SYLACAUGA, Ala. – To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, Sylacauga City Schools will recognize National School Lunch Week from Oct. 9-13, 2017.

The theme for the week will be “Recipes for Success.” According to a press release from Sylacauga City Schools, this will be an opportunity to show the public how school meals help children lead healthier lives and prepare them for healthier futures. The week will also emphasize the healthy foods that are offered daily at Sylacauga schools.

“School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fat and sodium,” said Kelley Wassermann, Director of Child Nutrition and Wellness. “National School Lunch Week helps us educate parents and students about all the benefits of our lunch program, and the appealing choices we offer.”

Popular entrees with students, according to SCS, are pizza, hot dogs, chicken fillet sandwiches, spicy chicken sandwiches, barbecue, chicken tenders, beefy nachos, cheese stix, chicken casserole, chicken fajita, crispitos, Salisbury steak, tatertot casserole, and a new favorite – lasagna rolls.

Along with a main entrée, every school lunch offers a selection of fruits and vegetables from which students may choose.

“A colorful Garden Salad is available almost every day, and other favorite vegetables are broccoli with cheese sauce, seasoned corn, mashed potatoes, pinto beans, baked beans, green beans, corn nuggets, baby carrots, roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, coleslaw, french fries, sweet potato fries, and tater tots,” said Wassermann. “Additionally, fruit is a big part of a healthy school lunch and there are fruit choices every day. These choices may vary from fresh, to canned or frozen fruit. We recently received a shipment of USDA commodity diced peach cups that were absolutely delicious!”

She went on to say, “Many baby boomers remember school lunch as a good and hearty meal. When I was in school the lunch ladies piled the food on our plates and we took what they gave us and either ate it or didn’t.

“In the last 20 years, however, school lunch has changed dramatically with a concept called Offer versus Serve. This means that students from kindergarten on up through high school are in complete control of what is put on their plates. They can choose from everything that is offered instead of having everything served. Every lunch offers a minimum of five different components and they can choose to get three, four, or all five components for the same price. We do strongly encourage them to get fruit or vegetables for one of the components.

“Ironically, if a student where to choose every item offered and get the full serving size, all of the food will not fit on the plate,” she remarked.

School lunch alone does not address all of the needs for proper health. Physical activity is essential. Sylacauga has an active Wellness Team at every school that reviews goals annually to plan activities beyond the classroom and ensure that values of wellness are emphasized.

The federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals to students every day. The program, which has been serving the nation’s children for over 60 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards like offering fruits and vegetables every day, serving whole grain-rich foods, and limiting fat, calories, and sodium.

Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.