By Stephanie Gall, MS, RD and Megan Salazar, dietetic intern
In an effort to improve the nutrition of the vegetarian lunch menu at Vista Ridge Academy, a private Seventh-Day Adventist school in Colorado, the old menu was given an overhaul. The new recipes chosen were incorporated into meals that offered a higher standard of nutrient density than those set by the National School Lunch Program (NLSP) and also integrated nutrition standards from various Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) set by the American Dietetic Association. Additionally, the new menu incorporated more fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains but contained less sodium and fat. The resulting menu was more balanced while still maintaining affordability and including foods which were seasonally available. While many aspects of nutrition were improved in the process, there are still many hurdles and challenges with the program. If these can be overcome, the school lunch program at Vista Ridge Academy is sure to be a success as it gets refined for future years. The results from this project have implications in any school system looking to improve their vegetarian offerings or incorporating meatless meals into the school week.
- Vista Ridge Lunch Brochure
- Vista Ridge New Menus – Nutrition Analysis
- Vista Ridge Yearly Cycle Menu
- Recipe: Rice & Bean Stacks
- Recipe: Roasted Potatoes
- Recipe: Squiggly Noodles
- Recipe: Teryiaki Stir-Fry
- Recipe: Vegetarian Chow Mein
Please visit http://www.vrg.org/fsupdate/index.htm for more School Food Service resources.