Massachusetts schools are now several months into a new year with updated school nutrition guidelines from both state and federal agencies. Our recent review of local news finds that many school districts are having success implementing the new guidelines in their school nutrition programs:
- In Braintree, new vegetable- and legume-rich offerings have been added to school menus. Principals and school nutrition staff have followed up with taste-testings to promote participation and planned food-waste reviews to inform possible changes. A black-bean brownie was added to school menus to boost legume offerings. The Patch reports that although some new items – like a flourless black-bean brownie – were met initially with some skepticism from students and parents, many of the new foods have been successes.
- In Littleton, elementary schools are implementing the Fuel Up to Play 60 activity and nutrition program, and have applied for grants to fund after-school components. Wicked Local Littleton notes that the nutrition programming in Fuel Up to Play 60 supports the schools’ implementation of new school nutrition standards.
- A recent Boston Globe article focuses on many challenges schools have faced in adapting to the new standards, but also cites successes. In Brookline public schools, for example, the food service director responded to students’ complaints of still being hungry after lunch by offering free seconds, which got an OK from USDA. JSI Director Karen McGrail, MEd, RD, LDN is also quoted about the need for persistence and motivation as staff and students get accustomed to the school food rules.
How has your school or district had success in adapting to the new standards this year? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Looking for more information on state or federal school nutrition regulations and standards? Check out the online resources on this topic in the JSI Resource Center!