December 1, 2016
Happy Holidays from Douglas County School District Nutrition Services!
It is that time of year again!!! The holiday season gets me every time. Everywhere I go, someone is trying to feed me holiday treats; or do we call them snacks now? I love this time of year, but it is always a struggle to keep from eating too many snacks/treats. This brought to mind what we do with our school lunch program. Ten years ago treats were a big part of school lunch. Nowadays we try and have healthy snacks rather than treats. I asked Kasja Larson, one of our Area Managers (who happens to be a mom and a Dietitian) what it is like trying to provide healthy snacks for her children and how that affects her thinking as we make snacks available in our lunch program. Treats vs. snacks is a big debate. Here is what Kasja has to say on this subject:
As parents, we are faced with many decisions about what we need to teach our children as they grow. One of the most important, to many parents, is helping their children learn how to make appropriate food choices. Our DCSD Nutrition Services team takes this into consideration when deciding what to offer students at our schools.
I am a member of the Nutrition Services team and a dietitian, but first and foremost I am a mom. When I come to work each day, I look at the products we offer through many lenses. I think that most parents will agree that nutrition is vital for raising healthy kids. Equally important is teaching moderation in their food choices. Teaching children this skill will go a long way to building healthy lifelong habits. In my house, we offer snacks (i.e. Air popped popcorn, cheese sticks, etc.) daily as a means to help nourish active, growing kids. In contrast, we have treats (i.e. frozen yogurt, cookies) only 1-2 times per week. This practice helps me instill in my children what are good food choices vs fun food choices.
While parents may differ on what they consider to be snacks or treats or how often their children should choose them, DCSD Nutrition Services offer a wide variety of choices to allow families to decide what works best for them. Nutrition Services accomplishes this by offering snacks and treats that contain whole grains, lower sugar and sodium levels, as well as 100% fruit juices. This is our team’s commitment to help parents fuel healthy kids. As a mom, I appreciate the effort that Nutrition Services puts into deciding what is offered to our kids. It makes my job a little easier. Check out our offerings at dcsd.nutrislice.com.
Brent Craig, Director of DCSD Nutrition Services
Kasja Larson, RD, SNS, Area Manager of DCSD Nutrition Services