This fall meals offered by all school districts in King County will include more variety and servings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
In addition, portion sizes will be adjusted to ensure the calorie content of meals are appropriate for the age of children being served.
The changes will fulfill new federal requirements for school meals issued earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Under the new rules, menus will be designed to reduce the amount of saturated fat, tans fats and sodium.
For example, students will be offered only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties and will be required to take a half of a cup of fruit or vegetable for a complete meal.
Don’t Forget: Kids Need Breakfast too! Schools serve breakfast every day!
Seattle Public Schools has been working with the Tom Douglas Group to develop new kid-tested menu concepts. They have held family events to taste test menu items, including: Butternut squash curry and chicken with couscous; baked pollack (white fish with tomato topping); cheese enchiladas with homemade chili sauce; chicken and vegetables with noodles and cherry blossom sauce; tabouli salad, fresh greens and focaccia bread; and yogurt fruit parfait.
Kent School District has partnered with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to incorporate a greater variety of fresh Washington-grown produce into the foods they serve. They have used taste tests and surveys to gauge student response to new items, and invited farmers in to speak with students about the foods they grow.
Renton School District Nutrition Services began working with chefs from the Renton Technical College and their high school nutrition council to develop new menu items to meet the new nutrition standards. “We’re excited about providing a wider variety of fruits and vegetables that are packed full of the vitamins and minerals kids need and are essential for a healthy body and mind,” said Kira Acker, Nutrition Services Director for the Renton School District. “
A grant funded the Auburn School District’s Whole Foods Cooking class “discover. cook. nourish” developed by Cynthia Lair, Cookus Interruptus. Over 400 school cafeteria staff in 12 school districts in King County attended this successful certified training course to help prepare staff for the school meal changes.
“Auburn School District continues to offer whole foods cooking whenever possible to meet the new guidelines and is excited to expose students to new and different fruits and vegetables that will awaken their interest in trying new foods,” said Carol Barker, Auburn School District’s Child Nutrition Supervisor.