Saturday, January 16, 2010

FAQ: What guides the food served in our cafeteria?

The food served in the Promise Academy Cafeteria meets or exceeds the USDA’s Dietary Recommendations for student’s daily nutritional needs. In addition to meeting federal mandates, the food we serve reflects our philosophy that fresh, minimally processed, locally sourced foods are both better tasting and better for you. More than 90% of the food served in our cafeterias is made from scratch. Our hormone-free milk is sourced from a local dairy. The all-natural chicken and beef we serve is also sourced locally. Most of our produce comes from farms in the New York region.

Our cafeteria feeds children a healthy, balanced diet and strives to expose them to new foods inspired by culinary traditions from around the world. We do this through a weekly rotating menu, nutrition education, and healthy cooking classes. We are also in the process of listening more to our students and staff and working to get them engaged in the menu planning and development process.

We were encouraged to see that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans focuses on balancing calories with physical activity, and encourages Americans to consume more healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood. As a community, we've made a commitment  (along with much of New York City) to serve No Sugary Beverages. In addition, our school is a junk-food-free-zone in which we encourage kids to learn healthy habits and eat less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined grains.

You can check out the full 8-week Menu Cycle here.