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Healthy School Lunch and Meals

Millions of students are heading back to school this month. Administrators, teachers and staff have been preparing their school and classes to get ready for students to return to school. One very important group of people have been working very hard to make sure they are ready for the students. These folks are sometimes over looked however they are a very important part of our student’s lives while at school. Food and nutrition staff across the state have been hard at work to make sure that students are well feed while at school. Without the proper food to fuel their mind and body, students can quickly run out of steam and lose interest in schoolwork causing them to struggle to get through the school day. Food and nutrition staffs play a vital role in keeping our kids fueled up.
According to USDA National School Lunch Program, students spend around 6 hours per day in the classroom. Nutritious meals provide students with adequate fuel that can keep them energized and focused all day, and a healthy diet, will also support a healthy immune system, which means fewer sick days for your children. Colleton County School District Food and Nutrition department offers all students a variety of options to choose from for breakfast and lunch meals at no cost. Each school provides students with well-balanced meal options that include fruits, vegetables, whole grain, low-fat dairy/milk and meat or meat alternate. Students can choose to select all five options but no less than three and one must be a fruit or vegetable at lunch. “We try to give students enough tasty options to choose from, so they aren’t hungry throughout the day,” said Ellen Fitch, Director of Student Nutrition. “We offer a hot and cold breakfast, but we notice students don’t always like to eat breakfast, therefore we offer a self stainable packaged breakfast kit that students can grab during breakfast and save to eat later for a snack, when they get hungry,” says Fitch. Heathy options like yogurt parfait, pb&j sandwiches, apple slices and graham packs are offered daily as some school. Snacks are also offered during after school care, robotics and after school learning activities.
To stay ahead of the student’s ever-changing taste buds, Fitch and her staff conduct regular taste tests with students to help select new menu options and products. “We try new products on the menu to see which products student will like best before adding it to a school’s menu. We also conduct focus groups with high school students to test taste products to help us select new menu items,” said Fitch. Colleton County High School and Middle School menu will have a New Create Your Own Salad or Sandwich option where students can create and build their own healthy salads or sandwiches. “Students at the high school asked for more beverage options and on August 27 a new Smart Snack Beverage Machine will be installed to offer a healthy choice Mocha Freeze Frappe, Ice Coffee, Iced Tea and Fruit Slushies made with 100% fruit juice,” say Fitch.
In light of the rising rates of obesity and chronic disease in the U.S., the need for proper nutrition is important and school food and nutrition plays a big role in helping to keep children healthy. The impact of the Food and Nutrition staff aims to ensure that the meals students are receiving in school are healthy and well balanced. Information about school meals, food nutrition and menus are posted on Colleton County School District and School’s main website. “The district has launched a new Menu Viewer mobile app where school’s menu and updates can be found in real time,” says Fitch. For more information about school food and nutrition or menu options please contact Ellen Fitch at 843-782-0039 Ext. 2.

Cokeitha Gaddist (48 Posts)