L.A. rethinks its healthy menu after participation drops

Dec. 19—Following a drop in participation, the newly created, healthier menus at the Los Angeles Unified School District will be altered.

In preparation for new meal patterns regulations under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the foodservice department at LAUSD created new menus for the 2011-2012 school year. The district removed entrées such as pizza and chicken nuggets and added more plant-based and ethnic items.

Before the new menus were implemented, David Binkle, deputy director of food service, told FSD he expected a 20% decrease in participation and a 43-cent per meal increase to produce the healthier menus.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the department originally saw around a 13% decrease in participation. Now, that rate has recovered a little to between a 5% and 6% decrease in participation.

Binkle told the paper that the department would revamp its menus, adding items like pizza, made with a whole-wheat crust, low-fat cheese and low-sodium crust, and hamburgers offered daily. The department also is removing some of the ethnic dishes, including beef jambalaya, vegetable curry and pad Thai.

Click here to read the entire Los Angeles Times article.

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