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Beefed up healthy food requirements, new service provider changing Caz school lunch program

From the Cazenovia Central School District

While all students eat differently, the goal of the program was never for children to feel stuffed and groggy as they return to their classrooms. The new meals are balanced and, if a child selects from each category, he or she will be eating a healthy meal that will help them perform at their levels in class

What’s changed at Cazenovia?

Chartwells School Dining Services is the new manager of the food service department at Cazenovia. The company, which is a USDA National Strategic Partner, consistently meets or exceeds many of the new requirements for school meals.

Here is an overview of how the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act will affect Cazenovia this year:

—New grade groups for menu planning will be aimed at ensuring students receive age-appropriate portions and nutrients.

—Changes in specific serving sizes might mean some smaller portion sizes on some items, like burritos, wraps, sub sandwiches, hot meat sandwiches, calzones/strombolis and pasta dishes.

—Students must select foods from five food groups: fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains and milk.

—Student meals must contain at least three of the five food groups — and one of their choices must be from fruit and/or vegetable group. If no fruit or vegetable is selected, the student will pay the individual item prices for foods instead of the complete meal price.

—Students need to select at least a half-cup of fruit or vegetable to make up a complete meal. All students will be offered double the amount of fruits and vegetables with meals. Colorful fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals important for growth and development during childhood. Fruit and vegetables that include dark greens, orange starchy vegetables and legumes are packed with nutrients.

—Menus will offer specific amounts of whole grains and proteins that meet the federal requirements. The new regulations require that half of grains offered at lunch be whole grains. For some breads and meats, students might see smaller size portions. Chartwells offers a variety of whole grains like their trademark wholegrain pizza crust, “PIZZAM!,” rolls, muffins, pancakes, waffles and wholegrain/reduced sugar cereals.

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