The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are published jointly every 5 years by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Guidelines help all individuals ages 2 years and older and their families consume a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet. They are used in developing Federal food, nutrition, and health policies and programs. The 2015-2020 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans include 5 general guidelines:
- Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.
- Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.
- Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.
- Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.
- Support healthy eating patterns for all.
Find out more at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/
My Plate is USDA’s food guidance system, replacing My Pyramid and the Food Guide Pyramid. My Plate illustrates the 5 food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet. Select messages include balancing calories, foods to increase, and foods to reduce. Food group tips include:
- Vary your veggies
- Focus on fruits
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
- Go lean with protein
- Get your calcium-rich dairy foods
Visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ for tools, tips and more to help you choose a healthy plate.
WJCC Wellness Policies and Procedures
Student Meals Frequently Asked Questions
The School Health Initiative Program (SHIP) promotes healthy eating and physical activity in our schools. One of SHIP’s major programs is its partnership with Child Nutrition Services.
Visit the School Nutrition Resources page for more information about nutrition and healthy eating.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Williamsburg Health Foundation, the three high schools have model vending programs. Stocked by Child Nutrition Services and located near the cafeteria, the machines are refrigerated and offer healthy snacks and meal items. They include milk, yogurt, wraps, sandwiches, and ice cold water. The machines are available to students before school, in case they missed breakfast, during lunch when they need to grab a meal and run to a class for makeup work, as well as after school when they need a healthy snack before sports practice or while waiting for the bus.
Students may purchase meal items “a la carte” if they would like, as well as healthy snacks. Some students choose to purchase extra portions of entrees, some choose milk or items like fresh fruit to complement their lunch packed from home, and some choose snacks to save for after school activities, such as sports practice. All snacks meet federal Smart Snacks in Schools rules and WJCC Student Wellness Policy nutrition standards. These standards limit portion size, calorie, sugar, fat and sodium content. Snacks include baked chips, reduced fat products, 100% juices, and more.
Your child may choose 100% fruit juice as her fruit choice for her meal or she may purchase bottled water. With a parent’s or licensed physician’s written request, your child may choose lactose free milk in place of regular fluid milk. Students without documentation may purchase lactose free milk at a la carte pricing. Free tap water from the fountain or coolers is also provided by the cafeteria.
Yes! If your student requires meal substitutions because of a disability, our schools will make substitutions prescribed by a licensed physician. Our schools offer gluten free menu options for students with properly diagnosed and documented needs. We can also accommodate other physician prescribed modified diets. Please contact your school nurse for further information.
Yes! We offer several vegetarian options, including many side dishes. We offer a Meatless Monday choice and a new “7 Layer Dip Salad” and are always developing new recipes.
No, this is another provision of the USDA regulations. Major sources of trans-fat have been identified and eliminated from breakfast and lunch choices.
No, that is up to you as a parent. You can find healthy lunch and snack ideas at the SHIP website.
Yes! We can still celebrate and show students that it can be done either without food, with nonfood treats and gifts, or with healthy Wellness Policy compliant snacks. For your convenience, healthy and compliant snacks may be ordered from your school cafeteria. There are also healthy celebration resources on the SHIP website.
The updated policy sets division wide standards for the types of snacks served in all cafes, classrooms, student stores and meetings, and for fundraisers and parties or celebrations throughout all schools. Every occasion anywhere on the school campus during the school day offers the same healthy food and beverage opportunity. These division wide standards are based on Federal “Smart Snacks in Schools” regulations.
The Policy is available at http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/wjcc/Board.nsf/Public?open&id=policies# and the accompanying Regulations are available at http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/wjcc/Board.nsf/Public?open&id=policies#.
Federal regulations now govern food and beverage snacks that may be sold in school cafes, vending machines, school stores, snack bars and as fundraisers during the school day. There is a Smart Snack calculator available at https://www.healthiergeneration.org/take_action/schools/snacks_and_beverages/smart_snacks/alliance_product_calculator/ to help you determine if food and beverage items are compliant.
The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act included detailed standards for professional development and training of the dedicated workers in the growing field of school nutrition. These went into effect July 1, 2015. Areas of expertise include nutrition, operations, administration and communication/marketing to ensure they have thorough, up to date training.
Each day, we offer a balanced meal with at least five components – a meat/meat alternate, fruit, vegetables, grain, and milk. Under the new regulations, students must choose a fruit or vegetable with their lunch for a complete meal. A complete meal is available at the meal price and is the best deal. Students in grades 1-12 may decline two of the five offered components.
Yes – students are offered a breakfast meal consisting of whole grains, a full cup of fruit and milk. Protein is now optional. According to the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, students must choose a fruit at breakfast for a complete meal.
We monitor our menus for calories, saturated fat, and sodium. The macronutrients, protein, carbohydrate and fat, are controlled by the meal pattern which specifies meat/meat alternate, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fluid nonfat or lowfat milk.
The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act was passed in 2011 to update meal patterns and nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs and to align them with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This will increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat free milk while reducing the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans-fat in meals. These improvements are expected to improve the diet and health of school children and lessen the childhood obesity trend.
Locally, our menus include more “made from scratch” or “speed scratch” entrees. We are constantly working on recipe modifications and recipe development to improve school food. Our focus is also on the 3 P’s: production, preparation and presentation. Our staff and student customers have restaurant quality expectations which we aim to meet or exceed.
- “My School Bucks” is an online option for funding your student’s meal account. You can fund the account online for a small service fee. Visit www.mySchoolBucks.com or call Child Nutrition Services at 565-3838 for instructions.
- You may write a check to your student’s cafeteria (please include your student’s meal account number on the check).
- Your student may pay with cash and ask that the extra be applied to his or her meal account.
- You may pay with a check or cash at the cafeteria during normal operating hours.
Price lists are clearly posted in each school cafeteria.
Meal prices are the best deal. A school breakfast meal consists of grains, two fruits, and milk for just $1.35 (elementary) and a school lunch meal consists of meat/meat alternate, grains, fruit, two vegetables and milk for just $2.70 (elementary). Bottled drinks and snacks are offered at a la carte pricing.