Higher standards for school lunches

The USDA is changing its guidelines for school lunches for next school year. These new rules will impact Oakville’s school lunches as we know it. In order for a food to be served it must:

  • Be a whole grain rich product OR
  • Have as the first ingredient a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or protein food OR
  • Be a “combination food” with at least ¼ cup fruit or vegetable OR
  • Contain 10% of the Daily Value of one nutrient of public health concern

After the food meets these requirements, they then have to meet a specific nutrient standards:

  • Total fat: has to be less than or equal to 35% of total calories from fat per item as packaged
  • Saturated fat: has to be less than or equal to 10% of total calories per item as packaged
  • Trans fat: Zero grams of trans fat
  • Sodium-Entree’s: less than or equal to 480 mg sodium per item
  • Sodium-Snacks and Sides: less than or equal to 230 mg
  • Calories-Entree’s: less than or equal to 350 calories per item
  • Calories-Snacks and Sides: less than or equal to 200 calories per item
  • Total sugar: less than or equal to 35% of weight from total sugars per item

After the item passes through all of these boundaries then we can serve them to students. As you can see the rules are quite tedious, which is causing issues everywhere. Fruits and vegetables are excluded from these rules but if you were to look up the information on what is in a banana, technically, we could not serve it.

This year the marketing club DECA has made a mark on OHS. Next year the club plans on taking over the school store, Claw Mart.

“Since we are taking over to school store we are trying to figure out what we can sell these kids. The snacks and the muffins are the biggest money makers of the store. The only thing I could find to fit in these guidelines are rice cakes” Mrs. Jana Shuey, DECA sponsor said.