Monday, June 14, 2010

Child Nutrition Act of 2010 Falls SHORT

Having read just the synopsis of the new Child Nutrition Act of 2010 so far, I find it seriously lacking and it is completely infuriating.

Improve Access to School Meal Programs
* Increase the number of eligible children enrolled in the school lunch programs by using Medicaid/SCHIP data to directly certify children who meet income requirements without requiring individual applications and requiring states to establish and execute a plan to increase rates of direct certification.
* Provide enhanced universal meal access for eligible children in high poverty communities by eliminating paper applications and using census data to determine school wide income eligibility. (the census is every ten years so if a school become a title I school next year they are screwed for the next 9 years?)
* Increase children’s access to healthy school breakfasts by providing competitive grants to school districts to start up or improve their program.

Improve Access to Out of School Meal Programs

* Ensure fewer children go hungry year round by providing meals for over 225,000 children through seamless meal service for children in school based and community based summer and after-school programs, and in low income rural areas.
* Improve access for children in home-based child care by reducing administrative costs for sponsors of child care meal programs.

Help Schools and Child Care Improve the Quality of Meals

* Assist schools in meeting meal requirements proposed by the Institute of Medicine by increasing the reimbursement rate for lunch by 6 cents per meal -- the first real increase in over 30 years. (does this account for inflation? IS this what our children are worth nowadays?)
* Enhance funding for nutrition education in schools to support healthy eating and school wellness.(enhance it how exactly? Put the money into the food!)
* Promote stronger collaboration and sharing of nutrition education between child care programs and WIC programs.

Encourage Public/Partnerships in Communities

* Connect more children to healthy produce from local farms by helping communities establish local farm to school networks, establish school gardens and use more local foods in school cafeterias.
* Leverage public and private partnerships to help reduce childhood hunger and promote community-wide strategies to improve child nutrition and wellness.

Improve Food Safety Requirements for School Meals Programs

* Ensure school meals are safe for all students by extending food safety requirements to all areas in which school food is stored, prepared, and served.(so now more schools won't be wanting to "cook" their foods, more processed foods will become available, YAY!)
* Support improved communication to speed notification of recalled school foods consistent with GAO recommendations.
* Ensures all foodservice employees have access to food safety training to prevent and identify food borne illness such as through web-based training.
(What about requiring that all schools post a full ingredient list to each item served on the menu... we should call this the Tara amendment.)

Streamline Program Administration and Support Program Integrity

* Increase efficiency, improve program administration, support services and program access and modernize the WIC program by extending period of certification for children, increasing support for breastfeeding, and transitioning from paper food vouchers to an electronic benefit program.
* Strengthen School Meal program integrity and remove program silos in after school meal programs by simplifying program rules and affording schools greater flexibility for addressing program costs.

Of course I added a couple little snippets in there but these are just my first reaction to the whole thing. I am still processing it and I am sure there will be more...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What's going on

Hey loyal followers. There aren't many of you but I am still hoping I am getting a lot of readers. I know my posts aren't all that exciting but we are talking about school lunch here... how exciting can it possibly?
Anyhow I have been taking pictures up until about 2 weeks ago. 2 weeks ago my mom fell and had a mild heart attack/stroke... something. Last week they did open heart surgery to replace her aortic valve and found a benign tumor. She has been in the ICU ever since. When you are in the ICU for an extended period it starts to mess with your mind and the patient can start to experience psychosis. My mother is currently not in her right mind. It is a very devastating way to see my mother.
So while I know I have been slaking in the update department it's not because I don't still fully believe in this project, I do... it's just that I have been dealing with some personal issues.
I always believe on trying to end a post on a good note, so for today my good note is, thank God for good friends and good food.
Here is a little restaurant that I got to experience today and it was just amazing. Like going to a good friends house who also was a great cook. Everything about this little place is unusual, the dining experience and the atmosphere down to the way you pay. These people genuinely want to just share good food with the community!
So if you are in Arlington, check it out. You will no doubt love the place as much as I do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Taks Test This Week

Which means I won't be able to take pictures of the menu items...
so here is the menu

Also I talked to Erick about what he ate for Lunch today... he ate chips. I had no clue that chips were on his menu and it doesn't make me happy!

Clearly I am the ONLY idiot in the world to think this is insane...

