Eating Healthy at School
The School Day Just Got Healthier!
Many of the changes being made in Pulaski Community School District cafeterias are part of a larger national trend spurred by the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that was signed into law in 2010. With its passage, regulations on American school lunches were changed for the first time in more than 10 years, and focused on making lunches healthier for students by implementing changes like:
- Ensuring students are offered both fruits and vegetables daily and substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods.
- Offering only fat free or low-fat milk.
- Limiting calories (based on students' ages) to ensure proper portion size.
- Increasing the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fats, trans fats and sodium in school lunches.
With these changes, students are now served 1-2 ounces of protein with each meal (the recommended amount is 4-6 ounces a day for students) and can also take multiple servings of fruits and vegetables with every lunch.
Elementary/ Middle School Lunches
Under the new regulations, elementary school lunches are limited to no more than 650 calories while middle school lunches are limited to 700 calories. With these lunches, students are given one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables, a serving of lean protein (1-2 ounces) and a serving of whole grains as well as low-fat or no-fat milk. All of Pulaski's schools are equipped with fresh fruit and vegetable stations that allow students to pick and choose their favorite healthy options (and they can always go back for more).
High School Lunches
Lunches at PHS must be no more than 850 calories, and, like the district's elementary schools and middle school, the lunches include lean protein, fruit/vegetables, whole grains and milk. One of the most popular options for high school students is the deli bar, offered daily, which allows students to build their own subs by choosing from a wide variety of vegetables, lean meat, cheese and whole grain buns to create their own sandwiches.
Overall, all of the lunches at Pulaski Schools are cooked to account for one-third of each student's daily nutritional needs.
In order to ensure that the lunches served at PCSD schools meet the new federal regulations, while still keeping students full throughout the afternoon, the district's food service employees have begun offering a wide-variety of lunch options to our students. Many of these options are cooked "from scratch," replacing the pre-packaged, sodium-rich foods that were previously found in school cafeterias. Some of these new menu items include a BBQ pork sandwich on a wheat bun, chicken wrap and even a whole-wheat pizza quesadilla.