Chicago schools are trying to lighten up their lunch options by cutting back on daily nacho service (to once a week or once a month) and nixing breakfast treats like Pop-Tarts and doughnuts. In order to address the potential causes for the large number of obese children in the district, the Chicago Public Schools Nutrition Support Services has decided to give the schools’ menus a makeover.
In addition to bans of the aforementioned Pop-Tarts and doughnuts, sweet packaged desserts will be offered only once a week and the new guidelines state that breakfast cereals may not contain “desert (sic) or candy type ingredients or flavors such as chocolate etc.” In addition, cereals cannot contain more than 5 grams of sugar unless they contain 3 grams or more of fiber. Once exception is Chocolate Mini-Wheats, as they are high in fiber (I didn’t know they made Chocolate Mini-Wheats—when did that happen?).
Other improvements include serving a dark-green or orange vegetable (gasp!) three times a week as well as one whole-grain offering each day. Fruit juice will only be offered twice a week as the fruit component of the meal, which is better than no fruit at all, if not ideal. It kind of amuses me to that the district seems nacho-phobic all of a sudden, but hey, it helps to know your weaknesses, I suppose.
You can read more at the Chicago Tribune.
I’m always happy to hear about schools taking measures to improve their students’ health. It was nice to read that on a break from prepping for a 3-hour online midterm! Something else that made me smile this week: Health care reform includes national calorie labeling for major restaurant chains!