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Food Service

Mission
  • To provide meals and preschool snacks to students and staff that are nutritious, well balanced, and planned according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guidelines for healthy eating.
  • To prepare and serve attractive and satisfying meals under high standards of sanitation.
  • To develop a spirit of cooperative teamwork among the Food Service employees in order to efficiently carry out the above objectives.
  • To develop a spirit of cooperative teamwork among the Food Service Department and the Unity School staff and teachers to provide them with the support needed to assist them in the provision of food service support without impacting the integrity of the Food Service lunch program.
  • To efficiently assist and support the activities of the USSO with regard to food service requirements and the scheduling of the cafeteria for meetings and functions without impacting the school lunch program.
  • To operate within the budget.
  • To achieve standards set by all regulatory agencies.

Daily Operation
Each day lunch is offered in the cafeteria which includes one entrée, a salad bar, PBJ, a cheese sandwich or a veggie burger lunch.  Lunch includes the entrée, appropriate side dishes, dessert and a beverage.  A salad bar is offered every day except Wednesday.  The salad bar includes assorted lettuces and raw vegetables, a variety of meats, cheese, egg, hot foods, fruit, breads, and other selections on a rotating basis. A salad bar lunch also includes soup (if offered), dessert and a beverage.   Pizza day is every Wednesday.   Throughout the year special event menus will be offered.

The menus are planned so that they are not only child friendly, but also are nutritionally balanced.  A variety of menu options will be offered throughout the year to encourage exposure to new foods and foods from other cultures. Suggestions are always welcome. 

A healthy snack is prepared and served each morning to preschool students.

 Low-fat milk  or plain water are the only beverages permitted for snack or lunch at Unity School. A choice of one of these beverages is offered with each purchased meal. Juices or flavored waters are NOT permitted.  Those who would like an additional beverage with lunch or those who bring lunch from home can purchase a beverage.  A super-size meal (which is a larger sized entrée) is also available for an extra fee.  Lunches are billed on a monthly basis.

NUTRITION AND WELLNESS

Purpose
Unity School is committed to providing an environment in which students can make healthy food choices that support academic success and lifelong health.  This policy is effective during the school day.

Rationale
The link between nutrition and learning is well documented. Healthy eating patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being.  Healthy eating increases attention, creativity, and test scores.  It improves behavior and attendance.  It is demonstrably linked to reduced risk for mortality and development of many chronic diseases as adults.  Schools have a responsibility to help students and staff to establish and maintain lifelong, healthy eating patterns.  Well-planned and well-implemented school nutrition programs have been shown to positively influence students’ eating habits.

Goals
Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition recommendations of the:
U.S. Dietary Guidelines for healthy eating(over 2 years old)
USDA  Food Guidance System
Dietary Reference Intakes for the National Academy of Sciences

Meals served through the cafeteria will:
Be appealing and attractive
Be served in a clean and pleasant setting
Offer variety and exposure to new and different foods
Offer a variety of choices so children learn to make wise selections
Provide reasonable accommodations for religious, ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as medical food restrictions among students
Be planned to coordinate classroom curriculum with the menu to enhance nutrition education

Meal times and scheduling:
Provide students with at least 20 minutes to eat lunch
Meal periods are scheduled at appropriate times
Elementary students are scheduled recess times

Sharing of food and beverages:
Students are not permitted to share their foods and beverages with one another during meals or snack time, given concerns about allergies, sharing of pathogenic illnesses, and other restrictions with some children’s diets.

Qualifications of school Food Service staff:
A qualified nutrition professional will administer the school meal program.  Appropriate training will be provided to kitchen and cafeteria workers according to their level of responsibility.  All local, state, and federal regulations shall be met.

Food and beverages brought in from home, ­ bagged lunches and snacks:
Bag lunches and snacks should make a positive contribution to the student’s diet and health.  Lunches brought in from home should model the USDA Food  Guidelines and be healthy and nutritious.  It is suggested that snacks be planned to include foods from at least 2-3 food groups to keep energy levels high and minds alert.  Snack foods should be nutrient dense, which means that each bite contributes to the child’s overall intake of healthy foods.   Water and white milk are the preferred beverages.  Candy, soda, and caffeinated beverages are prohibited.   Chocolate as a main ingredient is prohibited unless it meets the Food and Beverage – Nutrient Standards and Guidelines.  

Classroom celebrations:

Birthdays
Birthday celebrations may be honored without the service of food.  Children will not be disappointed if typical party foods aren't served in the classroom.  Treats and traditional birthday cake will still be available at home. 

Celebrations
Classrooms must limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to not more than one (1) per month.  No more than one (1) treat per event.  Treats distributed to children must meet the Food and Beverage ­– Nutrient Standards and Guidelines.

Rewards
Food and beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for food and beverages, should not be used as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not be withheld as a punishment. 

Foods and beverages sold individually:
Vending
Food sold in vending machines will adhere to the Food and Beverage – Nutrient Standards and Guidelines. Water is the only beverage to be sold.

 

Food and Beverage – Nutrient Standards and Guidelines

  • Treats should be planned using the U.S. Dietary Guidelines as a guide.
  • Food of minimal nutritional value should not be given away, sold, or used as incentives for students or student activities during the school day except for peppermint, which has been documented to enhance memory.
  • A packaged snack should not exceed 250 calories.
  • No more than 30% of total calories from fat, and no more than 10% of total calories from saturated fat, including trans fat.  (Nuts, seeds, milk, and dairy products are exempt from this standard.)
  • No more than 35% added sugar by weight (not including fruits and vegetables and when they are used as ingredients).
  • No more than 400-600 mg sodium per serving.
  • Serve whole grain products at least half of the time.
  • Chocolate is not permitted to be the main ingredient; carob is an acceptable substitute.
  • Snacks and sweets not to exceed 1.5 oz.
  • Cookies, muffins, and cereal bars not to exceed 3 oz.
  • Frozen desserts or ice cream not to exceed 4 oz.  No sweetened water ices such as “…sicles” unless products contain 100% fruit or fruit juice.
  • No candy.
  • No chewing gum.
  • No red and blue dye in any products.
  • Water and milk are the only permitted beverages.