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NWCS Nutrition Standards


Dear Northwest Community Schools Families:

Your child(ren) will experience the new USDA requirements when they dine in their school cafeteria.  One vital change is the requirement for a child to select at least 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetable to make up a complete meal.  There are five food groups to select foods from:  fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains, and milk.  Student meals must contain at least a selection of three of the five food groups with one being the fruit and/or vegetable selection. Here is an overview of what your child(ren) can expect to see in their school dining center at NWCS.

Increase In Fruits and Vegetables

  • Colorful fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals important for growth and development during childhood.
  • We offer a large variety of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, including dark greens, orange starchy vegetables, and legumes.
  • Students are required to select at least 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetable for their meal to be considered a complete meal or will be charged individual item prices.

Lower Sodium

  • We continue to work with food manufacturers to reformulate food products including lower sodium sauces and spreads.
  • Chartwells’ chefs and registered dietitians continually create tasty new recipes that use non-salt seasonings and herbs to replace and reduce salt.

Reduced Fats

  • We only serve food products and ingredients that contain zero grams of trans fats per serving, and we encourage the use of healthy fats and oils.
  • It is important to limit unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fat because eating too many can lead to heart disease and high cholesterol, as well as other chronic diseases.

Menus by Age Groups

  • Grade groups for menu planning will be aimed at ensuring students receive age-appropriate portions and nutrients.
  • Changes in specific serving sizes might mean some smaller portion sizes on some items like burritos, wraps, sub sandwiches, hot meat sandwiches, calzones/strombolis,  and pasta dishes. 

Both SFE and NWCS are dedicated to providing quality nutritious meals that students will enjoy and choose to eat.  We hope you will encourage your child(ren) to try new fruits and vegetables.  If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us