KFC is selling pink buckets of fried chicken to raise money for breast cancer research. 50% of cancers could be prevented through a healthy diet (sure hope they include that fact on their pink bucket, but I bet they don't).
There are commercials on TV touting the benefits of HFCS...

There are no longer Home Economics classes in schools anymore, kids have no true nutritional education and they have government sponsored crap fed to them on a daily basis in their school, what are people being led to believe?
I think these pink buckets are just as bad as the cigarette industry raising money from the sale of pink labeled boxes of cigarettes to go into cancer research. Everyone knows it's trendy right now to have a pink label on your product. Personally I think it's disgusting and now I guess that makes me ungrateful too. I can live with that.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday's Lunch and then a contrast.. Friday's Dinner

So I thought I would spice it up a bit today. Yesterday the kids had pizza again for lunch

and then the second option was chicken alfredo.

And then for dinner we had some yummy Aidells Chicken and Apple Sausage (this is a lazy dinner day for me and I really don't like to cook at all), Barilla Bow-tie Pasta with grape tomatoes, cucumbers and yellow peppers topped with a little Italian salad dressing. And home made lemonade from fresh squeezed lemons made with organic sugar. Red seedless grapes on the side.

See healthy can be simple and quick.

Friday, April 23, 2010

WOOHOO- Milk Change

I got this email from Mrs. Anderson this afternoon!


We will have skim white milk for breakfast starting Wednesday, April 28, 2010. Please announce to the students that no flavored (chocolate or strawberry) will be available for breakfast beginning on that day. Students will have a choice of skim or 2% white milk. This is one of the suggestions we received from Ms. Wilson in order to help reduce sugar in the student's diet. We are piloting this change at your school for the rest of the year. The plan is to change all sites by the beginning of next year should all go well with this change. Thanks again for your time and support.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

GMO? Maybe

OK I have no clue if these are GMO's but I don't trust them. That is my oldests head next to those immensely monsterous carrots. Erick suggested that they might have been grown in "Moon" soil. He said moon soil grows vegetables 25% bigger because it is so fertile. Don't ask me how he knows this, I guess it's all those late nights watching the Science Channel... he is in AP science and all, it fits. Anyhow these carrots will not be consumed by people in my home. They are scary looking and I am just not sure they are really normal.

Would you eat them?


There will be no pictures today. Lance is home sick, AGAIN! He has missed almost 15 days of school this year alone. My two older kids never get sick like this.

I challenged Kyra yesterday. I told her about what was in the flavored milks she is drinking, explained it all to her and thought that since she liked it so much I would still leave the choice up to her but I would really love it is she had white milk 4 days of the week and drank a flavored milk only one time a week. I left her to think on that. This morning she said she was going to do it. It is amazing what kids will do with just a little bit of education.

Food Suppliers

Ok so MM asked me on another post who is our food supplier... well that is a loaded question.
Here is a short list I think.
Ben E. Keith- provides snacks and snack drinks
Hardies- Produce
Oakfarms- Milk
CD Hartnett
Byrne Brothers
Land O'Lakes

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WHOA Slacker!

Ok so I have been slacking when it comes to posting my pictures but I have been taking them... here comes this weeks menu!
All in one post no less...
Ahhh Monday, yes the day I had my meeting. The whole reason I just got fed up to begin with... greasy steak fingers...I am just wonder where the finger comes from on the cow.

Ok I seriously want to vomit uploading this image... I got to try these cheese rolls on Monday at my meeting and they were NASTY! I swear I gave them the good ol' college try too!

Tuesday was of course Hamburger Day!

And don't forget, the kids love McDonald's so we must do chicken nuggets too..

Chef Salad...

Chili Dog with Cheese...

I also want to mention that Lance has stuck to his no flavored milk diet... I have been taking pictures of other kids meals (my kids occasionally eat the same things and this week it has forced me to ask some of the other kids if I can take a picture of their meals) Oh and I wanted to add, the very nice lunch lady gave us some tasty orange today as well. Lance devoured his.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Milk Protien Concentrates- Yes yet another thing we need be(a)ware of

Read the whole article here

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on MPCs’ noted that FDA officials told us that they have little concern about the safety of dry milk protein concentrates because the products are treated with heat during pasteurization and drying, which kills pathogens.”

Pasteurization, however, cannot correct food safety problems like melamine adulteration. Increased inspections and enforcement of sanitation standards are needed to protect consumers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

ok my sugar high is over...

