Friday, October 14, 2011

Laurelhurst School Cafeteria Featuring Washington Grown Produce, Grains and Dairy Once A Month In Lunches

This week is National School Lunch Week and it is significant for Laurelhurst Elementary School in that the school as part of the Seattle School District as well as five other school districts in the state have received funding from Seattle and King County Public Health to improve nutrition standards as part of a Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant, Andrea on behalf of Public Health told us.

The recent press release says that about one in five school-age children in King County are overweight or obese, which increases their of risk serious health problems.

As a result, the Seattle School districts along with Auburn, Highline, Kent and Renton school distrcts are all working to make nutritional changes in their menus as well as making healthy choices easier for students.

Seattle Public Schools is working to make school meal changes by increasing the variety and amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables offered, as well as 100% whole grains products, reducing sodium levels, developing new main entrees and whole grain sides and providing only milk that is low-fat, non-fat white or flavored milk, which recently have changed their  formula to have less sugar and no high fructose corn syrup.

Laurelhurst Elementary School, as well as 35 other schools in the distrct, are participating in Washington Grown, as part of the Harvest of the Month program in which only Washington grown produce, whole grains and dairy are served on a monthly basis in school cafeterias.

The Seatle Public School nutrition information says: " We have new initiatives partnering with local farmers and local chefs to create recipes that appeal to students and utilize fresh seasonal (local) ingredients."

The special program also provides educational materials about the foods to educate children about eating locally grown foods, including "how eating foods, in-season, supports sustainable business and reduces environmental footprints."

The October Harvest of the Month's featured food on the menu is cucumbers from a farm in Skagit Valley.  Cucumbers are on the menu calendar throughout the month in a variety of recipes - and Toubouli salad recipe is provided along with interesting facts about cucumbers.

For more information go here.

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