Unity School is committed to providing an environment in which students can make healthy food choices that support academic success and lifelong health. 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. This policy is effective during the school day.
Foods and beverages available during the school day, will strive to minimize the use of trans fats and saturated fats, sodium, and sugar as defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
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 medical food restrictions (allergies) among students
Be planned to coordinate classroom curriculums with the menu to enhance nutrition education.
Qualifications of School Food Service Staff
A qualified Nutrition professional with Serve Safe Managers Certification will administer the School Food Service 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.
All students eat at school and must remain on campus. Lunch may be ordered by all children in their classrooms before 8:50 a.m. each morning or brought in from home. Lunch periods are approximately 40 minutes in duration including recess. No student is permitted to order lunch delivered to the school or request that a parent deliver food. If a student does not have lunch, a lunch will be ordered for him or her from the school cafeteria.
Lunch is offered daily and is freshly prepared and served in the cafeteria. Lunch consists of a choice of one entrée or a specialty salad meal. Each purchased lunch includes the appropriate side dishes including a fresh vegetable, fresh fruit, and a beverage. Pizza lunch is every Wednesday. A peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly, cheese sandwich, and a veggie burger meal are also available every day. The menus are planned so that they are not only child friendly, but also are nutritionally balanced. Food is prepared from scratch using healthy cooking techniques. The menu is located on the school’s website and at https://unityschool.nutrislice.com throughout the year. Plain water and low-fat milk 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. Juice, soda, caffeinated and flavored waters/beverages 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. Lunches are billed monthly.
Home-Bagged Lunch and Snacks
Bag lunches and snacks should make a positive contribution to the student’s diet and health. Lunches brought in from home should be healthy and nutritious. Any lunch brought from home must not require cooking or heating. If there is a special dietary need, the student is responsible for bringing his/her own lunch. Students in grades K-5 are encouraged to bring a nutritious snack.
Plain water and low-fat milk are the only beverages permitted for snack or lunch at Unity School. Juice, soda, caffeinated and flavored waters/beverages are NOT permitted.
Candy is prohibited. Chocolate as a main ingredient is prohibited unless it meets the Food and Beverage –Nutrient Standards and Guidelines.
Each morning, Food Service provides a healthy snack to the Toddler, Orientation and Preschool students. This snack is freshly prepared and focused on providing whole body nutrition. We will provide snacks that contain the right amount of nutrients to keep minds engaged and support strong bone and muscle growth. We will also occasionally provide pre-packaged snacks low in salt, and added sugar to help growing kids understand nutrition labels and portion control. A fruit and protein option will always be available as needed. Parents may provide their own snack for their child. We ask that you adhere to Unity School’s Wellness policy when making your selections.
When providing party foods, event snacks or foods to be shared with others, they must adhere to the Wellness Policy Guidelines and be prepared, packaged, and purchased from a store or food facility that is inspected by the Department of Health. This type of facility would include, Publix, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Wal-Mart, Target, Trader Joes, etc. All items must be brought in their original packaging. Food prepared in the home is not permitted.
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.
Birthday celebrations are honored without the service of food. Children will not be disappointed if typical party foods are not served in the classroom. Treats and traditional birthday cake will still be available at home.
Food and beverages should not be used as rewards for academic performance or good behavior and will not be withheld as a punishment.
Food and Beverage – Nutrient Standards and Guidelines
*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.
*Encourage food containing fruits, vegetables, healthy protein and whole grains.
*Chocolate is not permitted to be the main ingredient; carob is an acceptable substitute.
*Frozen desserts, ice cream not to exceed 4oz. No sweetened water ices such as “…sicles” unless product contains 100% fruit or fruit juice.
*Snacks and sweets not to exceed 1.5 oz.
*Cookies, muffins, and cereal bars not to exceed 3 oz.
*No chewing gum.
*No red and blue dye in any products.
*Water and white milk are the only permitted beverages.