School districts are preparing for changes in some of their menus…thanks to new federal nutrition guidelines for snacks that take effect this school year.
Rhinelander Food Service Director Pat Karaba says the new rules mean less sodium and more whole grain ingredients. And snacks must also be limited in their portion sizes and calories.
“Say we sold Doritos or snacks along those lines or cheetos. Those would no longer fall into that category. So we could not sell them this coming school year.”
The changes apply to food and beverages sold in vending machines and fundraisers, as well as to the ala carte menu prepared by food service.
The idea is to give kids healthier options throughout the entire school day.
Karaba says many recipes are being revamped to cut down on sugars or fats, while some items will be available less often.
“The requirements are quite strict, and so it makes it quite difficult to meet it over the whole week – so if today we had something higher in sodium, we have to balance it out over the complete week. And it’s tricky, it’s not as easy as you might think when you’re looking at all the different items that we do offer.”
For example, homemade pizza at the middle school will only be offered twice a week instead of every day because of sodium restrictions.