EPS Food Service Provider Responds to Health,and Other Concerns

The food service provider for the Everett Public Schools (EPS) is reassuring the mayor and residents that it is fully committed to forwarding the administration’s agenda for a healthy community.

From the opening of the Everett Wellness Center to the launch of an affordable “Fresh Meals” program, Mayor Carlo DeMaria is taking bold steps to enhance the health of all Everett residents. And Aramark, which has been the EPS food services partner for the past 26 years, is playing a leading role in bringing good nutrition and healthy choices to the more than 7,000 students in the district — 95 percent of which participate in the school meal program.

“We serve high-quality, nourishing and balanced meals that meet and often exceed state and federal nutrition guidelines,” said Maria Davis, Aramark’s Everett Food Services Director. “Over the past several years, [well in advance of the changes required under USDA guidelines] Aramark’s team of dietitians and chefs have been developing recipes that reduce added fats, sugar and salt, and feature low and non-fat dairy options; lean protein choices; a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark leafy greens, bright orange carrots and peas and beans; assorted whole grain products; and 100 percent fruit juice with no sugar added.”

Davis was responding an article that appeared in the January 27, 2016 edition of the Everett Independent in which Mayor DeMaria said, “I don’t believe the meals furnished are the best we can for our kids.” Davis assures parents of EPS students that Aramark is “committed to giving students the education and tools to make healthier choices throughout the day.”

Research firmly shows that good nutrition is essential for sound academic performance and impacts the health and success of children. In response to that, Aramark engages students through product sampling to encourage them to try new foods that they may not have at home; this has helped to ease in some of the changes.  One example from several years ago (before guidelines changed) was introducing a sandwich where only one slice of bread was whole grain to slowly introduce them to the taste change. Another is using sauces and dips with fruits and vegetables to make them more fun. Aramark also works closely with manufacturers to reduce added sugar and sodium in the food items available to students.

“We offer a variety of healthy, nutrient dense snacks for students,” Davis said. “Many popular name brand snacks — including pretzels, granola and cereal bars, cookies and graham crackers — have been reformulated to feature more whole grains, less fat, salt and sugar and more fiber. Along with tasting great, these new items have been developed to be nutritionally superior to alternatives that are purchased at stores and packed from home.”

Below you will find more specifics about the Everett program.

  • All meals meet the required RDAs including Calories, Fat, Sodium,
  • Calories at the K-8 meet 600-650 cals Hs 750-850 cals
  • Sat Fat at k-8 at all levels are less that 10% of calories
  • K-8 Sodium less than 1230mg HS less than 1420mg
  • No trans fat
  • All grains served are 51% or more whole grain including wraps bread and rolls. Aramark makes homemade bread rolls and pizza dough at HS level
  • All snacks served are low fat whole grain and are 200 or less calories
  • Only 1% milk and Fat Free choc milk offer
  • Every day Fresh fruit, canned fruit(no sugar added), dried fruit and 100% fruit juice are offered
  • Every day Fresh Veggies (carrot sticks, grape toms, broccoli, cucumbers and salads made with romaine & garbanzo bean salads) are offered
  • While we do serve hamburgers and “Taco Joes” the burgers are 80% lean meat and the “Taco Joe” is made with 90% lean ground chicken
  • Most importantly and the thing we are most proud of is the HUGE HEALTHY Variety of choices we do serve daily, including:
  • Fruit kabobs
  • Summer Packs  (Watermelon & Cheese Platters)
  • Hummus Platters
  • Veggie Platters
  • Caprese Salads
  • 8 Variety of Salads in including Avocado Salads, shrimp and seafood salads
  • 12 Varieties of Wraps
  • 10 Varieties of Cold Deli Sands on 100% Whole Wheat bread
  • Salad Pizzas
  • Fruit yogurt Smoothies
  • Fruit yogurt Parfaits
  • 20 Varieties of Hot Subs made with lean proteins and whole grain rolls
  • Sautee dishes made to order in front of students (chick broccoli ziti, Asian chicken, spaghetti & meatball, amc chop suey all on whole wheat pasta)
  • Deli bar made to order
  • Burritos bar made to order

    Maria Davis, Aramark’s Everett Food Services Director.

    Maria Davis, Aramark’s Everett Food Services Director.

  • Baked potato bar made to order
  • Made to order Focaccia Station

 

 

1 comment for “EPS Food Service Provider Responds to Health,and Other Concerns

  1. Lucretia Spencer
    February 4, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    The food at the elementary schools is inedible.

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