CPS Kids Say Bye-Bye Doughnuts, Hello Fiber

New nutritional standards surpass government recommendations

By Jenel Nels
|  Wednesday, Apr 7, 2010  |  Updated 7:30 AM CDT
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Made in Chicago

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Less sweets to eat.

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Sugar out, whole grains in!

Come June, Chicago Public Schools will eliminate doughnuts, pop-tarts and dessert-like foods from its menus and exchange it for more whole grains, more fiber and less sodium.

Officials are expected to announce the switch to healthier fare Wednesday at Sharon Christa McAuliffe Elementary School.

The move is part of a CPS plan to establish new nutritional standards. The new guidelines will require schools to serve dark green or orange vegetables at least three times a week. Fruits will also be more readily available and fiber will be required in both breakfast and lunches daily.

Chicago leads the nation in childhood obesity, according to the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children.

The announcement of the new menu standards comes two weeks after CPS announced plans to reduce its daily nacho service to once a week in high schools and once a month in elementary schools.

Chicago Public Schools is the country’s third-largest district; it serves roughly 120,000 breakfasts and 280,000 lunches every day to its more than 400,000 students. Early indications are the switch won't cost the school more than serving the less healthy foods.

CPS says its new menu standards will exceed the Agriculture Department’s Gold Standard of the Healthier U.S. School Challenge, an initiative promoted by first lady Michelle Obama as part of her "Let's Move" campaign. The challenge recognizes award-winning schools with a framed certificate, award banner and national recognition on the Team Nutrition Web site.

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