Dear Caledonia Parent:

Welcome to a new school year! The Caledonia Food Service staff is looking forward to serving your children nutritious, great-tasting menus that support their achievements in school and promote healthy lifestyles. Healthy for LifeTM is our commitment to create healthier environments and communities, by providing comprehensive nutrition and wellness education.

We offer a variety of meal choices with one goal in mind: To provide outstanding service and high quality "kid-friendly" meals that meet or exceed the latest federal and state requirements. Caledonia menus are designed to ensure that students receive a balanced meal, consisting of foods from all major food groups in the right proportions to meet calorie and other nutrient needs. The products and the cooking methods we use conserve food quality and nutrients, while limiting the addition of fats and eliminating frying. So although you may see popular items like pizza and chicken nuggets on your menus, be assured that your child's school meal selections contain healthy whole grains and are lower in fat and salt than what you find in grocery stores or restaurants. We will also be offering some different foods that your children may not have tried before, so please encourage your child to taste these items. They just might become a new favorite!

• All of the breads and grain products served for breakfast and lunch are whole grain-rich, ensuring plenty of fiber and other essential nutrients. Added trans fats have been eliminated from all foods; and menus are planned to limit sodium to meet the new standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for school meals.

• Both the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) meal pattern and nutrition standards ensure that meals provide age-appropriate calorie levels ; offer a wide variety of fruits and plenty of vegetables every day, with a focus on nutrient-dense dark green, red/orange and legume vegetable selections along with healthy grains and lean proteins.

• School meals are planned based on 3 grade groups (K-5, 6-8, and 9-12) that naturally align with children's nutrition needs for growth and health. While the focus of school meals is on healthy nutrient dense foods the nutrition standards ensure that there is a limit on saturated fat, sodium and added trans fats for optimum health and growth.

We will continue to post signs on each service line to show students how to select a reimbursable meal, as well as to help them understand how their choices fit into the key food groups needed to ensure a balanced approach to healthy eating.

We are proud to serve your child and encourage you to support our ongoing efforts to improve student health and well-being by participating in our Food Service program. For more information about our menus and programs, please visit www.calschools.org; and to learn more about healthy school meals visit http://www.fns.usda.gov . Please feel free to call me at 616-891-0227 with any questions or comments.

Thank you!

Mimi Mahaney

Food Service Director