Proposed legislation would make meat, grain eliminations permanent

Representative says the Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act would give schools more flexibility.

Dec. 9—Proposed legislation to cut federal mandates on school lunch standards is expected, but the implications for fruit and vegetable requirements in school meals are unclear.

Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., has titled the legislation “Reducing Federal Mandates on School Lunch Act” and promised in a release on her website that the pending legislation would make the USDA’s temporary easing of the meat and grain requirements permanent. She also said the bill would allow schools more flexibility in serving meats and grains while still staying within calorie maximums.

The legislation would give school administrators flexibility in some rules that have increased costs for school districts. 

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Industry News & Opinion

The University of Maryland will begin offering weekly specials at all of its dining halls this semester, The Diamond Back reports.

The weekday specials will allow Dining Services to offer past menu items that students miss as well as new dishes students have been requesting, according to a spokesperson.

Students can find out which specials are being offered each week via dining hall table tents as well as through Dining Services’ social media. During select weeks, the specials may reflect a particular theme, such as Taste of the South.

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Ideas and Innovation
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We like to offer a constantly changing menu. Last year, I started a Pinterest account—not for marketing, but for my team, so that they can look to the recipes for inspiration and try something new. We tried protein cookies based onto a Pinterest recipe, and our residents loved them.

Ideas and Innovation
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When I was visiting Minneapolis Public Schools, I saw that they have these cool signs on top of their salad bars. As soon as we got back, we re-created them. They are big and branded, and have the portion requirements. They say “Taste something new today” on one side, and we support our local farmers on the other. They help the bars look fresh and delish, and attract students’ eyes.

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The No Whey station in the main dining hall at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., offers students meals that are free of the eight most common allergens. When Brittany Parham, the dietitian who oversees the station, polled food-sensitive students on which favorites they missed most, “comfort foods” was the overwhelming response. Parham, who herself has food allergies, worked with chefs on the 20,000-student campus to focus on allergen-free versions of pasta bakes, biscuits, banana bread and other down-home dishes. Recently, the chefs reworked the school’s traditional chicken...

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