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Federal Way schools adopt new nutrition standards

File photo shows lunch preparations in Federal Way Public Schools. - Mirror file photo
File photo shows lunch preparations in Federal Way Public Schools.
— image credit: Mirror file photo

Mirror staff reports:

New requirements from the U.S. Department of Agriculture have changed the face of student meals in Federal Way Public Schools.

Nutrition service directors from regional school districts have collaborated to make the transition successful, with support from a Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant.

Some of the USDA requirements — like offering more fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain breads, pasta and tortillas, healthier beverages, and less fat, sugar and salt — are already regular practices in local schools.

Districts have been working with their own talented staff and other culinary experts. Federal Way and partner districts have consulted with Chef Garrett Berdan, who was invited to the White House after helping local schools improve their menu items.

“A parent might still see spaghetti on the menu, but the recipe has changed behind the scenes,” FWPS Nutrition Services Director Mary Asplund said.

Here are some of the major school meal changes taking place this year:

• Students will be required to take a serving of a fruit or vegetable.

• Meals will vary in size to meet calorie needs based on grade levels.

• Meals will feature a greater variety and more servings of fruits and vegetables highlighting dark green, vibrant red/orange vegetables and legumes/beans.

• More whole grain foods will be available. Plain low-fat or fat-free milk or flavored fat-free milk will be available.

• Saturated fat will be reduced and all meals will contain 0 grams of trans fats. Salt (sodium) will be reduced in all meals.

To learn more, email masplund@fwps.org.

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