Food Service

Unity School Wellness Policy


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.


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 establish and maintain lifelong, healthy eating patterns.  Well-planned and well-implemented school nutrition programs have been shown to positively influence students’ eating habits.


Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition recommendations of the:

U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (over 2 years old)

USDA My Plate and the Pyramid 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 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 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.

Daily Operation
Each day lunch is offered in the cafeteria. The lunch choices include an entrée, salad bar, PBJ, PB, cheese sandwich or a veggie burger meal. Lunch includes the appropriate side dishes, dessert and a beverage.  The salad bar lunch includes an assortment of lettuces, raw vegetables, a variety of meats, cheese, egg, hot foods, fruit, breads, and other selections on a rotating basis. It may also include soup (if offered), dessert and a beverage.   Pizza day is every Wednesday.   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.

 White milk or plain water are the only beverages permitted for lunch or snack at Unity School. A choice of one of these beverages is offered with each purchased meal. Juice, flavored waters, soda, and caffeinated 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 for an extra fee.  Lunches are billed on a monthly basis.

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 My Plate and the Food Pyramid 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 the mind 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 only beverages permitted for lunch or snack  at Unity School.  Juice, soda, caffeinated, and other flavored beverages are prohibited.   Candy is prohibited .Chocolate as a main ingredient is prohibited unless it meets the Food and Beverage –Nutrient Standards and Guidelines.   

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

Provide hand sanitizing before meals

Sharing of Food and Beverages

Students may not 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.

Classroom Celebrations


Birthday celebrations are 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.


Classrooms must limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to not more than one (1) per month.  Treats distributed to children must meet the Food and Beverage-Nutrient Standards and Guidelines.


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


Foods sold in vending machines 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.

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 be less than 250 calories.

No more than 30% of total calories from fat, and no more than 10% of total calories from saturated fat and no 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 when used as ingredients).

The threshold for Sodium is 400-600mg  per serving.

Encourage food containing whole grains.

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, ice cream not to exceed 4oz.  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 white milk are the only permitted beverages.

Food Intake patterns identify what and how much food an individual should eat for health.  The amounts are based on a person’s age, sex and activity level.  These patterns are published in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

  • Increase whole grains in the diet.  Make at least half of the total grains eaten whole grains.
  • Eat recommended amounts of vegetables and fruits. Add variety.  Increase dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, soybeans and peas.
  • Consume 3 cups milk or equivalent each day.  Children 2-8 years old consume 2 cups.  Supply calcium rich foods such as cheese if milk in not consumed.
  • Choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Choose grain products and prepared foods that are low in saturated and no trans fat.   Select baked, broiled or steamed rather than fried.
  • Choose foods with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners. Added sugars include high fructose corn syrup, other syrups, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose, maltose, brown sugar, honey, molasses fruit juice concentrates, and raw sugar added to food products.   Choose water or milk. Select unsweetened cereals.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast.  Choose foods that consist of carbohydrates, protein, and low fat, such as whole-grain cereal, fruit, and milk.
  • Snacks should also include a variety of foods from each of the food groups as indicated above.  Refer to healthy snack guide.


All fluid milk-preferably fat free or low fat

Nutritionally equivalent non-dairy alternatives, soy products

Puddings made with milk

Ice milk

Frozen yogurt

Ice cream

Cheese-cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, American, cottage, etc.

Yogurt-without added food dyes and candy

Fruit- fresh, canned, frozen, or dried.  It can be whole, cup-up or pureed.

Apples                                                              Mangoes

Apricots                                                            Melons-cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon               

Bananas                                                            Mixed fruit salad   

Berries-strawberries, blueberries                     Nectarines, oranges, tangerines

             raspberries, cherries                            Pears

Grapefruit                                                        Peaches                                                       

Grapes-raisins                                                  Papaya

Kiwi                                                                 Pineapple


Vegetables-raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or  juiced.

Dark Green                   Orange                                                               Starchy

Broccoli                        Carrots                                                               Corn       

Collard                          Squash-acorn, butternut, hubbard, pumpkin     Green peas

Kale                               Sweet potatoes                                                  Lima beans

Romaine lettuce                                                                                       Potatoes


Dry Beans and Peas     Other Vegetables

Black beans                   Artichokes             Lettuce-iceburg, leaf

Garbanzo beans             Asparagus              Mushrooms

Kidneys beans               Bean Sprouts          Okra     

Lentils                            Brussel sprouts      Onions

Navy beans                    Cabbage                 Parsnips

Pinto beans                    Cauliflower            Tomatoes-tomato juice

Soybeans                        Eggplant                Turnips     

Tofu                               Green beans           Wax beans

White beans                   Peppers                   Zucchini

Grains– whole and refined

Whole-contains the entire kernel, the bran, germ and endosperm

Brown rice                     Muesli

Buckwheat                     Whole grain-wheat, barley, rye:  breads, crackers, pasta, tortillas

Bulgur(cracked wheat)   Wild Rice             

Oatmeal                          Millet

Popcorn                           Quinoa

Refined– milled removing the bran and germ.  Most refined grains are enriched with B vitamins and iron.

Cornbread                       Ready to eat breakfast cereals

Couscous                        Tortillas-flour and corn

Crackers                         White bread and rolls

Grits                                White rice




Meat & Beans

Choices should be lean or low-fat.

Meat-beef, ham, lamb, pork, veal

Poultry-chicken, duck, goose, turkey

Soy-based protein sources


Dry Beans and peas-black bean, chickpeas, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, soy beans, split peas, tofu, white beans, tempeh, textures vegetable protein

Fish-anchovies, catfish, cod, flounder, haddock, halibut, herring, mackerel, pollock, salmon, sea bass, sardines, snapper, swordfish, trout, tuna

Shellfish-clams, crab, lobster, mussels, octopus, oysters, scallops, squid, shrimp

Nuts-almonds, cashew, hazelnuts, peanuts, peanut butter, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds

Oils– fats that are liquid at room temperature from plants and fish.

