School Meals Are a Prerequisite for Learning

Nutrition is among the many factors that shape the lives of children.  Part of the mission of the Department of Food and Nutrition is “to provide nutritious, appetizing foods that will contribute to the growth and good health of children.”  Menu items are based on student responses to food preference surveys and student involvement with taste testing.  In addition to the published menu, school sites offer cold sandwiches and entrée salads and may enhance hot menu choices based on student preferences.  Breakfast and lunch are offered at no charge to all M-DCPS students.

School Breakfast Program

A nutritious breakfast is the best way to start a day of learning.  The School Breakfast Program is a federally funded program that helps participating schools provide breakfast to all students. The meal pattern for breakfast includes fruits (or vegetables), whole grain-rich foods and/or meats/meat alternates, and milk.

At least four food items must be offered and students must choose 3 or 4 food items, one being ½ cup of fruit and/or vegetable, for a complete, reimbursable meal.

School Lunch Program

A nutritious lunch is a combination of foods that supply approximately 1/3 of the essential nutrients needed daily by the body.  Students are encouraged to choose all 5 offered components (meat/meal alternate, grain, vegetable, fruit, milk) for better health.  Participating in the National School Lunch Program provides students with the “fuel” they need to perform for the afternoon.

School meals provide a variety of different food items to choose from and follow the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.  The National School Lunch Program provides students with the opportunity of selecting a minimum of 3, one of which must be a fruit or vegetable, of the 5 offered food choices for their lunch meal. 

After School Meal Program

After school meals are offered to students participating in numerous after school programs throughout the district. 

After school meals meet the nutritional needs of children and are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 

Students are provided all 5 meal components (meat/meal alternate, grain, vegetable, fruit, milk) for better health.