DAVE & DUJANOVIC

Global supply-chain pinch puts bite on Utah school lunches

Oct 13, 2021, 6:33 PM
school lunches...
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The global supply-chain shortage is crimping school lunches in Utah.

KSL.com’s Emily Ashcraft reports:

“Kelly Orton, director of child nutrition at the Salt Lake City School District, arranged for the production of 1,300 milk cartons after Meadow Gold was unable to provide them for the district’s schools on Monday [Oct. 4]. He picked them up and delivered them to schools himself because the supplier did not have the staff to add the schools to their delivery route.”

No fried foods in Utah school

Kathleen Britton of the Child Nutrition Program at the Utah State Office of Education joins Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic to discuss the school lunches programs in the state’s public schools.

Debbie said she had read a report that schools are going to be getting rid of orange-chicken meals.

“I was like orange chicken? That’s like deep-fried nugget with a bunch of syrup on it — that’s what we’re serving kids? So is it my imagination or are school lunches these days losing their nutritional value?” Debbie asked.

“I think it’s your imagination. To clarify, there are no fryers in our schools, OK, so nothing is fried,” Britton said.

She added US public schools must follow strict dietary guidelines from the federal government. That means no fried foods. The orange-chicken dish is baked and served along with brown rice and a hot vegetable, such as steamed broccoli, she said.

Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, more fresh fruits and vegetables have been incorporated into US school menus, Britton said.

Along with tracking caloric intake, the menus have to include a certain amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates; different colored fruits and vegetables are added to maintain a variety, she said.

Eat your veggies, kids

Can schools track how many fruits and vegetables students are consuming or do they end up in the trash? Dave asked.

Britton said studies show that a student has to be exposed to fresh fruit and vegetables a dozen times before they will try it. 

“Many of them now do take it [fruits and vegetables], and they understand that to have a healthy lunch you need to eat your fruits and vegetables,” she said.

Debbie was looking at a school lunch menu from 1974: beef cutlet with gravy and mashed potatoes. She was a 6-year-old first-grader back then.

“Were we just eating just all kinds of fat- and cholesterol-ridden foods, and now that is more monitored and better portion-controlled?” she asked.

“Correct,” Britton replied. “Those mashed potatoes that you had did have a lot of butter and milk and salt in them. The gravy on top of that also had a lot more fats.”

“They were delicious,” Debbie said.

 

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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