Volume 4, Issue 5
January 2019

In the Cypress School District, we believe proper nutrition is an important component of student success. Students who have access to nutritious meals typically have better school attendance, perform at higher academic levels, and, as a result, are more likely to graduate from high school. 

With that outcome in mind, the district strives to feed as many students as possible. During the 2017/18 school year, we served over 450,000 student meals. While that may seem like an impressive number, we don’t believe in resting on our laurels. Our staff continually looks for opportunities to better serve our students so they, in turn, can reach exceptional levels of achievement in school. It’s all part of what we do to support “every student, every moment, for every opportunity!” 

We hope you will take a few minutes to learn more about our Child Nutrition program.

Anne Silavs, Superintendent
Fuel for the School Day… It All Starts With a Good Breakfast!

We’ve all heard the adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, not all students eat a healthy breakfast each morning before coming to school. To address this need, the district applied for a grant from the California Department of Education and was awarded $70,000 to expand its school breakfast program. Now breakfast is available to students at five of our six schools, and we’re exploring additional options to support Landell, too. Our breakfast menu features wholesome options such as whole-grain cereals, breakfast sandwiches, muffins, yogurt parfaits, smoothies, seasonal fresh fruit, milk, and other traditional favorites. Our new breakfast program is clearly very popular with students! On the first day of breakfast service at Luther, 40 meals were served. By the second day, that number more than doubled. Plans are also in the works to offer a “Breakfast After the Bell” program, which will provide students who are unable to eat breakfast before school with a second opportunity during morning recess. We want to make sure our students have every opportunity to be well-fueled for their school day.

We invite you to view our promotional video about the district’s new breakfast program which stars our very own Cypress School District students!
So, What’s for Lunch?

It’s the challenge every parent knows all too well… finding healthy food options that kids love to eat. This is especially true for school lunch programs, which must follow federal nutrition guidelines. So this year, our staff focused their efforts on increasing student food options and diversifying our menus. We’ve added many popular recipes that include the flavors our students enjoy at home, but with a healthy twist to meet dietary requirements for calorie, sodium, and saturated fat levels. Some of our new menu items include tamales, Korean BBQ pork sliders, oven-roasted chicken, curry dishes, and “build-your-own nachos.” However, you can rest assured that all-time student favorites like pizza, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, and burritos are still on the menu… and they’re wholesome and nutritious, too! We use whole-grain flour in all our recipes, and each meal includes fruits and vegetables. In fact, we’ve also expanded the options in our produce bars. From persimmons and apples in the fall to avocados, strawberries, and watermelon in the spring, we make every effort to keep fruits and veggies exciting for kids.
Following the Rules – USDA Dietary Requirements

Speaking of federal nutrition guidelines, school districts across the country are held to a high standard when feeding our nation’s children. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the National School Lunch Program and provides minimums and/or maximums for the composition of school meals based upon the MyPlate model and recommended dietary allowances from the National Institutes of Health. For example, school lunch programs must provide K-8 students with at least a ½-cup serving of fruits and a ¾-cup serving of vegetables each day. All grains must be whole-grain rich, and milk must be 1% milk fat or fat-free. The target calorie range per meal is 550-600 with less than 10 grams of saturated fat and less than 1,230 milligrams of sodium. You can access more information on USDA requirements and other school nutrition information by visiting the California Department of Education website .
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at our Child Nutrition Program

At 6:00 a.m., when many parents are waking up their children and getting them ready for school, our staff in the Child Nutrition Services department is reporting for work. The district’s central kitchen, located on the Landell school campus, is buzzing with activity as lunch preparation is underway by 6:30 a.m. Concurrently, our food service assistants are on our school campuses, preparing breakfast so that meals are ready for students beginning at 7:20 a.m. By 9:30 a.m., the food service staff at the central kitchen departs to join the assistants at the sites, while other staff and school bus drivers deliver meals to all six campuses in time for the primary grade lunch period, which begins at 10:50 a.m. Lunch service for students in the upper grades continues through 12:40 p.m. After students have been fed, our staff cleans and sterilizes the kitchen in preparation for the next day, when the process begins all over again. We greatly appreciate our Child Nutrition Services department for all their hard work and for their commitment to ensuring our students are nourished and ready to learn each day!
Candi Kern - Sandra Lee - Brian Nakamura -  Bonnie Peat -  Lydia Sondhi, Ph.D. 
Anne Silavs