School menus will look a little different in
September when the district adopts new federal nutrition standards
for school meals that were finalized
earlier this year. For many students in Cohoes, the new meal patterns mean they will likely see even more of the healthy foods they have been sampling
in the cafeteria and in their classrooms.
Prices will increase for both breakfast and lunch in 2012-13. Full price breakfast will cost $1.15; lunch will cost $2.30. There will be no change for reduced-price meals. As in past years, breakfast for all elementary and middle school students will be provided free of charge through the federal School Breakfast Program.
Cohoes Food Service Director Brian Nolan said that he and his staff have been working in recent years to introduce new food tastes and textures to students. Despite a change in the food service vendor for the 2012-13 school year (Aramark has replaced Advanced Meals, which no longer services K-12 schools), he said the cafeterias will continue to encourage students to embrace healthier options.
“Our staff has found great ways to get students excited about healthy food choices,” said Nolan “We’ll continue to work on creative solutions, like free samples and taste tests, to ensure healthy foods appeal to our students.”
new Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School
Breakfast Programs are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act,
•Ensure students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week;
•Substantially increase offerings of whole grainrich foods;
•Offer students only fat-free or low-fat milk;
•Limit calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size; and
•Focus more on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.
The federal guidelines will be implemented for lunches in the current year; and changes to the School Breakfast Program will begin gradually in ‘13-14. Along with the new, healthier food options comes a price increase. Full-paid lunch will increase $0.25 to $2.30; and by $0.05 to $1.15 for breakfast.
Nolan said the expense associated with the new federal requirements is only part of the reason for the increase. He said the bulk of the increase is due to the state looking to close the gap between the government reimbursement rate for free lunch ($2.92) and what schools charge for a paid lunch. There will be no change to reduced-price meal rates.
The online payment system for school meals known
as NutriKids will still be available in 2012-13. However, there will
be no bonus meals available. For more information about NutriKids or
to find out if your child qualifies for free or reduced lunch,
the Food Services homepage>>