CSD Menu Committee Tweaks “Top Ten List” Recommendations, Suggests Keeping a Chocolate Milk Option

Here’s something  I overlooked when I browsed through the School Board’s agenda for tomorrow’s meeting!  (Thanks Patch!) CSD’s Ultimate Menu Committee has revised their original Top Ten List of school lunch menu items based on parental feedback and discussions with vendors.  Here’s their summary what parent’s said…

Four of the ten items tended to be closely divided in the feedback from parents:

  • Chocolate Milk
  • Pancakes, Waffles, and French Toast
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Dried Potatoes, Tater Tots, Potato Triangles

One item was overwhelmingly identified by parents to keep:

Peanut Butter

Five items were identified by parents to change/eliminate:

  • Muffins
  • Chips (Fried)
  • Shrimp Poppers/Pre-fried Fish
  • High Sugar Desserts
  • Highly Processed Cheese

Recommendations chart after the jump!


7 thoughts on “CSD Menu Committee Tweaks “Top Ten List” Recommendations, Suggests Keeping a Chocolate Milk Option”

  1. I’m curious to know whether CSD is willing to spend more to make the meals healthier. Did
    the task force go into this with a budget?
    Most parents realize that the food provided by USDA is not going to be the “go to” source for healthier food. Schools have been the dumping ground for the USDA for many years. There is no easy fix to making food healthier.
    The real question is:
    How far are we willing to go to make school lunches healthy?

    Also, why are schools even providing dessert?

    1. Good question. What portion of a school lunch is covered by the price parents/students pay (if they are paying vs. subsidized lunch), what portion comes from federal or state funding for school lunch programs, and what portion comes from the CSD budget? For some reason, I thought the cost of lunches was covered by what families pay and state/federal funds but I don’t know whether that’s true. In all the CSD budget discussions I’ve heard over the years, I’ve never heard of raising or lowering what is spent on school lunches.

      No matter what the source of funding, school nutrition staff have to make choices on how they spend it and healthier choices can often be more expensive. One area of easy saving would be dessert–however, school systems that accept state/federal dollars probably have to follow certain guidelines in what they provide. If those guidelines require dessert, we’re stuck.

      A movement that has started in some CSD schools, some classrooms, is to eliminate the “snacks” provided on a rotating basis by K-5 parents. The theory is that kids will learn to eat more of their lunch if there’s no afternoon snack. I wondered if anyone followed that up to see if there’s evidence that this strategy is working.

      1. As I understand it, there was follow-up done and it was noted that there was less food waste at lunch, and that the children were not starving. (I’m sure that was the exact language of the report.) I don’t believe any CSD K-3s are having snacks anymore.

        1. Glad this has worked out but wow, when I think all the hours of my life that were spent on organizing snack lists, picking out snacks that were acceptable to me but also my kids, buying snacks, baking snacks, bringing in snacks…….ok, I’m over it.

    2. The dessert provided by CSD is limited to a cookie approx once per month, otherwise all I ever see is fruit….

  2. The survey was interesting and I commend the Ultimate Menu Committee, not only on their fantastic choice of committee name, but also on getting feedback from parents. I had no idea there was that much support for peanut butter! Especially since there’s the peanut butter allergy issues around. But I have to admit, it’s a tried and true option when little ones need calories to make it through the whole day but nothing else is getting them to eat. Obesity and healthy nutrition are important issues but some children still exist for whom weight gain is the challenge. I’m not surprised that chocolate milk had a lot of support, given the calcium benefit for kids who otherwise don’t or can’t consume much diary, but I thought it would beat out peanut butter.

    My kids will be happy about chicken nuggets remaining since that is one of their favorite CSD menu items. Now that we’re not doing Chick Fil A, we need to get our chicken nugget junk food intake from somewhere! 🙂

    I’m happy about the gradual movement towards a healthier school lunch because someone else is working on my kids’ narrow palate besides me! Yeah, lunch ladies!

  3. I’ve been wondering if something like a CSA model could work with the school lunches. I know the school system can buy more expensive food if they have more people paying for lunch. So what if we signed up in advance so they knew how many meals to prepare for a certain day? We could start with 1 day a week. The school system could plan meals that are more locally sourced and/or less processed and/or more organic and give everyone details about it, and parents could pay in advance for the meal, maybe 4 meals at a time. Maybe even a small premium could be charged and/or donations to the F2S program accepted. Of course, the free and reduced lunch program recipients would receive the same meal without the need for signing up in advance or paying a premium.
    I’m talking off the top of my head here; I’m sure there are more things to think about. I wonder if any other school systems have tried something like this.

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