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More than 32 million children eat school lunch everyday across the USA, and to celebrate the healthy lunch choices in Newton County Schools, students will celebrate National School Lunch Week: October 14-18, 2013. The theme, “School Lunch Across the USA” will include events and activities that promote the benefits of healthy school lunches. It will also celebrate the flavors, ingredients, and culture of various regions of the USA.

The campaign will put a spotlight on the healthy foods and positive changes that Newton County School System schools have incorporated into their menus.  During the week of October 14-18, “School Lunch Across the USA” signage will be posted in cafeterias, servers will wear buttons displaying the logo, and themed coloring and activity sheets will be provided to elementary students in the cafeteria. Morning announcements will be made each day to highlight regional favorites and nutrition facts about foods on lunch menus.   

Some of the items that will be featured on the menus include pinto beans and baked beans. Signage and morning announcements will highlight nutrients found in beans including fiber, protein, zinc, and iron. Offering more beans and peas to students is one of the changes made to lunch menus last school year to create more healthful meals. Other changes included offering more dark green and red/orange vegetables and replacing some of the regular grain items with whole-grain rich items on lunch menus. This school year, students are offered more whole-grain rich items at breakfast as well, including whole-grain pancakes and a whole-grain cinnamon roll.

The NCSS School Nutrition Department is also making an effort to educate students about nutrition. Students can expect to see nutrition facts about fruits and vegetables posted on cafeteria serving lines and nutrition information about other healthful foods, such as dairy foods, included in cafeteria promotions. Last spring, elementary students in the After School Academic Program participated in nutrition education lessons on healthy eating according to the USDA’s MYPlate guidelines.

The federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals to students everyday.  The program, which has been serving the nation's children for over 60 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards by:

  • Ensuring students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week;
  • Substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods;
  • Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties;
  • Limiting calories based on the age of children being served; and
  • Reducing amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.

Created to highlight all the components of well-balanced school meals, the “School Lunch Across the USA” campaign is sponsored by the non-profit School Nutrition Association, the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP), and McCormick for Chefs.

For more information about healthy school meals, visit

“This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”

Press release adapted from the School Nutrition Association’s “Across the USA” press release.