School Meals for Students

Good nutrition is important to learning. Children behave better, have longer attention spans and are more eager to learn when they eat healthy meals. Food Services wants to make sure that all of CPS' students are ready to focus on their lessons every day.

The stigma of the "traditional school lunch" is challenging to overcome, but Food Services is working hard to provide exciting menu options, new marketing initiatives, and improve food choice and quality. Their goal is provide restaurant-style food that meets nutritional guidelines.

New School Meal Requirements

Important changes to school menus help LCS comply with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Key changes for school menus:

  • There will be food-based (calorie) menu planning for three grade groups: K-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Portion sizes and recipes will be designed to meet the specific group.
  • We now are limited as to how much meat/meat alternate (cheese, yogurt, etc.) and grains we can offer in a week. We must stay within specified ranges for each grade group. Some main entrees may not be as large as before.
  • There will be calorie minimum and maximum levels.
  • Fruits and vegetables will be available on a daily basis.
  • All students may continue to take two ½ cup servings of vegetables, and 9-12 students may take 1 cup serving of fruit.
  • Students must select at least 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetable component for their trays (to allow the district to be reimbursed for a meal by the federal government).
  • No trans fats are allowed, and there are continued limits on saturated fat. We add no butter to our vegetables, use only low-fat cheeses and lean proteins, and oven bake instead of fry all items.
  • All flavored milks will continue to be reduced sugar, with no high fructose corn syrup, and fat free.

Nutrition Guidelines

Meals served under the National School Lunch Program meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. School lunches provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of daily nutritional requirements appropriate for that grade level — protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium and calories. No more than 30% of calories come from fat, and less than 10% from saturated fat. Portion sizes are regulated by the National School Breakfast & Lunch Programs.


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