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Healthy Meals at Northwest!
Homemade Red Pepper Hummus with Baked Scoops, Edamame, "Farm to School" Fresh Apple and 1% Milk--One of our many healthy meals at NWCS!
The wellness policy continues to change and develop over the course of each school year. As a nutrition department and community, we have fulfilled the Northwest Community School’s Board’s guidelines and will continue to look for ways to increase the health of our students and staff.
We recognize that good nutrition and physical activity are essential for the long-term health of children. Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions; Type 2 diabetes and other childhood-onset of adult diseases also have reached alarming proportions. To reduce the prevalence of obesity, we must:
· influence the food supply by providing healthier choices,
· reduce the marketing of energy-dense foods and beverages,
· and increase communication about healthy eating and physical activity.
The wellness policy adopted by the Northwest Board of Education has impacted many facets of the school day. Probably the two areas focused on by most would be meals served at school during the day and physical education.
The Food Service Department has been focused on serving healthy school meals to children for many years. Recently however, competitive foods served at school have come under scrutiny, for good reason. As a community we should model healthy behaviors for children. Foods that compete with a balanced school meal (ala carte area, school store items, fundraisers, vending items, etc.) should also be a healthy alternative.
In 2008, we adopted the guidelines from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for a la Carte competitive foods, and offer these products when available from manufacturers and distributors. We have been devoted to the Farm to School initiative since 2009, and are currently revising our menu standards to follow the new White House Initiative and the Healthy School Challenge.
We encourage nutrition education. Every year, we tailor a campaign around the National Nutrition Month®, promoting the benefits of healthy eating by using grade level appropriate materials that are visually enticing. Our Harvest of the Month program focuses on highlighting a particular fruit, vegetable and grain monthly, which is served on the Fruit & Vegetable Bar and used in our recipes.
Here are some of the many changes that have happened in food service over the last few years:
Ø Northwest Community Schools Food Services partnered with the Food System Economic Partnership (FSEP) in Ann Arbor. The FSEP teams up local farms and schools to provide farm-fresh produce to school cafeterias.
Ø Initiated Ala Carte’ Specialty salads at all building for staff and secondary buildings for students.
Ø Elementary menus to feature specialty salads weekly.
Ø Initiated a “Harvest of the Month” program to focus on highlighting a particular fruit, vegetable and grain monthly, which is served on the Fruit & Vegetable Bar and used in our recipes.
Ø Initiated a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Bar at all of our schools with 3 choices of fresh vegetables along with 1 fresh fruit and 1 canned fruit choice per day.
Ø Implemented a sub and wrap ala Carte’ station at High School
Ø All ala Carte’ chips are either “Baked” or “Reduced Fat”
Ø We only use portion condiments, i.e., ranch, ketchup. We do not offer ranch at Parnall at all and at NW EL, only for chicken items except to pre-dress a garden fresh salad on the fruit and vegetable bar.
Ø We have turned off the fryers at the High School and KMS. Fried items have been replaced with baked potatoes, potato casserole, rice, beans, etc. etc.
Ø We no longer serve fried ala carte items such as onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and shrimp baskets. These items have been eliminated.
Ø We only use whole grain breads and buns at all of our buildings. We try whenever possible to only serve whole grain breads.
Ø Highlight a fruit and vegetable of the month at all buildings when possible.
Ø Changed some of our recipes of our “made from scratch” items to lower fat and salt (i.e., substitute a portion of the meat in our taco meat with refried beans and salsa)
Ø Purchased recycled melamine trays for HS. This will reduced disposable products and will save on garbage costs and be helpful for the environment.
Ø Reduced use of foam-ware at all of our buildings. Recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, etc. at all buildings.
Ø Initiated a new menu cycle at all buildings to offer more homemade items, reducing reliance convenience items.
Northwest Community Schools is now offering an electronic payment option through an online service called “eFunds for Schools.” This feature is currently available for Child Care Tuition payments, limited school activity fees and School Lunch Program Debit accounts. Click on the link above to create a user account for your student(s) in your family.
When creating your eFunds account you can locate your student by family number or by the student's ID number. The family number is the home phone number (with area code), which is on file with the district.
If you have questions concerning this, please contact the Business Office at 517-817-4710 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopefully you will find this option to be a very efficient method to make payments.