I am still so so happy with the way today happened... but to be honest, I have talked to other parents about this issue and posted my blog like everywhere and I feel like no one else cares sometimes. I have to ask, WTH is wrong with people that they can't care about this very very important part of their children's lives!? Or maybe they do but their solution is to send their kids lunch in a lunch box. Well that's not right either folks! It's not just about my kids, it's about all of our children, it's about yours, mine and the entire neighborhoods kids! They deserve better! Sure I could do better for just my kids, but why stop there? Why not try to do better for them all? This self serving attitude really makes me mad and just is not the example I want to set for my children. I would love to know that it isn't jut me and Mesquite Mom here in DFW who care. Where is everyone?

Back from my Meeting..

First let me warn you I am saying "she" a lot in this post and "she" is Jackie Anderson.

So I am back from my meeting and it was a long one! First I want to thank Jackie Anderson for meeting with me. She is a really wonderful lady who I can tell really wants to work with me and I am really encouraged to keep the good fight going. I believe she is right here with me trying to make positive changes. She is very open and honest about what she has done, what she is trying to do and what she has messed up on.
One of the biggest hurdles is that she has a fear of raw foods (well not foods but meats) and I can see that point. Our district employs a lot of non-english speaking people who prepare our foods, it also employs a lot of people who are younger and truth be told convenience foods are so readily available that there are more and more people growing up who just cannot cook, and that honestly believe reheating food IS cooking. I suppose I would be scared if I were in her position as well.

We talked about some up and coming changes and some of the things that she has to do to comply with USDA guidelines. Like did you know that they had to offer two fat content type milks... so they can't just offer 1% white milk, they would have to offer a 1% white and a skim or 2% white milk as well. That sounds like a silly rule but rules are rules.
As for money, well our district FNS pays for itself, they are completely self sustained. Between reimbursable meals and self paying children they pay for everything. Approx $1.20 per meal is actual food costs (no labor or anything like that)
She is actually going to try to do the Healthier School Challenge for the school my kids are currently going to. There are a few tweaks she needs to make but she honestly believes that the school can get the Gold Award of Distinction. There are several things they need to do to earn that and she will be implementing those things district wide after she runs a test on our school. We talked about more raw vegetables being offered and so they will be adding a few more raw items to the menu, like broccoli. One of the most immediate changes is going to be that she is going to bid out the 2 fat content type white milks so that in our school that only white milk is being served during breakfast. There is no need for kids to be consuming strawberry milk with their cereal.
I did find out that our district purchase fruits and vegetables that our school doesn't always get, like melon was on today's fresh fruit option.. we have never had melon at school before. She said strawberries and kiwi have been available as well. Never before have I seen that and the principal also confirmed that. We talked about bananas, and she is going to try to get that back into our schools but those have been met with resistance by (surprisingly) some lunch ladies. It's all about having a little flexibility with when the fruit is served so that it will be a tasty option for the kids (no green or over ripe bananas).
I also asked her to feel this out. It is one of my goals to eliminate HFCS in the school district, to get a ban enacted on it within our school district. I wanted to know if she could find other options for us if that were to happen. We are tlaking about HFCS being in everything... ketsup, pizza, spaghetti sauce, milk, etc etc. I want to know realistically how well she could manage that.
She told me that there is a new 400 page playbook on rules for school lunches going into effect very soon. She is going to look through it to see if there might be some rules regarding HFCS and if there what they are and hopefully they will work right into that plan. If they get new rules on this that means the industry who sells to us will have to conform or well, they will be out of business. :)
Overall I am pleased with the way the meeting went. I felt like we worked on some easily obtainable goals and that we will be able to get something done here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Friday's Lunch- Pizza Day

Sorry I didn't post this Friday but the truth is I had a big weekend planned with my little girl and my bestie and her kiddos (we went to the Owl City concert last night and I was wrapped up in all that, cleaning house etc etc on Friday afternoon.)
OK so on to lunch.

OK this is the first one, it's Turkey Tetrazinni. Which the kids really like actually but it could be better if they used whole grain noodles. The green beans aren't a bad option, the kids really like those as well, but I would love to see them cooked fresh occasionally, or maybe even from frozen and not overcooked like these canned ones.

