A new commitment to keep healthy foods on the school lunch menu is underway, which includes the menu being monitored on a new interactive website.
The new plan for Lee County Florida’s web based menu system is called Nutrislice, and will be accessible by students, parents, teachers and anyone who is interested.
According to Lee County School District Registered Dietician Lauren Couchois, “Nutrislice is where we post all of our weekly school menus that can be accessed by parents, guardians, students, nurses and anyone who is interested in seeing what we will be serving each day.” She continued, “Nutrislice provides the nutritional facts, descriptions, information about our local foods, allergy information and carbohydrate information.”
It also gives students the opportunity to rate the food and provide feedback on a daily basis, which Couchois said will provide staff with insight on popular food items.
The Lee County School District will also explore its current Farm to School Program more this year, allowing students to interact with farmers and learn more about the foods they eat that are grown within the area, Couchois explained. Those items will be featured on the monthly menus.
Another new feature this year contains items within the Smart Snack Guidelines, which reduces excess calories and added sugars.
“We do this because we know that choosing healthy foods in schools will lead to better educational and lifestyle outcomes for students,” she said.
The meals are made from whole grains, providing students with healthy amounts of fiber, iron, magnesium, selenium and B vitamins.
“Evidence indicates that whole grain intake may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and is associated with a healthy body weight,” she said.
Fresh salads, wraps stuffed with protein, vegetables and whole grain breads are also another choice for students.
A variety of fruits and vegetables will be served to ensure students are receiving the recommended nutrients.