Overall, school lunches served at Las Lomas are healthy. The food service program at the Acalanes Union High School District adheres to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) dietary guidelines. As explained on the California Department of Education website, “The National School Lunch Program is committed to providing [students] with nutritious, tasty meals at an affordable price.” Generally, school lunches are required to include either fruit or vegetables, whole grains, milk, and have limitations on salt and saturated fat. Ms. Bearce, Administrative Assistant of Food Services in the Acalanes Union High School District, said that our district schools’ lunches include, “…homemade fresh cooked meals, moving away from highly processed to fresh cooked and salad bars. Every recipe we work with is compliant and is formulated down to milligrams of salt.” Not only do our lunches meet the federal dietary guidelines, but our district is fortunate that it goes further in offering fresh rather than processed food.
In addition to the healthy components of the lunch menu, Las Lomas will soon be adding even more options. This variety allows students a wide variety of choice. According to Ms. Bearce, the most popular items on the menu across the district are, “…Pizza / Pizza Bread / Salad Bar (only at Campolindo, but coming to all campuses soon) / Burrito Bar / Special of the Day.” Other lunch choices include burgers, french fries, sandwiches, salads, pasta, tostada bowl, and hot wings. In my opinion, at Las Lomas, the popular items are chicken sandwiches and pizza; Both of these items are available with different options. For pizza, there are many varieties including veggie, pepperoni, and cheese everyday. The chicken sandwiches offer multiple toppings and condiments.
In addition to lunch, the Food Services Department also provides brunch menu items each day at Las Lomas. Students can choose from a variety of items at this time as well. Typically, the daily menu for brunch includes chocolate muffins, pizza bread, salad, gatorade, fruit snacks, milk, and yogurt parfaits. My favorite item on the brunch menu is the pizza bread. Most of these items are healthy, but, chocolate muffins, fruit snacks, and gatorades contain a significant amount of processed sugar. Perhaps some of these items should be reassessed and replaced with tasty, healthier options.
It is important for high school students to have the opportunity to choose from healthy brunch and lunch items. As teenagers, good nutrition is necessary to support continued growth and stamina to excel in our school work and sports each day. Fortunately, our Food Services Department is doing a great job of meeting our dietary needs.