Plants-monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, and low in saturated fats.  Do not contain any cholesterol*

Canola                          Nuts

Corn                             Olive

Cottonseed                   Avocado

Olive                            Some fish



*Coconut and palm kernel oil are high in saturated fat                                    

Solid fat-solid at room temperature from animal foods and are saturated fats.


Beef fat

Chicken fat

Pork fat (lard)

Stick margarine


Trans fat-hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used to make shortening and commercially prepared baked goods, snack foods, fried foods, and margarine. Trans fat should be eliminated from the diet.

Discretionary Calories-the extra calories that are not needed to meet the body’s nutrient needs, about 10% of the daily calorie requirements.  These can come from sweets and other treats.


  Each snack food portion may not exceed the below limitations for specified nutrients/ingredients or serving sizes:








Excludes nuts and seeds






Excludes fruits and vegetables when used as ingredients








Snacks and Sweets

1.5 oz.

Including, but not limited to chips, crackers, low-fat popcorn, cereal, trail mix,  seeds, dried fruit, jerky

Bakery Items (e.g. cookies, bars, breads, and muffins)

3.0 oz.

Chocolate may not be a

main ingredient.  Fruits and vegetable ingredients are encouraged.  No doughnuts.

Icing may not exceed ¼” thickness.

Frozen Desserts, Ice Cream

4.0 fluid oz.

Including but not limited to ice cream.  No chocolate or candy.

No …sicles (sweetened water ices)

Other  (candy)

No candy, except for peppermint for teaching purposes.

No red and blue food dye


Items Not Permitted                                                  Healthy Alternative

Iced cupcake                                      Fruit/vegetable muffins-apple, banana, carrot, berry, etc.

Large cookie with icing                       Whole grain cookie with dried fruit

Birthday cake                                     Vanilla pudding cups with berries and sugar cookie crumbs

Donut                                                 Oatmeal raisin cookie

Brownie                                              Fruit and cheese kebabs with whole-wheat pretzels

Foods containing color dye               Granola, fruit, and vanilla yogurt sundaes

(red and blue)                                   Raisin cake with drizzled vanilla glaze

                                                          Banana, pumpkin, or zucchini bread or bars

Candy                                               Trail mix with low fat granola, whole-wheat cereal, unsalted

                                                          pretzels, sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds, and dried fruit

                                                          Angel food cake with fresh berries

                                                           Bran Muffins

                                                           Low fat granola bars

                                                           Low fat popcorn seasoned with grated cheese and a

                                                          dash of garlic salt or other interesting spice combo

Top your own cookie                         Rice cake with light cream cheese topped with fruit,

                                                          shredded vegetables, seeds, carob, granola, popcorn, and

                                                          other healthy choices.

                                                          Veggie or fresh fruit pizza                                                                                                                     

Fruit drinks                                         Water, low fat/fat free milk, or soymilk     


The list below are a few items that are available for purchase that meet the Nutrition Standards and may be used for convenience.  These are not the only food items that meet the Standards and are only meant to be used as a guide.


Bakery Items:

Mini Muffins (25 gram/each)- carrot, poppy, orange, bran, zucchini, and vanilla (without large quantity of icing)

Muffin (2.5 oz)- blueberry, apple bran, or raisin bran                            

Angel Food Cake (1/8 cake)

Cornbread (1.9 oz/serving)

Packaged foods:

Rice Cakes

Tortilla Wraps (45 gram or less/serving)-whole wheat, multigrain, tomato basil, spinach, or garden vegetable

Mini bagels 1.4oz/serving- Pepperidge Farms, Publix, or Thomas

Entenmann’s light Golden Loaf Cake (fat free)

Entenmann’s Mini Muffins-blueberry

Pita Pockets (whole wheat)-small  (23 gram/each) and mini (10 gram/each)

Whole Wheat Bread Sticks (15 grams/each)

Light Out Wraps- assorted flavors

Popcorn, light

Baked Tortilla Chips

Sun Chips

Pretzels-whole wheat or grain preferred

Exotic Vegetable Chips

Sweet Potato and Beet Chips

Terra Vegetable Chips

Eat Smart Soy Crisps

Apple Chips



Polaner-All Fruit Spread (1T/serving)

Fruit-individual packaged cups of fruit in natural juice-Delmonte, Publix

Vegetable/California Rolls

Veggie Trays

Prepackaged Raw Vegetables and Fresh Fruits

Cheese & Fruit Tray

Dried Fruit

Roasted Soy Beans and other seeds

Nuts (if not allergic)

Natural fruit leathers

Granola-Optimum Power

Vanilla Wafers-Nabisco

Graham Crackers

Oatmeal Teddy Grahams

Whole Wheat Fig Newtons

Ginger Snaps made with molasses-Nabisco only

Fat Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookie-Archway

Whole grain Fish Crackers-Pepperidge Farm

Oven Baked Wheat able Crackers-Keebler

Cherry or Raspberry Fruit Bars-Health Valley

Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedge

Light Babybel Cheese Rounds

Assorted packaged cheese-string, cubes, slices, shaped, etc.

Light Cheese Spread-Alouette, Laukauna, Neufchatel

Light Cream Cheese-assorted flavors

Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls-Pillsbury

Low Fat Bread Sticks-Pillsbury

Low Fat Plain or Vanilla Yogurt

Pudding Cups made with skim milk

Soymilk, Low fat and Skim milk

Muffin Bar-banana or blueberry-Quaker