Students have lunch menu options

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Now that school is starting, what children decide to eat for lunch is not always in their parents' control.

But students can make healthy choices whether they're eating the school lunch or bringing their own.

Mower County nutritionist Jane Knutson suggests that parents go over the lunch menus with their children. That way parents will know what their child is eating and the child knows what choices he or she has.

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"I think parents need to make sure they know what is on the menu," she said.

The public school lunch program offers options in all food groups for children to pick from.

Children must take at least three items before they can pay for their lunch, said Knutson, who headed public school food service for two years.

The high school has three lines with main entrees, plus a salad bar and ala carte line. Knutson suggests that student pick from the main lines and salad bar. Fruit, granola bars and other healthy options can also be purchased at the ala carte line.

Food service is not allowed to sell pop or candy bars during the lunch hour, she added.

Knutson also said children should take advantage of breakfast options because eating in the morning will help students concentrate during the day.

Knutson also suggested some options for bag lunches that younger children like and are healthy. The following lunches take items from most of the food groups:

n Pita with tuna salad, applesauce, cheese cubes

n Peanut butter, bagel, cantaloupe pieces

n Corn bread with honey, thermos of soup, apple

n Peanut butter and jam sandwich, carrot sticks, fruit

n Soup, cheese and crackers, raisins

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at