Pizza Day... really this wouldn't be so bad, if the crust was whole grain. I read somewhere recently about pizza being much more healthy if not only is the crust a whole grain but if it is baked a little darker as well. It would be lovely as well to add some really tasty vegetable to the pizza as well. If they made the sauce for the pizza from scratch they could actually grind up some zucchini and other vegetables to give the kids more veggies. This is how I make my sauce at home and my kids live it because it has a lot of texture. It would also eliminate the HFCS (BLAH) that the pizza has in it. Improving the sugar high and crash that kids get after lunch. The Mandarin oranges appeared to be in a natural juice so for that A+.

Oh I wanted to mention that Lance decided to get white milk all on his own today. I think all this talk about the insane amount of sugar in the milk he has been overhearing coming from my mouth has prompted this change. I asked him why, he said because the white milk was more healthy. He's only 4 so we'll see how he choses tomorrow. He only gets white milk at home, which he happens to drink an insane amount of, so I know he likes it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

I need to Apologize and Clarify

Ok so earlier this week I sent an apology letter to our school Principal and to the NFS Director for the flack she is getting because I have created this stir. I do not in any way regret that I have created the stir, but I am sorry that they are coming to her questioning why I could be so upset. The reality is that I am not so much upset with her, or our school district but everyone who over the last several decades has allowed our FNS system to get to the point where we actually have to question what our kids are eating. That blame is on everyone's shoulders... mine, yours, the kids, the teachers, the beuracrats, politicians, businessmen and women... etc. We are all to blame for turning a blind eye.
Today I will also be apologizing to our head lunch lady because I can see that it has hit the fan at our school as well. It appears she has a bunch of pressure come down on her and she might not know it was me who started this all. I do know she has no control over the menu... she does everything she can but our menus are made at district level not school level.
I am really eager to find out what I can do to help make this better for our kids. Monday is not coming soon enough for me right now!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


OK so today they had corn... and more corn...

And they also had calzones... the thing about this is tomorrow is Pizza day so this bothers me a little... so many types of food repeated every week.

To be fair there was a salad served today as well

The vegetarian dish today was again Yogurt and goldfish... if my child were vegetarian they sure wouldn't have much to chose from would they...

The Skinny on HFCS

In the wake of a Food Revolution going on all over this nation a new report from Princeton University finds that High Fructose Corn Syrup prompts considerably more weight gain.
In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jamie’s food fuels pupils’ brain power - Times Online

Jamie’s food fuels pupils’ brain power - Times Online
IT seems Jamie Oliver knows best, as new research suggests the celebrity chef’s healthy school dinners have helped to improve exam results and classroom attendance.

An independent study shows the performance of 11-year-old pupils eating Oliver’s meals improved by up to 8% in science and as much as 6% in English, while absenteeism due to ill-health fell by 15%.

The findings, from a report by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Essex University, vindicate the chef’s decision to banish fat-laden Turkey Twizzlers - since replaced with nutrient-rich foods such as coconut fish, and broccoli.

Many schools resisted Oliver’s Feed Me Better campaign due to the greater cost of the food. Some pupils would not stop eating junk food, and parents in one area were even seen passing burger and chips to children through school railings.

Above is the link to the rest of the news article
HERE is a link to the actual study

Repeats..Todays Meals

This is the 3rd day I am posting pictures to this blog and look we already have a repeat (and it's also just Wednesday).
So repeats are, Texas Toast (this is white bread, but a little over done today), Chicken Nuggets (ok Monday it was chicken rings, same concept though) and again with this frozen peaches thing. I honestly haven't seen much consumption going on with these peaches though. Also we again have milk and juice as well. No new fruit options.
Not repeated are the lasagna and the broccoli.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday... Hamburger Day!

This is my favorite day of the week because I love hamburgers!

First up... This is Lance's lunch. I made him get the Lettuce and Pickles. There were no tomatoes today but I think that has to do with the rising cost of tomatoes these last few weeks. He normally chooses the juice (apple today) unless he has an actual fresh fruit choice (not something in syrup or fruit juice).
And of course par fried then baked crinkle fries and milk.

Kyra's lunch was also a cheeseburger (wheat bun, but can't say whole wheat)Crinkle cut fries and milk. She didn't chose to have the lettuce (which btw was iceberg so no delusions in nutrition here).She chose to purchase a small icecream bar in addition to her regular meal. And she chose juice.

