Nutrition Standards, Ingredients, & Special Needs

A few of the local products our menu now features:

School Lunches Are Nutritious

Starting this 2019-20 year, WCSD's nutritional standards for meals have been set to a higher standard, above the current the federal nutrition standards. The new guidelines are based on the Lifetime Foundation’s Harmful 7 Ingredients of Concern.

2019-20 Menu changes include:

  • High quality meats
    • No Antibiotic Ever chicken
    • Organic, pasture raised, GMO free ground beef from Petaluma, CA
    • Pasture raised, nitrate free, animal welfare certified under the GAP 5-step Program hot dogs
  • Clean label ingredients free of:
    • Processed & artificial sweeteners
    • Artificial colors
    • Artificial preservatives
    • Bleached flour
    • Little to no added sugar, zero High-Fructose Corn Syrup
    • Additives such as EDTA, BHT, Benzoates, to name a few

The menu features a dessert once a month, such as a freshly baked whole grain cookie or pudding. However, each dessert meets our strict nutrition standards. We feel this is a balance between offering a highly nutritious menu while offering the students a special treat once a month.

Over the 2019-20 school year, the menu will continue to evolve and the small handful of remaining items which do not meet the standard above will be transitioned out.

Federal Nutrition Guidelines

School meals programs are required to meet specific nutrition standards to operate the school meals program. The baseline standards are set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Education. The WCSD menu will continue to meet the federal nutrition standards, including limits on calories, sodium and unhealthy fats. Students choose from a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low fat or fat free milk with every meal.

Per federal guidelines, school lunches must include:

  • More fruits and vegetables: Vegetable choices must include weekly offerings of legumes, dark green and red/orange vegetables. Students are required to take at least one half-cup serving of fruits or vegetables with every school breakfast and lunch.
  • Whole grains: At least half of the grains offered with school meals must be whole grain-rich (at least 51% whole grain).
  • Free drinking water must be available in the cafeteria during lunch.

Daily Amounts Based on the Average for a 5-Day Week for K-8 Grades

Min-max calories (kcal) 600–650

Saturated fat (% of calories) < 10

Sodium (mg) ≤ 1,230

Food Allergies & Special Needs

Food Substitutions for Food Allergies & Disabilities

Special meal accommodations can be made for medical reasons (eg food allergies, intolerances, and/or disabilities that limit one or more major life activities). Request must be supported and the Medical Statement Form (link below) that includes the physical or mental impairment, foods to be omitted, and the recommended alternate foods by a recognized medical authority (eg physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner).

Medical Statement Form

The form should be turned into the Child Nutrition Services staff at your school.

Peanuts & Tree Nuts

Child Nutrition Services does not serve any items with peanuts or tree nuts at the Elementary Schools or Tice Creek. A prepackaged peanut butter and jelly sandwich is served at WCI. Child Nutrition Services does bring in products and fresh baked goods that may be produced in facilities that handle and process nuts, so we cannot guarantee that meals are completely free of traces of nuts, or nut residue.

School cafeterias have a designated nut free table for students with nut allergies to sit at during lunchtime.

Food Substitutions for Religious Requirements

Child Nutrition Services does not make individual accommodations because of religious reasons. However, we design a menu with various, kid-friendly choices that serve the diversity of our students.

Please contact eatwell@walnutcreek.org for more information.