Wyoming school officials prepare for new breakfast regulations

The new rules include a maximum calorie count for meals served.

Sept. 23—High-pitched voices echoed in the cafeteria. Students flung backpacks beneath their feet or on benches as they found seats.

The kids knew the drill for breakfast at North Casper Elementary School on Monday morning, where 85 percent of the student body qualifies for free or reduced lunch and between 80 and 100 students eat a school-provided breakfast each day. One by one tables were released. Students lined single file for a meal.

Lunch clerk Kay Kunckel greeted each student at the front of the line, checking names off a list she kept on an iPad.

"Oatmeal?" Kunckel asked one boy hesitating on his decision between two lines of trays. One line offered hot oatmeal, the other cold cereal.

"It's pretty good,” Kunckel said, helping the student take a tray.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has kept a closer eye on school food programs such as North Casper’s during the past three years. As part of a federal initiative to combat growing rates of childhood obesity and diabetes, new regulations have increasingly specified what should go into meals served under the USDA's decades-long National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

K-12 foodservice participating in federal nutrition programs soon could fall into some extra cheese. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to buy 11 million pounds of cheese to raise plummeting prices, the result of a dairy glut. The acquired product will be distributed to federal nutrition programs, which might include WIC, SNAP and Child Nutrition Programs, and food banks.

The purchase falls short of a call from Congress, unions, special interest groups and commodity organizations for a $150 million buyout of dairy assets to mitigate the 35% drop in dairy revenues—a 30-year...

Ideas and Innovation
cardboard takeout box

The death knell keeps ringing for polystyrene containers. A story Monday in the Chicago Tribune reports that a man who provided free recycling for the foam products in 10 area communities is shutting down his services, citing expense and logistical difficulties, and leaving few options for diverting the material from landfills.

“From a business perspective, there is no market for [recycled polystyrene foam]. It's difficult to sell,” Beth Lang, facilities and general services manager at the Recycling Drop-Off Center in Naperville, Ill., told the Tribune. “The second reason, and more...

Industry News & Opinion

Students at Martin Luther College will be able to cook their own food in the cafeteria this year, thanks to the addition of a new self-cook station installed during the cafeteria’s renovation, The Journal reports.

In addition to the self-cook station, which contains induction cookers, the revamped cafeteria at the New Ulm, Minn., school will include new pizza equipment, a panini grill, tiled floors, poured countertops and new arrangements to make the cafeteria appear more open.

"We wanted to make it look more like a restaurant and not like a cafeteria," Director of Dining...

Industry News & Opinion

Two chefs at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., are trying to help solve the Mars food dilemma, myfoxspokane.com reports .

Just outside the school’s cafeteria, Executive Chef Timothy Grayson and his partner, Christine Logan-Travis, are trying their hand at growing tomatoes, oregano, basil and other plants in Martian Regolith Soil, the closest soil on Earth to that found on the fourth planet from the sun.

All of the plants in the Mars-inspired garden are intended for human consumption.

“It is a reality that at some point, if man goes to Mars, they will need to...

FSD Resources