Here I have taken a picture of the other fruit option. It was supposed to remain frozen but it was defrosted today. I think they were having issues with a freezer or something. Not sure.
Hot Piccilo Italian sub was the other option and it was pre-made and warmed in the package. I always wonder about that..
The other option was supposed to be yogurt and gold fish as a vegetarian option but I didn't see the goldfish anywhere.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chocolate Milk

I was told that there have been studies done on milk consumption in school and that consuming milk was essential to the health of children. Part of me really wants to believe that, but part of me knows that's just not really true. There are other healthy alternatives to consuming calcium rich foods and did you know that 1 liter bottle of mineral rich water has more calcium than a 200ml glass of part skim milk by more than 100mg? I bet that is a real shocker eh?
The studies also go on to say that flavored milks ensure that more kids will actually consume this all important milk. But does the study tell us that one half pint of Chocolate Milk also contains 25 grams of teeth rotting sugar? Do you know how many teaspoons of sugar that is? Well if you don't, it's ok because I am here to save the day... 6, yes that is right 6 teaspoons of sugar in each little half pint of chocolate milk our little kiddos are drinking in school. I wonder what those little kids are like after lunch, especially those with sugar sensitivities (like my Lance, OMG)
and so no one thinks I might be missing anything, take a look at that sodium... 210 mg of sodium? I just have no clue how anyone is going to sell this as healthy and actually have people believe it.
Please don't forget to take a close look at that ingredients be the judge.

A repost of an "Open Letter to Jamie Oliver"

his is from the Healthy Schools Campaign Blog

April 12, 2010
An Open Letter to Jamie Oliver

by Mark Bishop, HSC deputy director


While you don't know me, I already feel like I know you pretty well, thanks to your cookbook, television shows and activism. I'd like to take a moment and thank you for the great work you've done and applaud what I hope to be a change of course in the health of our country.

On March 21 when your Food Revolution broadcast for the first time, you not only mesmerized your audience, but you became the public face of the school food reform movement. You did what no one else could: you opened the eyes of millions of parents, community leaders, school board members and more, and you educated them about the power and challenges and possibilities of school food.
After watching, I felt it was time to take the next step and join the revolution you discuss. So I did. And to do that I visited your web site and (electronically) signed my name to the following:

I support Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. America's kids need better food at school and better health prospects. We need to keep cooking skills alive.

Nice. I believe in that! What next? After signing on, I received this message:

Thank You! You are now part of the American Food Revolution!

I must admit that I felt a bit let down.

Your show is getting people mad, making people cry (my wife shed a few tears during last Friday's show) and motivating people for action. I think you are priming people to want to do more -- now it's time to give them a meaningful way to act.

I'd like to offer some unsolicited advice: You need to reach out to your audience of revolutionaries and ask them to take some concrete next steps. People are listening to you and want your guidance on substantive actions they can take for school food reform. Please -- take the opportunity to encourage real action that will change our country's school food policies. For example, it could make a real difference if you urged people to:

1) Contact Congress. The federal government is debating the Child Nutrition Act now. We need the thousands (and eventually millions, I'm sure) of Jamie Oliver viewers to contact their legislators and tell them that we need more money for better school food. And the currently proposed six cents per meal just isn't enough of an increase.

2) Contact your state representatives and tell them how important school food is. Most states provide supplemental funding for the lunch and breakfast programs. In some states this is being cut. Let leaders know that school food is important and we need support at the state level too!
3) Get involved in your school. Schools that receive federal lunch money (most schools) are required to have a School Wellness Policy that includes a committee with parents. Get on that committee. If you don't have one, start one. Let your school know that this is a priority for you. While we need money and reform from the federal level, real change happens school by school as well. Get your school to set a goal as part of the HealthierUS Challenge.

4) Reach out to your school stakeholders. Contact local chefs, your principal, local businesses, your friends and fellow parents and get them involved. Get them to join your committee and expand your network of people helping improve lunches in your school.

Jamie, I'm part of the revolution now. But to make sure this revolution makes real change, we now need to mobilize your supporters.

You've created an incredible opportunity for action. Let's not let it slip away.

Your fellow school food revolutionary,

Mark Bishop

P.S. I'm sure there are many more concrete things people can do to change the future of school food. What else would you add to the list?

Letter Response from Jackie Anderson

Here is the letter response I received from Mrs. Anderson in response to the email I sent.

