Schools struggle to meet new meal guidelines

Cost is biggest challenge in meeting standards.

March 5—Food trays at Oskosh, Wis.-area schools will appear more colorful next fall as districts comply with the new federal guidelines that raise standards nationwide for healthier meals for the first time in 15 years.

Children won’t be able to decline their fruits and vegetables when the new standards for school meals are put into place. Instead of the current requirement for a mere one-half to three-fourths of a cup of fruits and vegetables combined, children will have to take three-fourths to one cup of vegetables plus one-half to one cup of fruit every day. Getting the kids to eat the new healthier version of lunch is one thing. Paying for it is another part of the puzzle.

Currently, the cost of a hot lunch in Oshkosh schools is $1.90 for elementary, $2 for middle school and $2.15 for high school.

The prices will go up 10 cents at each level next year, West said.

Cutting back on meat and bread will realize some savings, but adding more fruits and vegetables will tilt the scales in the other direction, she said.

More From FoodService Director

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...

Ideas and Innovation
french press

While a French press isn’t a tool found in most noncommercial kitchens, operators might want to think twice about multiple uses for this fancy coffee maker. Staff at the Hard Rock Cafe are using the French press to muddle fruit and alcohol for their mixed drinks, while at Chicago bar Moneygun, bartenders use a French press to blend spices and tea for hot toddys.

FSD Resources