The (LWSD) and the Issaquah School District are adopting new nutrition rules for students this school year following changes made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
A news release posted on the LWSD website and a letter sent to Issaquah District parents (attached here as a pdf file) highlight what the new guidelines will mean for students. From the Lake Washington School District:
Every student will be required to take a full portion of at least three of those five components and at least one of them has to be fruit or vegetables. They must take at least half a cup of the fruit and/or vegetables, though larger portions will be available.
For example, a student who selects a meat item, a grain item and a milk item will have to add or substitute a fruit or vegetable. They could, however, choose just the fruit, vegetable and milk items and still meet the new requirements.
They can take four or all five components as well as just three: food services staff will encourage them to take all five. You may want to have a conversation with your student about why a variety of foods is a healthy choice.
Other changes include more regular offerings of vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Starting this year, 50 percent of all grains served during lunch must be whole grains. By 2014, that figure must increase to 100 percent for both breakfast and lunch.
The Issaquah School District notes that it will be serving fat-free unflavored or flavored, and 1 percent unflavored milk with cafeteria lunches; emphasizing the healthiest, dark green and red or orange veggies; and reducing sodium in lunch offerings.
What do you think of the new rules? Is it a good idea to require kids to eat their fruits and veggies—or at least put them on their plates?