Why did Nutrition Services switch pizza brands?
The pizza offered over the last several years showed a decline in quality that did not hold up to the food service standards held by our department. Our goal is to ensure student health and wellness initiatives are being upheld to the highest degree. There was a need to switch pizza brands to expand our menu across the district to ensure students receive a top-quality product that is in compliance with federal guidelines upheld through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
How was Domino’s pizza selected compared with other brands?
Last spring MSD Nutrition reached out to a few local pizza companies in the McMinnville area requesting bids to have pizza delivered to MSD for all schools. Through this process, Domino’s was the only pizza company that could provide the proper documentation to support our program regulations and had competitive pricing. The Nutrition Services Department has strict procurement procedures when using federal funds. The two biggest criteria we must abide by are securing a product with the most competitive pricing and meeting child nutrition guidelines based on varying age groups.
How does Domino’s pizza meet the nutrition regulations?
The McMinnville School District operates under federal guidelines to meet strict nutrition standards that are in alignment with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans based on specific age groups. Domino’s pizza created a “Smart Slice” customized pizza that is only available to child nutrition programs like ours. This pizza is made with nutrient-dense ingredients which include whole grain-rich crust and low-fat cheese. The pizza crust is made with enriched flour that provides 16 grams of whole grains per serving. This pizza contains more fiber and less sodium than our previous pizza product which brought even more excitement to this menu addition.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) ensures children receive school lunches with fewer empty calories in addition to more milk, fruit, vegetables, and fiber than peers who have meals brought in from home. School lunch participation across the nation is associated with a lower body mass index (BMI) further supporting obesity prevention amongst our youth.
Why is pizza on the menu?
The Nutrition Services Department’s goal is to provide highly nutritious food that students will consume as fuel for their learning. Offering food that does not meet the palate of our growing generation will result in empty stomachs and increasing food waste. Statistically, as a result of the rigorous nutrient guidelines all of our menu items must meet, students consume their healthiest meals at school compared to meals brought from home. It is always our goal to motivate students to understand why food is nourishing while creating lifelong healthy habits. We take true pride in continuing to grow and expand our department to find additional ways to support student health and achievement by improving children’s diets and combating hunger.