Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE COMPETITIVE FOODS? Competitive Foods are foods sold during the school day that are not part of the reimbursable meal and must meet required nutrition standards. The school day begins at midnight and ends 30 minutes after the official school day ends. You can review the nutrition standards by visiting www.SquareMeals.org/SmartSnacks.
There are no restrictions on foods given away including foods at events such as field days and birthday parties.
ARE THERE TIME & PLACE RESTRICTIONS FOR COMPETITIVE FOODS?
What can be sold? ALL foods sold at ALL grade levels must meet the nutrition requirements.
Who can sell competitive foods? A district may adopt, as part of its wellness policy, requirements about who, when, and where foods are sold during the school day. In lieu of a district policy the following is in effect:
WHO CAN SELL COMPETITIVE FOODS?
Elementary School: Only the Northwest ISD Food Service Department
Middle School: The NISD Food Service Department may sell competitive foods from 30 minutes before the meal service period through 30 minutes after the meal service period on the school campus. ONLY outside of this designated time period, can individuals and groups sell competitive foods on the school campus.
High School: The NISD Food Service Department may sell competitive foods during the meal service period where reimbursable meals are sold or consumed on the school campus. ONLY outside of this designated time period and designated location, can individuals and groups sell competitive foods on the school campus.
WHAT ITEMS CAN BE SOLD AS FUND-RAISERS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY?
* Food items that meet competitive food nutrition standards such as pumpkin bread with whole
grain-rich flour, air-popped popcorn, and trail mixes.
* Food items that are not intended to be consumed at school such as ready-to-bake cookie dough or ready-to heat pizza.
* Districts may also elect to sell non-food items such as wristbands, wrapping paper, candles and magazines. Walk-a-thons, activity nights and car washes also add fun and exercise to fundraising efforts.
Fundraisers that include food items that do not meet the competitive food nutritional standards, and are intended to be consumed at a school, must be sold outside the school day. Additionally, any foods sold by individuals and groups outside of the food service department must follow the time and place restrictions.
ARE THERE ANY EXEMPTIONS TO THESE REQUIREMENTS?
No, all foods sold during the school day by the food service department, individuals and groups must meet required nutrition standards.
To learn more visit www.SquareMeals.org or Call TDA at (877) TEX-MEAL.
What does the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Act or HHFKA) mean to NISD? The 72 provisions of the Act provide for improved access to nutrition assistance through program expansion, outreach, and changes that make it easier for children to get nutritious meals at school. The Act is intended to not only improve the nutrition quality of school meals, but also to improve the entire nutrition environment in schools. The Act seeks to enhance our understanding of the causes and consequences of hunger and food insecurity among children and help inform future policy decisions on effective means of program delivery that will help advance the goal of solving the problem of childhood obesity.
For additional information on the provisions of the Act, refer to
A summary of the planned implementation timeline for all breakfast and lunch requirements can be found at
/UserFiles/Servers/Server_232117/File/Information/Food Service/Important Changes to the Lunch & Breakfast Programs/implementation_timeline.pdf
What's different about the menu planning requirements and nutrition standards for school meals?
This is a summary of the changes you can expect to see to breakfast and lunch meals in School Year 2014-2015: All Meals
- Menu planning requirements are grouped by grades – K thru 5, 6 thru 8 and 9-12 - that better correspond to changing nutrition needs.
- There are daily minimum portion sizes and weekly number of portions required for each meal at each grade level, to ensure sufficient calories and essential nutrients are provided.
- Students must take at least ½ cup serving of fruit or vegetable at every meal.
- All breads and grain products must be whole grain-rich.
- Dairy products and milk contain 1% fat or are fat-free if unflavored, while flavored milks will be fat-free only. Two different fluid milk selections must be offered at each meal.
- Added trans fats have been eliminated from all foods.
- Nutrition standards include age-appropriate calorie ranges by grade level. There is a limit of no more than 35% of calories from fat and less than 10% of calories from saturated fat. Additionally, the first sodium limit designed to help reduce the overall sodium in children’s diets will be in place, as the first step in meeting long-term public health goals
- A reimbursable lunch includes foods from all 5 food groups (meat, grain, vegetables, fruit and milk).
- Menus planned for grades K-8 must offer at least 1 serving of grain each day, while grades 9-12 must have at least 2 servings. The minimum weekly offering varies as well, with at least 8 servings for grades K-8 and 10 servings for grades 9-12.
- Meat and meat alternates also must be offered in daily minimum portions of 1 ounce equivalent serving for grades K-8 and 2 ounce equivalent serving for grades 9-12, with minimum weekly total amounts of 8 servings for grades K-5, 8 servings for grades 6-8 and 10 servings for grades 9-12.
- Weekly vegetables requirements are designed around 5 sub-groups to ensure that meals provide a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals found only in these important foods. Each week menus must include the following minimum quantities:
- Each day students in grades K-8 must be offered at least ½ cup fruit, Grades 9-12 must be offered at least 1 cup fruit. Juice cannot be more than 50% of the fruit offerings each week.
- Under the Offer vs Serve requirement, menus must include foods from all 5 food groups in the minimum quantities outlined above. Students may decline 2 foods but one item selected must be a ½cup of vegetable or fruit.
- A reimbursable breakfast includes grains, fruit/vegetable and milk components.
- All grade groups must offer at least 1 serving of grain each day. The minimum weekly offering varies by age/grade group: 7 servings for grades K-5, 8 servings for grades 6-8, and 9 servings for grades 9-12.
- Schools may offer a meat/meat alternate in place of part of the grains component, after the minimum daily grains requirement is offered in the planned breakfast.
- Schools must offer at least 1 cup of fruits and/or vegetables to all age groups. Vegetables and fruits may be offered interchangeably and may include juice; but juice cannot be more than 50% of the fruit offerings each week.
- Under the Offer vs. Serve requirement, students must be offered at least 4 food items in the minimum daily portion. They must select at least 3 food items with one selection being ½ cup fruit.
For more information visit /UserFiles/Servers/Server_232117/File/Information/Food Service/Important Changes to the Lunch & Breakfast Programs/dietaryspecs.pdf
What other changes will we see? In addition to the menu and nutrition changes outlined above, students will continue to see signage on every serving line to help them understand what makes up a reimbursable meal; and to ensure that students do not inadvertently take extra items that would be charged at a la carte prices. Students will also see changes in the foods and beverages sold as a la carte choices, as schools comply with the new “Smart Snacks in School” standards that are effective on July 1, 2014. The HHFKA also focuses on nutrition education, so information will be available for students to see how their food choices fit into a balanced meal.
We are excited to see students accepting the healthy whole grains and other nutritious foods that are already offered; and we encourage families to try some of the items from the school menus for your meals at home! Together, we truly can make a difference in improving student health. We hope that you will consider school meals as an investment in a healthier future for your children.
For more information, visit www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Legislation
Food Service Department/ ARAMARK
Northwest ISD School Support Services
1800 Highway 114 | Justin, Texas 76247
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