Home Contact Calendar News Staff
Nutrition Nugget
In This Section
Nutrition Nugget
Nutrition Nugget

From the desk of our Registered Dietitian:

USDA

bananas2_3.png

This year, I’ve been trying to reach out to students and parents in order to understand what their wants and wishes are concerning our meal programs in the Minneapolis Public Schools.  For all of those that have invited me to talk with their classes, and to students that took the time to communicate with me or any of the Culinary and Wellness staff – Thank you.  When you communicate to us directly about specific dishes and how we can improve them, the better we can improve the menu.

Unfortunately, a lot of changes you would like us to make are great ideas, but we are limited due to cost of food items and guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

What does the USDA have to do with it?

Since we participate in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, we have a set of nutritional guidelines that we have to follow that is set by the USDA.  The meals we serve have to meet caloric, sodium, and saturated fat requirements.  These are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), and each time that document is updated (every five years), the nutritional guidelines are adjusted for school meals.  You can find out more on the DGAs at the following link:  https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/

The 2015-2020 report was just published this last year, and the Advisory Committee is already gathering information for the 2020-2025 report!  The committee is composed of nationally recognized nutrition and medical researchers, academics, and practitioners.  However, the committee only creates an Advisory Report.  (This is not the DGA, which is a policy that is written by the federal government.)

HOW DO I GET TO HAVE MY VOICE HEARD???  I have to eat this stuff, when do I get my say?

After the Advisory Committee completes its Advisory Report, the public has opportunities to respond with written comments on health.gov/dietaryguidelines and oral testimony at a public meeting.  You can look at the comments that others submitted at https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/public-comments.asp.  There were over 29,000 public comments on the advisory report!  

 

Have any questions for me?