Be Informed!

The First Class Breakfast Program is being implemented in schools all over Houston. I am a very involved parent, but I have only one experience to share and one point of view. In an effort to share information and inform parents, I welcome comments and guest posts!

Forward this to all who might be interested. You need to be informed and aware of what is happening in your schools.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The issue of Nutrition

One of the main criticisms that he been made of the breakfast program or school food in general is the lack of nutrition.  For the meals served it is a true criticism in many cases, but not as bad as you might think in others.

The school lunch menus are planned based on a nutrient requirements established by the USDA.  They are based on meeting the minimum nutrient and calorie levels and on a school week average. 

From the HISD website Food Services page:
"All menu items are analyzed using weighted analysis. A weighted nutrient analysis gives more weight to nutrients in popular foods that are more frequently selected by students. Weighted analysis allows for a greater contribution of nutrients to come from menu items that are selected more often and less nutrient contribution from those menu items selected less often."

In other words, that corn dog or pizza needs to meet certain nutritional benchmarks, too. 

This is obviously not based on the basic food group model of eating which is what our chilren are taught in school.

For a complete nutritional analysis of all the foods served for First Class Breakfast, look here.  Lunch menu items aren't available yet, but promised soon.

Here's a look nutritional analysis of the Trix Yogurt that was served at breakfast this morning.

14 grams of Sugar in a 4 oz serving. This is about the same as a typical 6 oz container of Yoplait Light, and actually about the same as a fresh banana.  This same yogurt was also served in the cafeteria breakfast line and exceed the cereal options that contained about 10g of sugar in each serving. 

What you don't see in the nutritional analysis is the number of foods that are made with whole grains, the low fat cheese, and the lack of pork products on the menu.  (As of right now, the only item containing pork that is served at breakfast is the Kolache, all other meats are turkey or chicken).  I think Food Services is trying and we are better off than some school districts, but there are many things we can still do to improve.

I have been told that there are plans to change and upgrade the menu when school begins in the Fall and hopefully we will see some of those changes during Summer school. 

I encourage everyone to visit the Food Services wepage and learn more about the program and the foods being served. 

And here's a question for you:
If you are unhappy with the food on the current menu, what items would you like to change or see added?  Leave a comment below and share your ideas.

1 comment:

  1. I think that there needs to be is less fatty foods offered. Whole wheat pop tarts??? come on, why are we giving our kids so much sugar. I do not serve my kids this at home why on earth would i allow them to eat this at school. Also, why do we need to serve our kids flavored milk? 1% milk, OJ and bottled water should be their options. I bet if bottle water was served less milk would go to waste. I am on the parent advisory committee for my sons school. One of the meetins Food Services had told parents that they introduced meat loaf to one of the schools lunch and the kids loved it. That is great, I applaud them for doing this but if you are giving kids the choice of meat loaf and pizza i seriously doubt that the kids are going to choose meat loaf. Let Pizza be a reward, a Friday food, along with hot dogs and hamburgers.