A la carte lunches are out at Calif. high school

Administrators say complete meals offer more balanced diet.

March 20—Starting April 2, the Brentwood, Calif. campus will become the first of Liberty Union High School District's three mainstream schools to eliminate the option of ordering food a la carte and instead make the food part of require a balanced meal that will include fruit, vegetables and milk.

Freedom and Heritage High Schools will follow suit this fall.

"Now you'll have to be nutritious," responds Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Gene Clare when students tell him they only want a slice of pizza.

It's not that every item on the current menu represents a step toward obesity: Kids can order chicken Caesar salad, fruit bowls and yogurt layered with granola and fruit.

Moreover, no one serving may have more than 400 calories or contain more than 4 grams of fat per 100 calories, according to state Department of Education rules.

In addition, since school started in August, the district has replaced high-sugar Gatorade with a less-fattening version, swapped out greasy potato chips for baked ones and substituted whole wheat bread for white.

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The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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