3

votes

Improving meals in schools/daycare that need to follow USDA guidelines

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 13, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Has anyone had good luck improving meals in schools/daycare that receive government funding for meals and are therefore forced to follow USDA dietary guidelines?

Here are the guidelines:

http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Legislation/dietaryspecs.pdf

Murdering children, oh!, what fun!

I wonder how much leeway you get when preparing meals for these places. Could the school buy sourdough bread, white rice and steel-cut oats to meet grain requirements, or must they buy processed grains like Cheerios or mac&cheese?

Please share any experience or ideas!

Off-topic details:
I initially thought of this when I saw that if you run a licensed home daycare, the government reimburses you for food costs so long as the meals follow USDA guidelines (actually I think if you are licensed, you must follow the food guidelines, which means I would need to be unlicensed if I chose to provide much healthier meals). Having food costs reimbursed means those daycare providers can offer lower rates. If I don't want to murder the children I care for (:P), I would need to pass the cost of meals to the parents.

But after considering that, I'm wondering what can be done for all schools and daycares in general, not just what I would personally do in my home daycare.

Regardless, I can't in good conscience feed only 10% saturated fat and only 500 calories to my kids (to me that's neglect/abuse), and then provide seven servings of grain (ouch!), so I would chose to be unlicensed.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 26, 2013
at 04:52 PM

YOUR specific diet choices shouldn't affect the children in your care - unless you are opening PALEO DAYCARE. I wouldn't want my children fed a vegan diet, nor would I want them fed any diet that restricts foods that are whole, unprocessed, and healthy. While I don't agree with USDA guidelines anymore than you do, the control issues you are exhibiting here creeps me out. You are a caregiver, not a parent, and making children eat YOUR DIET is like feeding them Weight Watchers because you need to lose weight and really believe it works for you, so why shouldn't it be good for them...

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 26, 2013
at 04:46 PM

I agree with @Matt - and, respectfuly, I think it is important to remember that your experience isn't universal, and certainly not the basis upon which you should design an eating program for children under your care. A whole foods diet that is supplemented with good fats and has adequate protein and carbs CAN be worked out. Frankly, if you put children on a VLC paleo diet you may be doing them just as much harm as if you were following USDA guidelines. Let them eat real food without restrictions that YOU feel helped YOU AFTER you were already sick.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 28, 2013
at 10:54 AM

A little too much paleo koolaid...

46d2d71df39b4a6336df6d8307b25d87

(278)

on March 14, 2013
at 01:46 AM

Does this actually say 1 cup of fruit every day for breakfast? For a K-5 child? No protein for breakfast? (Not even sausages?) And, all those zeros in the veggie column hurt me, even if it's breakfast. Eep! (I liked this: "All juice must be 100% full-strength." Sounds professional.) Granted, I probably have a different mindset than most Americans, but seeing this, I would probably pay a little more to make sure my kids would at least get real food. If a daycare provider showed me a set of menus with whole foods vs. these guidelines, it'd be a no-brainer...

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on March 14, 2013
at 01:13 AM

So what I'm saying is though I don't believe pizza, burgers, or chinese buffet is healthy food, it would have certainly been healthier than my "healthy" choice of whole-food veggie wraps :)

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on March 14, 2013
at 01:11 AM

A tiny chicken breast cooked on a non-stick pan with non-stick spray and a small amount of steamed broccoli with no fat plus 7 servings of rice is completely whole foods, but is it "certainly fine" for growing children? No, it's not. I believe I became disabled because I was so health conscious so I ate low-fat veggie wraps at college (it was the only "healthy" option available). If I had been smart and eaten pizza, burgers and chinese buffet like my classmates (the "unhealthy" foods), I wouldn't have gotten so many nutrient deficiencies or become disabled. Hindsight. Sigh.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on March 14, 2013
at 01:07 AM

No, not hyperbole. It doesn't kill them immediately but it will definitely kill them. Whole-food diet is not enough. I ate a "healthy" whole-food diet and that's how I got sick/disabled. Plus, 10% saturated fat is nowhere near enough for growing children and teenagers. And you'll find that USDA diet at schools and daycares is far from being a whole-food diet.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 13, 2013
at 10:12 PM

I think just going with white rice if you were stuck in that scheme would be the best thing alongside using actual meat vs. "meat alternates." *shudder*

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on March 13, 2013
at 10:11 PM

Inject the kids with liquified liver

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on March 13, 2013
at 08:26 PM

It says saturated fat has to be less than 10% of calories, but doesn't say anything about cholesterol. *evil grin*

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2 Answers

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 14, 2013
at 12:12 AM

A little hyperbole, don't you think... murdering them with this diet? A whole-food approach while not paleo is certainly fine.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on March 14, 2013
at 01:07 AM

No, not hyperbole. It doesn't kill them immediately but it will definitely kill them. Whole-food diet is not enough. I ate a "healthy" whole-food diet and that's how I got sick/disabled. Plus, 10% saturated fat is nowhere near enough for growing children and teenagers. And you'll find that USDA diet at schools and daycares is far from being a whole-food diet.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on March 14, 2013
at 01:13 AM

So what I'm saying is though I don't believe pizza, burgers, or chinese buffet is healthy food, it would have certainly been healthier than my "healthy" choice of whole-food veggie wraps :)

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on March 14, 2013
at 01:11 AM

A tiny chicken breast cooked on a non-stick pan with non-stick spray and a small amount of steamed broccoli with no fat plus 7 servings of rice is completely whole foods, but is it "certainly fine" for growing children? No, it's not. I believe I became disabled because I was so health conscious so I ate low-fat veggie wraps at college (it was the only "healthy" option available). If I had been smart and eaten pizza, burgers and chinese buffet like my classmates (the "unhealthy" foods), I wouldn't have gotten so many nutrient deficiencies or become disabled. Hindsight. Sigh.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 28, 2013
at 10:54 AM

A little too much paleo koolaid...

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 26, 2013
at 04:46 PM

I agree with @Matt - and, respectfuly, I think it is important to remember that your experience isn't universal, and certainly not the basis upon which you should design an eating program for children under your care. A whole foods diet that is supplemented with good fats and has adequate protein and carbs CAN be worked out. Frankly, if you put children on a VLC paleo diet you may be doing them just as much harm as if you were following USDA guidelines. Let them eat real food without restrictions that YOU feel helped YOU AFTER you were already sick.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 26, 2013
at 04:52 PM

YOUR specific diet choices shouldn't affect the children in your care - unless you are opening PALEO DAYCARE. I wouldn't want my children fed a vegan diet, nor would I want them fed any diet that restricts foods that are whole, unprocessed, and healthy. While I don't agree with USDA guidelines anymore than you do, the control issues you are exhibiting here creeps me out. You are a caregiver, not a parent, and making children eat YOUR DIET is like feeding them Weight Watchers because you need to lose weight and really believe it works for you, so why shouldn't it be good for them...

0
4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on March 14, 2013
at 01:03 AM

My 7 yr old gets to pick one hot lunch per week at her school that follows the USDA rules. The stuff is crap, bottom of the barrel stuff and she is usually still hungry because it isn't whole food items. Trying to improve meals while working within a govt. system is nearly impossible. During the daycare years we opted to pay our provider extra to make up for what she lost money wise and we opted out of her food program. This meant we had to provide our own milk-(almond)- and other foodstuffs. It was a hassle but worth it in my mind. Summer day camps are the same and have to give two snacks per day. These are sugar/fat laden of course. This whole topic is about big govt. lobbyists and factory farms. End of rant!

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