Bellevue students will notice some healthy and delicious changes in the cafeteria this fall. Students will now be directed to take a half-cup of fruit or vegetables, or a combination of both, every day. The changes are the result of First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to fight childhood obesity. The USDA issued the new requirements for school lunches in public schools in order to promote better nutrition and reduce obesity.
In the Bellevue School District, new fruits, vegetables and legumes or bean salads will be featured in the salad bar every week. It’s a great opportunity for students to try healthy and delicious new recipes. Fruits, Vegetables and Beans or Legumes will now be the stars of the lunchroom—each featured in monthly posters. For example, September’s Fruit of the Month is Melon. Posters feature interesting facts and trivia about the featured fruit, vegetable, bean or legume. Did you know that watermelons were grown in the Nile Valley as early as 2000 BC and that cantaloupes have the highest content of vitamin A? September’s featured healthy choices also include broccoli, broccolini, and edamame.
Making a healthy and balanced choice will be easy with the colorful new posters placed in school lunchrooms at the head of the ‘lunch line.’ One poster features a color-coded plate sectioned into food groups by color, creating a visual trigger to remind students to choose from at least three healthy food groups. Plates sectioned by red for fruits, green for vegetables, orange for grains, purple for protein and blue for dairy can also create a memory for students in other mealtime situations. Yet another poster shows students how that day’s menu can help fill their plate with the right colors.
The Bellevue School District already offers a wide variety of whole grain foods, fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat milk. Many of the fruits and vegetables are locally sourced. The district also offers lower fat, lower sugar and lower sodium options. Read more about changes in Bellevue School District cafeterias