Preferred Meal Systems Announces New Healthier School Menus and Online Nutritional Information for Parents
BERKELEY, Ill., Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Schools across the country are now re-opening after the summer break. Preferred Meal Systems, Inc., a national supplier of healthy, well-balanced pre-plated meals for more than 40 years, will be introducing new meal offerings and healthier foods for lunch and breakfast, and now meal and nutritional information parents want will be easy to access online.
Preferred Meal Systems proudly announces its school lunch and breakfast meals will meet and in some cases even exceed the new federal nutrition standards for school meals. By meeting these newly mandated standards, the school districts served are ensuring that its meals are healthy, well-balanced and provide students all the nutrition they need to succeed at school.
Parents who are interested in learning more about their children’s school menus and nutritional information will now have a quick and easy way to access the information by simply logging on to www.schoolmenu.com. Through an agreement with schoolmenu.com, Preferred Meal Systems will offer school districts the option of including nutritional information on each meal served.
The healthier meals will include more fruits and vegetables, proteins, whole grains and milk. The meals to be offered will meet strict limits on saturated fat, calories and portion size and will have 0 grams of trans fat.
Starting in School Year 2012-2013, school lunches must satisfy additional requirements:
- Age-appropriate calorie limits
- Larger servings of vegetables and fruits (students must take at least one serving of produce)
- A wider variety of vegetables, including dark green and red/orange vegetables and legumes
- Fat-free or 1% milk (flavored milk must be fat-free)
- More whole grains
- Less sodium
The menus will also include whole grain breads, rice, and pastas. There will be a preference to offer locally grown fruit and vegetables.
The new meal offerings are expected to be welcome news to parents. Reformulated meals are designed to appeal to students already participating in the district’s school lunch program and increase the overall participation. Now is the time for parents to encourage their children to choose school lunch.
“For years Preferred Meal Systems has been committed to exceed the mandated federal nutritional standards. We will continue to provide the student’s favorite foods. We have reformulated these favorites with more whole grains and less fat and sodium. We have also been incorporating minimally processed foods and lean, antibiotic free meats into our menus,” said George A. Chivari, President & CEO Preferred Meal Systems, Inc.
“We support the mandated changes and look forward to ensuring that the food served in schools is healthy, nutritious and safe,” Chivari added.
For the first time, school districts served by Preferred Meal Systems will have the option during the 2012-2013 school year to include all meal menus along with nutritional information for each item served available online for parents to view. In addition, parents will find the latest information on nutrition, health and fitness from a distinguished team of experts.
Parents can view a child’s meal fast and simply by visiting the website www.schoolmenu.com. The special feature on www.schoolmenu.com permits parents to see the nutritional content of the items served by simply moving the cursor over each meal shown. Parents may also find easy access to information such as debit/pay plans, free and reduced meal applications and more.
A team of experts made up of nationally recognized doctors and nutritionists is also featured on www.schoolmenu.com. The team of experts include: Dr. Keith Ayoob, Director Nutrition Services, Einstein Medical College, NY; Drs. David Breland and Yolanda Evans, Adolescent Medicine Specialists, University of Washington; Dr. Cathy Green, Associate Professor Immunology, UCLA; and MaryAnn Jacobsen, RD, publisher of “Raise Healthy Eaters,” a popular blog about family nutrition. Tracey Mallet, internationally recognized author and exercise and fitness DVD producer, is also a member.
Sylvia Melendez, RD, a member of the team of experts, is a recognized authority on nutrition and Hispanic culture. She serves as an advisor to many major food companies as well as to the US Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Dr. Melendez is seen often on Hispanic television stations and her articles on www.schoolmenu.com are of special interest to Hispanic parents.
Dr. Melina Jampolis, an internist and board certified physician nutrition specialist, is also a member of the team of experts. She currently is the diet and fitness expert for CNN Health and serves on the medical advisory board of Better Homes and Gardens. She is a highly sought after speaker and guest on national and local television programs.
According to Dr. Melina, “Schoolmenu.com is a great resource for engaged parents interested in their child’s school meals program and seeking trusted information on nutrition, fitness and health.”
Preferred Meal Systems, Inc.
Since 1967, Preferred Meal Systems headquartered in Berkeley, Illinois supplies healthy, well-balanced component meals to more than 1.7 million children in public and private school districts and charter schools throughout the United States. In addition to serving wholesome and affordable meals, Preferred Meal Systems offers school foodservice operations its service solutions, including menu-planning and development, training and equipment. The company provides breakfast, lunch and after-school dinner meals during the school year as well as to summer nutritional meal programs. For further information about Preferred Meal Systems visit www.preferredmealsystems.com.
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SOURCE Preferred Meal Systems, Inc.