Tell Me About School Lunch

Tell Me About School Lunch

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Cheshire High School


Dodd Middle School


Elementary School


What is the School Lunch Program Trying to Accomplish?

The goal of Cheshire School Lunch Program is to provide students with attractive, wholesome, nutritious, reasonably priced meals that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The School Lunch Program shall also be an integral part of the coordinated nutrition efforts.

Nutrition Standards and School Lunch Guidelines

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is governed by federal (United States Department of Agriculture) and state (Department of Education) regulations, and all menus must meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The menu planning system required by the NSLP (food-based menu planning) is designed to provide children with approximately one-third of the key nutrients and calories they need according to the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA�s).

Nutrient standards are set for calories (< 30% calories from fat, < 10% calories from saturated fat), protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Meals are planned to moderate fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt.

A variety of whole grain products (breads, cereals, pasta, and rice), vegetables, and fruits are available daily.

Offer Verses Serve

In an attempt to reduce food waste, amendments to the National School Lunch Act introduced the Offer Verses Serve (OVS) provision. This amendment mandated that students may choose any three, four or five lunch components. A student�s decision to decline food items or accept smaller portions does not affect the charge for the lunch. However, all students are encouraged to take the entire lunch.

Lunch Offerings

All foods are prepared in the kitchen, with an effort to make as many items as possible from scratch. Low fat alternatives, such as lite mayonnaise and ground turkey, are incorporated into the lunch menu-along with fresh fruit, garden salads and raw veggies.
Lunch menus are designed to include student favorites, as well as, reduced fat offerings� and increased fiber content.

Lunch Menu

The lunch menu is published weekly in local newspapers and a large monthly menu is posted in the cafeterias. The lunch menu is also available via this website.

All students are offered a daily selection from several student meals. An assortment of salads and sandwiches are available daily at all schools, in addition to two hot lunch choices. (Cereal with yogurt and/or cheese and/or roasted sunflower seeds are available daily at the elementary schools).

To promote 5 A Day for Better Health (5 fruits and vegetables), students are offered a variety of different fruits and vegetables to choose from. They have a choice of any two of the following: fresh fruit, canned fruit, 100% fruit juice, vegetable of the day, and as available, potato of the day and garden salad to choose from.

Different choices of milk are offered (skim, 1%, non-fat flavored milk), to encourage the consumption of a very important mineral, calcium. Calcium builds and maintains strong bones and teeth.

Food Allergies

The School Lunch Program recognizes the increasing prevalence of potentially life-threatening food allergies among children. Effective management of food allergies in the kitchen includes implementing strategies for avoidance of offending foods by allergic children. It is the intention of the School Lunch Program to provide assistance and information to parents in order to help them determine whether or not their child consumes food items served in the cafeteria. Parents are strongly encouraged to come in to the school cafeteria or the Foods and Nutrition Services Office located at the Board of Education to read food labels prior to any food being served. The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network ( is a good source of information regarding food allergies. This website provides information on frequently asked questions, common food allergens, recipes, allergy alerts, research studies and more.

A La Carte Items

In addition to the lunch choices, a number of snack items, such as cookies, ice cream and chips, are available depending upon the school. These snack items are intended to supplement and not replace meal choices, and we encourage children to choose from the many lunches available.


Local Wellness Policy 

The Food and Nutrition Services Department participates in the Cheshire District Health Committee.  If you wish to attend committee meetings or participate in reviewing the local wellness policy please contact the Food and Nutrition Services Office at 203-250-2459.


Wellness Policy