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Junk Food to Get Tossed From Norton School Cafeterias

Healthier options to be available.

Thanks to Suzanne Souza, the new director of food services for Norton Public Schools, the days of children buying a bag of potato chips and a cookie for lunch are over.

In order to stay within new state and federal guidelines for school lunch, Norton will be serving meals with more whole grains and lower sodium and sugar. The goal is also to serve less frozen foods and learn how to cook healthier options. For example, while frozen pizza will be taken off the menu, cafeteria workers will learn how to make a nutritious version of the school lunch staple.

Some other items to be taken off the menu include flavored milk, chips, sports drinks and fries.

Though Americans are often thought to pass on bad eating habits to kids, Souza has seen a more positive trend.

“I’ve noticed kids are eating healthier,” she said. “I think young kids are being brought up eating healthier.”

Souza believes that in addition to avoiding places like McDonalds, children should learn why eating healthy is important.

According to Souza, the school will focus on buying local produce. In fact, Sept. 19 to 23 is Harvest for Students Week. This event is coordinated by the Massachusetts Farm to School Project in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. During Harvest Week, schools and colleges promote local harvest and serve fresh, nutritious meals prepared with foods produced by Massachusetts farms.

Souza began working in Norton about a month ago, preparing for this change. But she has worked in the food service industry since high school. She began in the health care field in high school and transitioned to school lunch programs in 1993. Though she has never been formally trained, she worked her way to the top.

“I know how to do every single job in that kitchen,” Souza said.

To learn more about Souza and the school lunch program, stop by the food service table at each school’s open house. For information on free and reduced price lunch, see the attached PDFs.

Trot Nixon September 06, 2011 at 04:48 PM
I'm sorry but this is getting ridiculous. I understand eliminating soda vending machines and stuff like that....but getting rid of things like chocolate milk? I feel you should offer healthier options but not get rid of everything else. Aren't high schoolers old enough to make there own choices on what they eat? Here's an idea...if parents actually did some parenting and guided there kids towards healthier options then thats fine but to force this upon every other student is not fair. I bet you'll see a decline in kids who pay for school lunches.
Jane Doe September 08, 2011 at 02:29 AM
You get a group of people sitting behind desks (Mrs. Obama) or on 'Boards' making these 'healthy' choices for children, but cut Physical Ed and take away the recess from others. . .brilliant!! I can tell you first hand, they won't buy the lunches - why buy food that tastes awful, no flavor and is bland when you can bring something 'healthy (or maybe not) and delicious' from home to eat at school. We grew up with cake, pudding, cookies, french fries, you name it when I was a kid in school - we weren't fat because we went outside and worked it all off! People who sit behind their desks and regulate 'healthy choice' decisions should worry more about getting children moving and not worry so much about how one school lunch a day will make our 'children' fat!! Ask one of the lunch ladies what the kids want to eat, then find a way to serve it so it tastes good, not like an old piece of wheat cardboard washed down with a flavorless white milk! First tell our kids what they can eat, next someone will be telling me what I am allowed to eat!! The government needs to focus on important things, not wasting time about what flavor milk children are drinking in school!

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