By Wendy Holdren
Cooks from all across Raleigh County were invited Monday morning to Beckley-Stratton Middle School to taste-test new food items that meet the national nutrition guidelines for the 2013-2014 school year.
Teresa Baker, director of child nutrition for Raleigh County Schools, said a variety of foods were sampled, including grains, meats, fruits, veggies and several processed foods that meet the nutritional guidelines, from vendors such as U.S. Foods, Crook Brothers, and brokers through U.S. Foods.
“This will help the cooks decide what the menu should be for next year.”
Baker said some guidelines are changing next year; sodium must be lowered from 1400 mg to 900 mg and several changes will also be made for the breakfast menu.
“West Virginia is the No. 1 state in obesity. The National School Lunch Program used to be geared toward malnutrition, but now we have to focus on obesity.”
She explained that the federal government regulates the lunch program, and they are now trying to do so in a more nutritious way.
Dave Traube, public relations director for Raleigh County Schools, said in addition to being more nutritious, these breakfast and lunch food items will hopefully be more appealing to students.
“Beckley-Stratton is also the site of the most successful ‘Grab-N-Go’ breakfast implementation. Student participation in breakfast has gone from 10 percent to over 60 percent in just a few weeks with the new bagged breakfast option.”
For more information about National School Lunch, visit www.fns.usda. gov/cnd/lunch.
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