NEW ULM - In June, the New Ulm Public School Board approved offering free breakfast to all students for the 2013-14 school year. Breakfast will be available in all buildings.
Eating breakfast helps students focus in the classroom. Free breakfast is offered through New Ulm Public School's participation in the USDA National School Lunch and Breakfast program and by keeping district costs in check.
Breakfast regulations for the 2013-14 year are experiencing changes. Each grade level has a weekly minimum/maximum calorie count and a minimum USDA whole grain requirement: K-5, 7 grains; grades 6-8, 8 grains; and grades 9-12, 9 grains. Four food items, a whole grain, milk and fruit juice or fruit will be offered every morning for breakfast. A student must take at least three components for the meal to be counted as reimbursable. Examples of whole grain breakfast offerings include bagels, breakfast pizza, English muffins, cereal, pancake on a stick, apple or blueberry muffins.
Last year the USDA mandated revised standards for school lunch components and calories. The biggest change was the limitation of the amount of grains served to each student and the requirement that a half cup of fruits or vegetables are on every child's tray for the meal to be reimbursable. The grain limit was modified later in the school year, but the calorie requirements were not changed. USDA regulations were a challenge for many schools; however New Ulm public school students adjusted well since New Ulm Public School food service has been introducing these changes over the past five years.
Lunch meal prices for the school year are increasing 20 cents. They are: elementary, $2.20; high school, $2.35; adult breakfast, $1.85; adult lunch, $3.40