The new nutrition standards for Union R-XI school meals are great news for the district children, officials said.

The meals will help school nutrition professionals build on the work they are already doing to provide more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthier entrees in the school cafeteria.

At Union R-XI School District, they have already made progress toward meeting the new nutrition standards.

There are fresh fruits and vegetables served every day. The district made the switch to 1 percent or fat-free milk. Sandwiches are served on whole wheat bread. The cafeterias also have introduced lower sodium entrees.

The district offers salads/salad bars every day with vitamin-packed romaine or spinach mix lettuce.

During the month of April and May, they will be building on the progress they’ve made by trying out new menus and planning the menus for next school year to meet these new nutrition guidelines.

Officials said they know how important it is to encourage students to accept and consume these healthier options.

The school nutrition staff has found great ways to get students excited about healthy food choices and will continue to work on creative solutions to ensure healthy foods appeal to students.

There will be some challenges to meet all the new requirements on a tight budget, but the school nutrition program will work hard to make these healthy changes for students.

The district hopes parents will support this effort by encouraging their children to give the healthier meals a try. Students are far more likely to pick up a fruit or vegetable in the lunch line if they have been introduced to those foods at home.

Contact the food service office at 636-583-5840 with any questions or comments.