Long gone are the days of marshmallow and peanut butter sandwiches flanked by soda or sugary juices for kids eating school lunches.
The Menifee Unified School District, like other school districts across the country will be raising the bar when it comes to what the kitchen is churning out for kids.
Based on the Healthy School Meals Act of 2010, nutritional guidelines at schools will change the landscape of school breakfasts and lunches.
“While kids used to be able to choose what they wanted from the lunch line, they will now have more fruit and vegetables offered to them,” Menifee Unified School District’s Food Services Director David Warren explained. ”We will also be offering foods with less sodium and fat content to choose from.”
Middle schools in the area will feature a fruit and salad bar instead of just a salad bar.
In the past, kids could opt for something other than fruit as a side dish.
“Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, all lunch meals will have a half cup of fruit served on the tray,” MUSD spokesperson Betti Cadmus stated via email.
The Healthy School Meals Act of 2010 was gradually implemented in the Menifee school district over the last year, but for the upcoming school year, the guidelines will be in full force.
When asked what kids typically gravitate towards in the lunch line, Warren said kids seem to clamor for pizza and chicken nuggets.
“When I was in elementary school I always went for pizza, hamburgers and especially the chimichangas,” Temecula resident Matt Henry said. “Our school also had a chocolate milk day.”
He added he steered clear of the sloppy joes.
The Healthy School Meals Act of 2010 was developed in consultation with numerous health professionals and physicians, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture, and school food service directors and state administrators across the country.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at email@example.com.