Celebrating School Lunch Week

FIRTH — This week is National School Lunch Week.
“Idaho is one of the leaders in the national for nutrition standards,” said Amy Dye, Food Service Supervisor in the Firth School District. “Idaho’s nutrition standards were put in place three years ago.”
Menus must have the right proportion of calories and fiber. They must be low fat with whole grains, including vitamins A and C, she said. “We bring in fresh fruit and vegetables instead of canned fruits in syrup or canned vegetables.”
“Everything is analyzed through a computer,” Dye said.
“If I’m introducing a new item on the menu, I figure it needs to be there three times,” Dye said. The first time, only the adventurous will try it; the second time, a few more will try it and tell their friends if they like it. The third time it’s pretty accepted.
“If it item is not accepted by the third time, then we let it go by the wayside,” Dye said.
The Blackfoot School District serves 1,000 breakfasts and 2,400 lunches each day of the week, said Child Nutrition Supervisor Tami Robinson. There are also three after-school programs at Wapello, Fort Hall and Independence High School.
“The after-school programs must offer some help for students to qualify for after-school snacks,” Robinson said.
Each after-school snack must meet at least two of the following national guidelines:
° protein
° fruit/vegetable
° breads or grains
° milk
The national standards for lunch are more extensive, Robinson said. “Idaho nutrition standards are stricter than the national standards.
“We’ve developed recipes that include reduced fat and sodium, serve fresh fruits and vegetables and watch costs,” Robinson said.
At the Snake River School District, each of its six school has its own kitchen, said Food Service Director Lucinda Lewis.
Snake River Junior High, Snake River Middle School and Riverside offer breakfast. Eighty breakfasts were served each morning in September. Rockford begins serving breakfast this week, Lewis said.
During September, 800 lunches were served in the district. The district enrollment is 1,789 students.
The favorite lunch served in the Snake River School District is potatoes and gravy with chicken filet or some other meat entree, Lewis said.