The Facts About School Meals
School meals have come a long way!
Today, kids are offered healthy, tasty and appealing choices:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables • Whole grains
- No Trans Fats except natural • Salad
- Pizza with whole wheat crust, low-fat cheese, low-sodium sauce
- Whole grain pasta • Baked items rather than fried
- Healthful cooking/preparation techniques
School meals are balanced and healthy
NSLP lunches must meet federal nutrition guidelines. These meals must:
- limit fat and saturated fat,
- provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C,
- contain age-appropriate portion sizes,
- provide the right balance of protein, dairy, grains, fruits and vegetables.Geary County Schools USD 475 follows the guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and provides healthy options for students. Some items that students see in addition to the larger serving sizes of fruits and vegetables, are beans and legumes along with whole grain rich items, including breads, cookies and chips. At breakfast, all grain items are whole grain including pancakes and French toast.
The daily requirement of fruit remains one-half cup for elementary and middle schools and a cup for high schools at lunch. The daily vegetable requirement remains ¾ cup for elementary and middle school and one cup for high school. At all levels students MUST take a ½ cup serving of fruit or vegetable on their tray at lunch. Breakfast is required to offer 1 cup of fruit of which students MUST take ½ cup. To meet this requirement, we offer juice at every breakfast along with the fruit.
Our district continues to stay ahead of new USDA requirements, including increasing the amount of whole-grain foods, offering both fruit and vegetables every day and serving only fat-free or low-fat milk.
School meals help students to do better in school
- Research has shown that students who eat school meals perform their best academically.
- Students who eat school breakfast have greater gains in standardized test scores and show improvements in math, reading and vocabulary scores.
- Healthy eating correlates with less trips to the school nurse and less absenteeism.
- Providing nutritious school breakfast on testing days leads to improved test scores.
The menu now also indicates the items we are able to obtain from Kansas itself. These include our milk which is from a farm near Wichita and our flour which is from Emporia.