SNA: Schools serving healthier options despite rising costs

AUGUST 26—According to a new report from the School Nutrition Association, school districts are serving more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products despite of rising costs. Schools are also reducing added sodium and sugar in foods, according to findings in SNA’s Back to School Trends Survey.

The survey also found the following:

· 95% of school districts are increasing offerings of whole-grain products

· 91% are increasing the availability of fresh fruits or vegetables

· 69% of districts are reducing or eliminating sodium in foods

· 66% of districts are reducing or limiting added sugar

· 51% of districts are increasing vegetarian options

· 63% of districts with à la carte services are implementing nutrition standards

· 65% are limiting the size and/or weight of their à la carte food and beverage offerings

· 67% of districts with vending services are increasing the availability of healthier beverages in vending machines

Economic concerns will continue to be a challenge for child nutrition departments, according to the survey. Seventy-nine percent of districts surveyed said they expect food costs to increase in the coming school year, and 65% anticipate that the federal reimbursement for free and reduced-priced meals will fail to cover the cost of producing those meals. Eighty-four percent of districts reported an increase in free and reduced-priced meal participation categories.

The survey was culled from responses from 538 school nutrition directors in 44 states.

In other SNA news, the association has launched a new Web site, TrayTalk.org, which is designed to spotlight school meal successes and provide parents with information about healthy school meals. The site will also feature “School Nutrition Success Stories,” which spotlights two child nutrition programs each month. The first spotlight is on Chesapeake Public Schools’ healthy makeover.

 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
wheaton emerson int salad bar

Restaurant design is all about catching a customer’s eye —and it’s sometimes particularly beneficial to be far-sighted. As Airbnb has proven with its San Francisco headquarters, where cafe spaces are inspired by cities like Cairo and Mumbai, elaborate design schemes that evoke far-flung geographic regions can be done to great effect. But operators are finding simpler ways to achieve that feel.

That’s been the experience of Kutztown University Dining Services in Pennsylvania. Kent Dahlquist, director of housing and dining services, says that when the university decided several years...

Managing Your Business
overtime payroll timesheet

Just eight days before Dec. 1, when operators would have to comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rules, a federal judge in Texas slapped an injunction on the regulation. The move indefinitely halted the rules that would have doubled the overtime threshold to $47,476, affecting nearly 4.2 million workers, according to the DOL. For some operators, the move was too little, too late. Now, they have to answer to employees who had been briefed on promised wage increases.

Kansas Memorial Union at the University of Kansas in Lawrence made changes ahead of the deadline...

Ideas and Innovation
ucmc model

With a budget and timeline in place, and the support of the university behind them, the foodservice team at the University of Chicago Medical Center was ready to get rolling with the renovation of one of its patient services kitchens. The facility, which services the hospital’s Center for Care and Discovery and Comer Children’s Hospital, was tripling in size to serve two additional patient floors, to the tune of $9 million. But that didn’t mean immediately jumping in with steel and screws.

“First, we cut out scaled pieces of paper and moved things around,” says Elizabeth Lockwood,...

Ideas and Innovation
granola bars

Where possible, we make grab-and-go items reimbursable. For example, if we’re serving a fruit and milk smoothie, we let students take a granola bar or other grain component to make it count as a meal.

FSD Resources