Child Nutrition Program
Updates and Announcements
The Ithaca City School District participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program, administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition to providing reimbursement and government-donated commodities for meals, the USDA also sets the nutrition standards our meals must meet.
School meals offer students fruits and vegetables, proteins and grains, and milk, all of which they must meet strict limits on saturated fat and portion size. The USDA Guidelines include:
- Age-appropriate calorie limits
- Servings of vegetables and fruit
- Students MUST take ½ cup serving of fruit or vegetable with their meal
- A wide variety of vegetables, including dark green and red/orange vegetables and legumes
- Fat-free Milk
- More whole grains
- Less sodium
So students can take a vegetable, a fruit, and a grain and that would allow the school to be reimbursed. Students could also take a protein (such as a Cool School Food bean-based entrée), a vegetable, and a fruit, for the meal to be reimbursed. As long as students take 3 options, and one is a fruit or a vegetable, the school district gets reimbursed.Water must be made available to all students and is available in all cafeterias.
The employees of the Ithaca School Food Service Program are committed to providing students with nutritious, tasty meals in an atmosphere they will enjoy. We understand that a hungry child cannot learn. School meals serve as a building block to promote the growth and development of our students and can provide one of the tools they need to achieve a positive and optimal learning environment.
Meeting the nutritional needs and food preferences of Ithaca students is the department’s primary goal. We invite parents and students to contact our staff with any comments or requests. If you have a favorite recipe you would like to submit, we are always on the lookout for new menu items and try to incorporate new and different foods that children may not have tasted before.
Consumer education is one of the goals of the food service department. You and your child(ren) will observe the following throughout the school year:
- Free samples and taste testing in student cafeterias
- New food items highlighted on the printed menu
- Cool School Foods – Plant-Based Foods From Around The World
We also make every effort to accommodate students with food intolerances or allergies. District-wide, there are many students with food allergies, some of which are life-threatening. If your child has lactose intolerance, a food allergy, or other medical condition that affects their diet, please obtain a note from your physician and send it to the school nurse. The note should indicate the food(s) the child cannot eat and recommend substitutions when applicable. A note will be put on the child’s account to alert cashiers to check the tray when the child comes through the line.
If you have questions about food allergies or any other facet of the school lunch and breakfast programs, please call our office at 607-274-2302. We also invite parents to join their children for lunch at any time. Please contact the main office at your child’s school to make arrangements if you wish to visit.