MPS Offering Meal Choices

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared the proportion of schools selling candy and soda from the years 2006 to 2008. Among the 34 states the study looked at, the proportion of Mississippi schools selling soda, candy, and salty snacks had one of the largest reductions. The proportion of Mississippi schools selling soft drinks dropped from 75 percent to 25 percent. Donna Freyaldenhoven, Meridian Public Schools' Food Services Director, said MPS is no exception.

"We don't have coke machines on the campuses any longer. If we do they only sell water and Gatorade and diet drinks," said Freyaldenhoven.

Those with a sweet tooth, can kiss chocolate cake goodbye. Freyaldenhoven said most desserts consists of cobbler or low fat treats.

"We've done a major reduction in deserts," said Freyaldenhoven. But it goes beyond that. Meridian Public Schools' Food Services Program is taking health farther than just candy and soda. Freyaldenhoven said changes to the bread are in place as well.

"We've gone to whole grain products. We're going to a whole grain biscuit that you cannot tell the difference," explained Freyaldenhoven.

The Food Services Program said it knows how important food is for the students' learning. They said they want to give the kids options, including healthy ones.

"Every day we offer a chef salad or a chicken Caesar salad or a fruit and yogurt plate. We do tuna salads and chicken salads. Then we offer a warm sandwich with baked chips or a cold sandwich with baked chips," said Freyaldenhoven.

The Food Services Program of Meridian Public Schools also offers a heavier cooked meal each day. Freyaldenhoven said it's just important that the students have a variety of choices to fuel their energy.

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  • by Food Critic Location: mdn on Oct 8, 2009 at 10:13 AM
    The cafeteria lunches do offer healthy lunches...but what about the salads that are 3 days old that they are still offering the children? It is also not fair that the adults have to pay double the amount of money for lunch than the children and get the same amount of food. And, what about the maggots found in students food?
  • by 4 Real Location: Meridian on Oct 7, 2009 at 01:07 PM
    There may not be soda or vending machines on school campuses, but do a quick bookbag check. Students go to a convenience store to purchase candy, chips, and sodas before coming to school and instead of eating the nutritious meals provided by school cafeterias, they consume junk. This defeats the purpose of trying to provide healthier food choices while at school.
  • by Suzanne on Oct 7, 2009 at 01:07 PM
    Well, I think it's ridiculous that they get BREAKFAST in the first place. That is something they should be getting at home!
  • by MPSD employee Location: Meridian on Oct 7, 2009 at 06:44 AM
    Wow....can we explain why the children had donuts for breakfast yesterday morning??? That has a ton of sugar in it and is not good for them. :(
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