USDA extends grains, proteins exception through 2014

Schools must only meet weekly maximums.

Feb. 28—The USDA has extended the elimination of daily protein and grain limits for school meals. The extension, which was first assessed in December 2012, will go through the 2013-2014 school years for both breakfast and lunch. Districts must only meet weekly maximums for the two categories.

The USDA said it had received feedback stating that the exemption allowed for greater menu flexibility without compromising schools' ability to provide healthy meals for students. The USDA says it it open to a further extension of this exemption past the 2013-2014 school year.

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At University of North Dakota, National Nutrition Month in March sometimes elicits as much excitement as the NCAA basketball tournament or spring break. That’s when the school’s version of the TV show “Chopped” takes place. The competition is an event organized by UND Dining’s registered dietitian, Dustin Frize, in partnership with the college’s chefs. Students are organized into teams, given a basket of nutritious foods and tasked with creating winning dishes. “Healthfulness is a key component of the judging,” Frize says.

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The dining team at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., has updated the halal offerings at its student center after student concerns of cross-contamination and mislabeling, The Hofstra Chronicle reports.

After listening to students, the center’s halal options were moved from a self-serve line to a hot entree station. The dining team also updated its signage to better indicate which meals are halal.

In addition to halal hot dogs and hamburgers, students will now have the option of halal beef as well as new globally inspired halal meals.

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Industry News & Opinion

Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., has debuted a mini food truck on campus, The Daily News reports.

Dining staff say the truck was introduced to give students more dining options as well as reaffirm the school’s commitment to sustainability.

The truck will feature healthy options with fewer than 550 calories that will be sold in plant-based to-go containers . Students will be able to choose from two to three rotating entrees as well as two signature entrees that will be available the entire week.

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