New Nutrition Mandates Force Schools to Rethink Lunch Menus


Students who live in households that meet income eligibility guidelines can apply for free or reduced-price meals. They must fill out the application with accurate information and provide the necessary documentation to qualify.

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Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Long gone are the days of fried chicken, all-you-can-eat starches, and whole milk. New nutrition mandates are forcing schools to rethink their menu choices and offer more healthy baked items, more fruits and vegetables, and foods that are rich in whole grains.

Food service directors say it’s been the most challenging time in 31 years of working with school meals. They are having to pay two to three times more than usual for products, which is making it hard to keep up with demand while meeting the new COVID-19 guidelines.

In a week, high-fat options like mozzarella sticks, cheese fries, and popcorn chicken were offered twice, while fresh fruit and vegetable items were only offered once. In an effort to promote healthier options, the Sylvania school lunch menu is being revamped.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the new, healthier choices. In order to promote responsible student behavior, the district will follow guidelines with regard to meal charges. A la carte items, second meals, and snacks are not included in the free or reduced-price school meals/milk program and must be paid for with cash or check. Students with a negative balance of at least two meals will be immediately notified of the status of their account.