What is a Reimbursable Meal?
You’ve heard us say it. Your kids are told they must have it, but what is it? It is the components of a meal required by the National School Lunch Program. There are 5 components that we are required to offer: Meat/Meat Alternate, Fruit, Vegetable, Grain and Fluid Milk.
- Meat/Meat Alternate: Meat Alternates can be beans, cheese, nut butters, yogurt and cottage cheese
- Fruit: We may use canned or Fresh Fruit. We currently offer High School a Fresh Fruit Bowl almost every day and for the 2010/2011 school year will offer a Fresh Fruit option at least 3 days a week for K – 8.
- Vegetable: We use canned, frozen and fresh vegetables with no added salt or fats. Again for the 2010/2011 school year the plan is to have a fresh vegetable choice on the serving line every day.
- Grains: We currently only use whole wheat bread for sandwiches. For the 2010/2011 School year we are asking our supplier to bid on whole wheat hamburger and hot dog buns. You will notice many rice dishes on our menu, we only use brown rice that we get from government commodities. We have begun using commodity whole wheat pasta as well, it has not worked as well as we would have liked and we are working to improve the look and texture of entrees using this product.
- Fluid Milk: There currently is no substitution for fluid milk. We offer 1% white, skim white and skim chocolate. We are also investigating the possibility of adding skim strawberry and eliminating the 1% white.
Where’s the Ranch?
We recently underwent a site visit by the Dept of Education. One of the areas of concern was the overuse of condiments by our students. To comply with nutrition guidelines we have pulled the squeeze bottles of ketchup, ranch and BBQ sauce from our tables and gone to portion controlled cups. We are also testing low fat varieties of Ranch dressing, bear with us while we look for one that meets our requirements and tastes good.