School Nutrition Philosophy:
MCPASD promotes a quality student nutrition program to enhance readiness to learn in the classroom and to provide a model for lifelong health and wellness. The mission of the School Nutrition Department is a healthy meal for each student each day served in a welcoming and safe environment. We provide whole grains, lean protein, fresh fruits and veggies and low fat dairy to your students within kid friendly menu choices. We participate in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast program through the USDA to help insure affordable meals for all students.
The Kindergarten Student and New Choices:
Your incoming kindergarten student will be learning many new things during the early weeks of their elementary career. The experience at school meals is more than just a smile from the lunch ladies. This time during the school day presents an opportunity outside of the classroom to eat and socialize with new friends. Each student will be making independent choices in the lunch line as they participate in our school meals. Students have the choice of foods published on the menu. They may take all five food groups but must select a minimum of three of the following five groups offered each day: milk, a meat or meat alternate source for protein, fruit, vegetable, and a bread or grain. As of this year each student must have at least one fruit or veggie on the tray per USDA guidelines. If they do not choose the entrée, they may substitute a PB&J Uncrustable, low fat yogurt or cheese sticks. This enables all students to participate in our meals regardless of food preferences. If your student has food related allergies, we partner with our district Health Team to provide a safe environment in our cafeterias. In addition we publish elementary menus for egg allergies and carbohydrate counts for our students coping with juvenile diabetes.
The School Meals Experience:
Our menus are published on the school district website about a week before the new school month. You may wish to review the menu a few days in advance with your student to determine the daily menu acceptability. When discussing the menu with your student, associating the menu item with a known food can enhance their understanding and their comfort level. It often takes the kindergarten student three to five exposures to a new food before they will try it and an additional two to three exposures to determine if they prefer it or not. Your student will be encouraged to try things with small taste samples but under no condition in any of our lunch lines are students ever required to eat foods they may have selected. Students must be free to choose and to experiment without penalty to insure a healthy exploratory environment and a lifelong positive relationship with food.
Students at the kindergarten developmental age generally will find the first weeks or even months of school meals to be somewhat overwhelming. They may be further stressed when asked by the nutrition staff to choose among the available foods. Usually, when kindergarteners are regularly offered choices at home meals, adjustments in this area are less stressful. Please practice making choices during your home meals leading up to school entry for an easier student transition.
Our Lunch Express system is a debit account method with each student owning an individual account for the duration of their enrollment at MCPASD. This account is accessed using their unique 5 digit district student identification number. This number is also utilized to access computer and library services at their school site. This unique student number will be issued upon your student’s enrollment. Eventually we begin to train Kindergartners to punch in their own number at the end of the lunch service line. The timing of this fun activity is different in each elementary building and is accomplished in coordination with the kindergarten classroom teachers. You will receive an email from us in August with information on setting up your student’s Lunch Express account. All information and further technical assistance is also available at building registrations.
Our multi-purpose rooms are busy places at mealtime, full of student chatter and joyful chaos. Kindergarteners commonly need more time initially to get through the service line, make choices and check out. We definitely allow more resources for the first few weeks to support their orientation. You may find it helpful to prepare your student with a visit to the lunchroom for a school lunch. Just let the office know when you are coming and we will have our brightest, most welcoming smiles.
Questions can be directed to Amy Jungbluth, District School Nutrition Coordinator at 829-2345. We look forward to seeing you and your incoming student soon.
Learn more about the District's Nutritional Services program by accessing
About School Nutritional Services
Free & Reduced Meals
Pay for meals online