April 7, 2010

Ms. Andrea Wilson

Re: Food & Nutrition Services Concern

Dear Ms. Wilson:

Thank you for your inquiry about the District’s child nutrition program. In addition to complying with USDA standards, AISD is in compliance with the Texas School Nutrition Policy. The district serves a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy entrée salads to encourage children to make healthy choices.

We offer fresh vegetables and fruits at least 3 to 4 times per week at all campuses and daily at all high schools. Recipes for cooked vegetables specify using the steamer as the preparation method to ensure quality and nutritional integrity. The district has made efforts to offer and increase the number of whole-grain products to students. We currently have fifteen items that are labeled whole grain. The district ensures that all food items have less than 23 grams of fat, have little to no trans fat in products with efforts to eliminate it from products. Spices are used for seasoning instead of added fat. The district has not used deep fat fryers for at least ten years. Several products offered on our menus are fried in some manner before we receive them; however the district offers 29 entrees at the secondary and 22 entrees at the elementary schools that are not pre-fried, flash-fried or par-fried. The district has purchased French fries that were not fried during processing; however due to student complaints, we are now purchasing a product par-fried in canola oil. The nutrition policy limits all fried potato products to only once per week for elementary and a maximum of three times for junior high students. Baked potatoes are offered as an entrée selection at all grade levels.

The district offers a non-meat item daily to all students. Students are allowed to choose individual components of entrees if they desire to not eat meat. For example, students may choose the spaghetti noodles with or without sauce or meatballs. Fresh entrée salads are also offered at all levels. Yogurt and hot cheese sandwiches are offered as additional choices whenever there is not another meatless option on the menu. Students are not required to take an entrée and may select three of the five components for the meal to qualify for reimbursement through the federal Child Nutrition program. Students are also offered 100% fruit juice daily. This nondairy beverage is purchased in a variety of 100% fruit juices which are apple, fruit blend and orange. Water is also available for purchase at campuses.

The district does not allow any competitive or foods of minimal nutritional value to be sold or offered to elementary students during the school day. Junior high students may not be offered competitive foods within 30 minutes of the meal periods during the day and no secondary students are allowed to purchase carbonated beverages or other foods of minimal nutritional value during the school day. Any competitive foods offered at the secondary level must comply with strict fat, sugar and portion size limits as set by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

AISD provides nutrition education as part of its health curriculum. The Food & Nutrition Services Department also provides nutritional and allergen information on the AISD website for parents and students. Products that are whole grain or reduced fat are identified on the nutritional information. The department conducts classroom and school nutrition education at all campuses upon request. Schools participate in taste testing to select products for our program. Food & Nutrition Services has three dietitians available to assist parents and students with dietary needs and for menu planning. We have over 150 special diets that are managed by the department for students. We are not able to use any products made from nuts such as peanut butter or trail mix in elementary schools due to the large number of life threatening allergies in our district. The Nutrition Education Coordinator works closely with the school nurse, cafeteria staff, the medical authority, parents and students to ensure that special dietary needs are met. This person provides educational material to parents and staff as needed and serves on the AISD School Health Advisory Council. This council consists of parents, nurses, teachers and other administrators organized to improve the health and welfare of our students. It is led by the district Assistant Director for Athletics, Physical Education and Health. Our School Board has also approved a Wellness Policy that ensures we are in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations.

Turning Point Elementary participates in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, a grant that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to students and staff at no cost two times each week, in addition to breakfast and lunch. Food & Nutrition Services provides the nutrition information about the fresh fruit and vegetables and classroom activities for teachers and students. Fifteen schools are eligible for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in 2010-11, and the District is planning to expand the nutrition program to those schools.

The department offers free breakfast to all students at five elementary schools, regardless of the students’ eligibility for free- or reduced-price meals.

In regard to the suggestion about limiting flavored milk, it is important to ensure our students consume milk daily. According to several studies, if flavored milk was not available, students often choose juice, water or soda over white milk. School districts that offer only white milk serve less milk than districts that offer flavored and unflavored milk. In a 2006 clinical report, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that low fat or fat-free flavored milks with modest amounts of added sweeteners are generally recommended to help optimize the bone health and calcium intakes of children and adolescents. Government data reveals that 90% of teen girls and 70% of teen boys aren’t getting the calcium they need for their diets, which can put them at risk for stress fractures and bone breaks now and osteoporosis later in life. Nutrition research has shown that children who drink flavored milk are more likely to meet daily calcium recommendations compared to their peers who do not drink flavored milk. I have attached supporting information for your review on this subject as well as AISD nutritional information and a food fact sheet.

