Colorado district starts comprehensive online nutritional database

Parents and students at Poudre School District can search for allergens and ingredients in the new Recipe Builder and Ingredient Database.

FORT COLLINS, Colo.—When Poudre School District starts back next week, kids will still have their chicken patty sandwiches, but parents will also have their chicken, chicken broth and sodium phosphates on a whole grain bun.

In addition to being able to see the specific nutrition facts of cafeteria food, now parents can access a database containing the ingredient makeup and allergens.

"It's really exciting to see this kind of thing," said Virginia Clark, wellness dietician with University of Colorado Health. "I hadn't seen anything this extensive before (in a school system)."

PSD's child nutrition program previously offered parents a database of their food's nutritional content. Last school year, some parents charged the district with the task of also including ingredient and allergen information.

The resulting Recipe Builder and Ingredient Database was launched in May with 43 breakfast recipes, 134 lunch recipes, 228 ingredients and a glossary of 67 additives, enzymes and supplements.

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We started a panel discussion with our cooks and FSD to give residents a chance to tour our kitchen (during nonproduction hours), ask questions and share insight on how we can improve. The residents love the casual time with our staff. We have seen complaints and problems diminish greatly, and have found that most times the client is lonely and just wants someone to show them some time and attention.

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