A word about Chesterfield Schools menus

Chesterfield County Public Schools provides nutritious breakfasts and lunches, offering milk, fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains and meeting strict limits on saturated fat and portion size. The nutritional integrity of school meals has always been a priority, and the school system is meeting the challenges set forth in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Starting this fall, school lunches must meet even tougher federal standards that require  age-appropriate calorie limits (some portions will be reduced); larger servings of vegetables and fruits (Students are required to take at least one fruit or vegetable); wider variety of vegetables, including dark green vegetables, red/orange vegetables and legumes (cooked and fresh versions will be offered weekly);   fat-free or one-percent milk (flavored milk must be fat free. Whole milk and two-percent milk will not be available);   more whole grains (at least half of all the grains in school meals must be whole grains.);  minimum and maximum levels for all grain products and protein products; and less sodium.

Chesterfield anticipated many of the new regulations and took steps to meet them last year. But the federal government is still hammering out some of the details, which means menus for the entire school year cannot yet be published. Instead, for the 2012-13 school year, Chesterfield County Public Schools will publish menus each month that will be sent home with elementary school, middle school and high school students and will be available on the school system’s website, mychesterfieldschools.com.

Encourage your children to choose school lunch. School lunches are a great value and a huge convenience for busy families. At $1.85, school lunches are the best deal in town. General information is available at www.TrayTalk.org or visit MyLunchMoney.com available for easy lunch payments.

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