Our department welcomes suggestions and comments from students, staff and parents. It is our goal to provide nutritious meals that are consumed and enjoyed by all. I would be glad to meet you for lunch on April 19, 2010 at Williams Elementary or any other school of your choice at your convenience. Thanks again for your time and interest in our child nutrition program.


Jackie Anderson, AISD Food Service Director

cc: Jerry McCullough, Superintendent

Cindy Powell, Associate Superintendent for Business

I have to go over all this slowly because my brain processes things like this slowly. It's a lot to take in and there is a lot of PDF's she emailed to me as well. I uploaded them and they are available in my sidebar to the right.

OK so my first question... I was told that there are currently 15 items labeled as Whole Grain, my first question is do they comply with because that is the standard by which all things should be labeled wholegrain. If not, we can do far better. and my 2nd question on this is... the chocolate chip cookies must be purchased separately so that offers no benefit to free lunch students, and on the elementary nutritional information listing there are only two items on the entire menu. Really? That's it? Isn't this the age group we need to be starting this revolution in and why aren't our spaghetti noodles whole grains? The easiest and best way to introduce whole grains are in noodles.
More to come...

Chicken Rings or BBQ Sandwich

Chicken Rings with Mashed Potatoes (no real potatoes here)The only choice for fruit today was this whole fruit frozen bar and at the time my child went through the line orange was the only flavor available, Strawberry Milk (2nd ingredient listed on the ingredients list is High Fructose Corn Syrup)and white (should be wheat) Texas Toast.

This is the BBQ Sandwich, clearly the more healthy choice but not a favorite one. Whole Wheat Bun (YAY!) Fresh Carrots and Ranch Dressing (the only fresh veggie choice, unless you call the onions a fresh veggie choice too) Mashed Potatoes, Chocolate milk (again 2nd ingredient is HFCS and pickles)

Of the two choices both my kids ate the chicken rings meal, I had the BBQ sandwich.
Lance didn't choose carrots and normally chooses juice but it wasn't an option today.
Kyra had the carrots but didn't eat her frozen fruit bar, nor did she drink her milk. Neither ate the potatoes.

Vision, Motto, Mission and Goals

This is a cut and paste from the AISD Food and Nutrition Services Vision, Motto, Mission and Goals Page

AISD Food & Nutrition Services, working together, to deliver the nutritional building blocks for the foundation of student learning with outstanding service.
"Feeding the Future"

To support the educational process and improve the health and well-being of every student by providing nutritious, wholesome, high quality meals in a friendly, courteous manner.
To offer nutritious, appetizing and eye appealing meals.
To serve an interesting variety of foods to help the child extend his/her list of acceptable foods.
To educate the students and general public in good nutrition and good food habits.
To maintain safe, sanitary conditions for food preparation resulting in product of the highest possible quality.
To encourage each employee of the FNS Department to become a professional, dedicated to the cheerful service of the community.
To conduct this program in an economical, business-like manner at a minimum expense to the student and the taxpayer.
To comply with all local, state and national guidelines for school food service.

Waging war for our kids

OK I am starting this blog with one immediate goal in mind and that is to raise awareness with parents in Arlington Independent School District in Arlington, Texas about what kids are really being served at school during lunch.
My future goal is to get the school board and Jackie Anderson, the FNS Director to realize that the goals of FNS are not being reached and that there are positive steps that can be made to better improve their goals for the students of AISD.

The other day I wrote a note to Jerry McCullough, Jackie Anderson, Mike O'Donnell, Gloria Pena, Wayne Ogle, Jim Ash, Peter Baron, Dr. Aaron Reich and Bowie Hogg asking about positive changes to the school lunch program. Of the school board members only Gloria Pena has responded (which I appreciate more than you know). Jackie Anderson wrote me a lovely letter that was well and included some literature. In my communications with Gloria I came up with a wonderful idea to invite them to have lunch with me on Monday April 19th. I am trying at this point to set up that appointment with Mrs. Anderson who has said she would come. Just working out the details at this point.

I will be posting pictures of the lunches my children are eating at school on a daily basis. And making notes on how these meals could be improved.
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