valley cannot serve a milk and sandwich to those that have a negative balance. All lunches served must meet nutritional guidelines therefore; Prairie Valley will no longer be serving lunch to those who are $50.00 negative.
All Previous years’ negative balance must be brought to ZERO or your child will not be allowed to participate in the lunch program.
“Children that cannot participate in the hot lunch program should bring their own lunch”