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NJ AGRICULTURE SECRETARY SAMPLES NEW HEALTHIER SCHOOL LUNCH OPTIONS
Federal Meal Changes Enacted at Beginning of 2012-2013 School Year
For Immediate Release: September 19, 2012
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and Patricia Dombroski, Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service Mid-Atlantic Region, joined a panel of middle and high school students, school district officials and other dignitaries at Secaucus High/Middle School in Secaucus today in sampling new school lunch menu items that meet healthier federal guidelines enacted this school year.
On the tasting menu prepared by Secaucus Schools food service were: Grilled Chicken Pasta Primavera, Whole Grain Lasagna Rolette, Green Beans Roma, Garlic Stick, Cannellini Bean Salad, Chilled Green Bean Salad, Hummus & Vegetable Platter, Fruit & Cheese Platter, Freshly Baked Apple Crisp.
“School students will find a wide variety of healthy, appealing lunch choices in their cafeterias this fall, including more fruits and vegetables,” said Secretary Fisher. “In prior year, the Secaucus School District placed a great emphasis on creating nutritious menus, as well as educating the student body about overall wellness, so they are well-prepared for the changes.”
The federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act school lunch regulations require more fruits and vegetables and whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk, fat-free flavored milk and strict limits on saturated fat and portion size.
“This year schools throughout the nation will begin implementing new federal guidelines,” said Dombroski. “Dubbed The School Day Just got Healthier, these guidelines are based on information from the Institute of Medicine, and are designed to give children more of the nutrients they need. Students at Secaucus High School will enter their classrooms well-fed, ready to concentrate and engaged in winning the future.”
Christine Traks shows Secretary Fisher and Patricia Dombroski the healthier options on the lunch line.
Secaucus High/Middle School’s lunch line has several stations: Special Meal of the Day; Deli Bar; and Grab and Go. All stations include the vegetable/fruit of the day. Assorted salads, yogurt parfaits and vegetarian choices are available every day. In addition, Mac’s Veggie Patch debuted this year, which includes alternate vegetable choices to increase vegetable consumption and stress the importance of eating fruits and vegetables daily.
“Maschio’s Corporate Chefs and Registered Dietitians have been working diligently in preparing the new “Seasonal Menu” for our schools which meet every grade groups’ minimum and maximum,” said Christine Traks, Regional Supervisor for Maschio’s Food Services, the district’s food service company. “We have prepared our staff with numerous trainings, including hands on meal preparation for the exciting new changes. Maschio’s corporate registered dietitian prepared an informational handout explaining the new meal pattern regulations for parents, students and staff members.”
For more information about the new federal meal guidelines, visit www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/legislation/nutritionstandards.htm.