S.C. lunches healthy, but nutritionists say not enough

Nutritionists want more done in terms of healthy options.

March 19—Schools across York County offer salad bars and whole grain bread at lunch. Dietitians lead nutrition lessons urging children to make “healthy choices.” Some schools even let students take a second trip through the lunch line for extra helpings of fruits and veggies.

Such efforts are promising, but nutrition advocates say menus dominated by processed, fast food fare undermine those noble attempts and leave school meals a long way from healthy.

New federal rules, which start taking effect this year, are meant to improve school food in the long run. They require schools to double the amount of fruits and vegetables served, increase whole grains, serve only low fat or fat-free milk and limit trans fats. By 2022, schools must cut the amount of sodium served in half.

Most York County schools are well on the way to meeting some of those rules, food service directors said. They serve fewer fried foods and offer more fruits and vegetables. Pizza crusts and burger buns are whole grain. Cheese and milk are low fat. Corn dogs are actually turkey dogs with “whole grain breading.”

Still many meals include processed, pre-packaged products resembling what’s typically served at drive-through windows – precisely the type of food health advocates urge children to steer clear of.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
green smoothie

From DanoneWave Away From Home.

Not so long ago, finding non-dairy milk in a supermarket dairy case was a challenge. But these days, that aisle is bursting with plant-based beverage choices—cow’s milk alternatives crafted from soybeans, nuts, grains or coconut, as consumer demand for these beverages has grown exponentially. According to Euromonitor, worldwide sales of non-dairy milk alternatives more than doubled between 2009 and 2015.

Millennials and Gen Zers, many of them already accustomed to drinking dairy alternatives at home, expect to see some of those same choices...

Industry News & Opinion

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is adding an additional $200 in dining dollars to each student's dining plan this fall, The GW Hatchet reports.

The boost comes just a year after the university switched to an open-format dining plan that allows students to spend their entire meal fund off campus; allowed venues include about 90 grocery stores and restaurants.

While students support the new plan, they are concerned about dining affordability. In conjunction with discounted meal deals that were implemented last semester, school officials hope the extra $200...

Ideas and Innovation
iris camera

Biometric payment technologies such as finger and palm scanning are slowly emerging in foodservice operations, including the University of Maryland’s transition last fall. But the future may be leaning toward a more hands-off approach.

George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., was looking to speed up its meal-swiping process alongside a new unlimited dining plan. Iris cameras , which take a photograph of an eye that is converted into data that cannot revert back to a photograph, won out.

Danny Anthes, senior manager of information technology, says two factors stood out in...

Ideas and Innovation
breakfast restaurant food

This March, past FSD of the Month Randy Lait and his team gave the FoodService Director staff a tour of the operations at North Carolina State University. During our visit, Randy shared how data is affecting their menu creation and menu mix. At the university, they’re encouraging chefs to use big data—and not just gut feelings—to inform menu decisions.

Every foodservice operator wants to offer more contemporary items in order to please their customer base and keep chefs challenged and engaged. Many chefs make those decisions based on their own tastes, or what’s exciting them at the...

FSD Resources