Nutrition & Ingredients
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Nutrition & Ingredients

Nutrition Parameters

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Good nutrition and physical activity are essential for the long-term health of children. Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions: Some 4.7 million youths between 6 and 17 years of age are overweight or obese. One in three children (31.7 percent) ages 2–19 are overweight or obese. Obesity among young people tripled between1980 and 2008 and continues to rise dramatically, especially American Indian and African- American girls, and remains disastrously high overall. Type 2 diabetes, one of the most serious health problems of overweight and obese children, has recently escalated.
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 is linked to reduced risk of development of many chronic diseases. 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.
To reduce the prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases, we must influence the food supply by providing healthier choices, reduce marketing of energy dense foods and beverages to children, and increase communication about healthy eating and physical activity. It is the intent of MPS Culinary and Nutrition Services that students develop good eating habits and understand and appreciate the kinds of food necessary to maintain good health.
The MPS Culinary and Wellness Services Nutrition Statement outlines the foundation for its nutrition parameter.
We are committed to:
Provide healthy food choices within USDA guidelines
Offer foods that are fresh, of high quality and minimally processed
Increase whole foods, natural fibers and other natural nutrients
Decrease saturated fats, added sugars and starchy vegetables
Teach lifelong proper eating habits that reinforce the belief of moderate consumption in all food groups
USDA Child Nutrition Programs
In an effort to provide a highly nutritious program that meets the guidelines established by the Department’s Nutrition Statement. All foods served and prepared by MPS Culinary and Nutrition Services shall follow these guidelines.
A. Provide healthy and diverse food choices within USDA guidelines
Saturated fat content will be less than or equal to 10% of total calories.
No Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated oils will be used.
Sodium content will be no more than 1200 mgs for lunch and between 540-640 mgs for breakfast.
Menu planning will focus on providing a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains in their natural form, legumes, lean proteins and the use of healthy fats.
B. Offer foods that are fresh, of high quality, and minimally processed.
Targeting to provide 40% of all commercial food items and produce to be sourced from local producers*.
(*Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) Farm to School definition.)
Fruit and Vegetables
Two fruits (minimum 1 fresh) and five vegetables (minimum 3 fresh and 1 legume) will be offered daily at all salad bar locations.
One fruits (minimum 3 fresh per week) and 2 vegetables (minimum 3 fresh and 1 legume per week) will be offered daily at pre-pack sites.
The use of Non-GMO produce and ingredients will be used where possible. Flour All flour used in products must be whole grain rich and/or unbromated unbleached.
Milk shall be rBGH free.
Schools will offer only skim, 1% and lactose free white milk.
Meats and Poultry
Hydrolyzed Vegetable protein will not be used as a protein filler.
Irradiated meats will not be used.
Meats treated with ammonium hydroxide, also known as “pink slime”, will not be used.
Continued efforts to procure meats from animals not treated with antibiotics and growth hormones for “non-therapeutic” use.
Products that contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners will not be used or offered.
Artificial sweeteners
Acesulfame-K (acesulfame potassium)
Products containing artificial colors and flavors, additives and artificial preservatives will not be used.
Artificial Preservatives and Additive
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Nitrites, Nitrates
Sulfates, Sulfites
Artificial Colors
Blue 1, Blue 2
Citrus Red 2, Green 3, Orange B
Red 3, Red 40
Yellow 5, Yellow 6 (Sunset Yellow)
Erythrosine, Amaranth
Patent Blue, Brilliant Blue
Caramel, Quinoline Yellow
C. Increase whole foods, natural fibers and other natural nutrients
Decrease amount of saturated fats, added sugars and starchy vegetables.
Whole grains in their natural states, such as wild rice, barley, quinoa, couscous, brown rice, wheat berries etc, will be offered at least once per week.
Legumes and beans will be offered a minimum of once per week.
A healthy olive oil blend or natural butter will be used as the oil/fat sources in food preparation to ensure a natural healthy balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.