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

Industry News & Opinion

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.

“Word of mouth is getting out, and every day I get a few more people,” Ryan Carlson, a cook at the...

Sponsored Content
gluten free diet

From Stouffer’s.

A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

According to FoodService Director , 77% of college and university operators purchase their gluten-free...

Industry News & Opinion

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.

The...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

FSD Resources