HISD students returning to school this year will be welcomed back with a greater variety of healthy food selections on their cafeteria’s menu. As part of the USDA’s revised nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program, the Houston Independent School District has further updated the school menu to incorporate the new meal requirements and offer students additional healthful menu items without impacting the cost of lunch for students.
“We are committed to serving our students healthy, nutritious meals,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said. “We have always set high nutrition standards for school meals. We support the USDA’s updated meal requirements and will continue to promote healthy eating habits among our students.”
This year’s school menus feature low- and non-fat dairy options, lean protein choices, a wider variety of fruits and vegetables, assorted whole grain products and 100 percent fruit juice with no sugar added.
Some of the specific menu changes for this school year include:
• Availability of more whole grains
• Increase in fruits and vegetables being offered
• Offering flavored milk in fat-free or skim varieties while unflavored or white milk will be offered as skim or 1%
• Decreasing the number of desserts offered to allow for an increase in higher nutrient foods
In addition to adding healthier menu items, HISD Food Services is serving locally grown foods, offering new made-to-order fresh food concepts, piloting healthy fruit and veggie stations, supporting school gardens, and increasing nutrition awareness in our schools and communities.