When most of us think of school lunch, we think mystery meat, soggy pizza, sloppy joes, and a complete absence of fruits and veggies. Thanks to the USDA’s new school meal requirements released last month, the lackluster and nutritionally devoid school lunches of the past are facing some major improvements. In the near future, you can now feel more confident knowing that the meals your child consumes at school will be well-balanced and include plenty of high-fiber, low-salt, low-sugar, and low-fat choices.

Initiated by Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign and the sharp increase in childhood obesity, the main goal of the new meal requirements is to encourage the same kinds of healthy and practical changes at school that many parents are hard at work modeling at home. The offerings will include a variety of fruits and vegetables each day, more whole grains, and calorie levels and portion sizes to maintain a healthy weight. The key changes for children in kindergarten through 12th grade include:

1. A daily serving of fruit at breakfast and lunch. Students can choose from fresh fruit, frozen fruit without added sugar, canned fruit in 100 percent juice or light syrup, or dried fruit.

2. A daily serving of vegetables that promotes variety over the course of the week. Options include fresh, frozen, or lower-sodium canned vegetables. Weekly requirements for vegetables include dark green vegetables, red or orange vegetables, beans and peas, and starchy and other vegetables. Vegetable consumption must total 3 to 5 cups per week, depending on the age of the student.

3. Increased offerings of whole-grain-rich foods, which must contain at least 51 percent whole grains. Whole grain foods include whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, and whole grain pasta. Whole grains are set to be phased in so that by July 2014, all grains offered at both breakfast and lunch will be whole grain.

4. A variety of chicken, meat, fish, and protein alternatives will be given, including nut butters, eggs, tofu, and soy or milk-based yogurt. Weekly ranges for protein-containing foods will be set in ounces according to grade level.

5. Only fat-free (flavored and unflavored) and low-fat (unflavored) milk will be offered at breakfast and lunch

6. New sodium restrictions will be phased in over a 10 year period.

7. Trans fat restriction will be set at zero grams per serving and saturated fat will be set at less than 10 percent of total calories.

8. Calorie minimum and maximum levels will be set for grade level ranges.

Information about your child’s school meal menu should be available through the school district’s website. For tons of tips on feeding your family the healthy way both at school and at home, head over to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s website at www.eatright.org. Need more help? That’s where Family Food, LLC comes in! Give us a call, shoot us an e-mail, or leave us a message on Facebook or Twitter. Your insurance may entitle you to SIX FREE VISITS – head over to our Services page to learn more!

Source: http://www.elpasotimes.com/living/ci_20202494/judy-estrada-coming-soon-school-cafeteria-less-fat




I had a great 1st visit with the nutritionist. I went to get tips on changing by diet, but got much more. I was able to set a physical activity and nutrition goal. The nutritionist was knowledgeable and helpful.

I am so grateful for the stellar support and advice provided by Meghan, the dietitian I'm working with. She is both knowledgeable and kind, and it's a deeply productive journey. Thank you."



Consulting with a Family Food nutritionist is turning out to be helpful in my effort to live healthy. The consultations are a way of having a sense of accountability and I get helpful feedback on my dietary decisions.



Great nutrition experts who inspire you! I am happy with the nutrition specialists at Family Food. They make me excited about nutrition, answer all my questions, and provide excellent recommendations! Thank you!!



Very professional experience. I felt she listened to my needs and adjusted to personalize my nutrition needs.



My initial appointment was helpful - helped me consider new ways of addressing some problem areas for me and helped set attainable, concrete goals.



Insightful and Informative. She was very attentive and helpful. She gave excellent tips on what to do and eat to meet my goal weight.



I feel confident about the changes we made to my goals and look forward to implementing them into my everyday routine. The health adviser was very helpful and didn't make me feel shameful for not meeting all my previous goals.



I highly recommend Family Food. The nutritionist, Erika is helpful and provides great information and positive feedback.



I had an excellent experience with the representative from Family Food. She really read into what I was telling her and offered excellent advice that I am already able to implement after one visit. She also helped to make the best use of the hour long session. Very good time management!



I met with a dietician for the first time and I had an idea of what to expect but I find this to be an invaluable resource because I have already received great ideas of things to use for meal planning and I also received more information of how to read nutrition labels. I am looking forward to my next appointment.



I really enjoyed my first session with Christine. She provided me with a lot of solid information on issues I was not aware of and positive reinforcement for behaviors I have already engaged in. I outlined specific goals I would like to work on with her guidance and she gave me some initial steps to start. I found what she had to say respectful of the space I am in and cognizant of obstacles to making lifestyle and lifelong changes.



I walked in without any specific questions/concerns, and my counseling was well-guided and ended up helping me see specific small changes that I can make to keep me on-track with my nutrition goals. Solutions fit my lifestyle and were not cookie-cutter, which is fantastic. I was able to start making improvements immediately. Thank you!



I am finding the sessions helpful and a good way to talk through improving habits and making better food choices.



I am very happy this program exists. It has been very helpful and informative. My deitition is very nice and intelligent I am happy to have her help and support.



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