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KELLYFIT123 Posts: 1,312
12/2/13 11:00 A

You should ask the district's food service director. He/she would/should know for sure.

MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (11,728)
Fitness Minutes: (5,830)
Posts: 3,632
12/1/13 9:15 P

I would eat half and take the rest home in ziplocks if it was very dense foods and money is that tight. If money is not super-tight, I would eat only the whole foods offered (veggies, fruits, protein, dairy).
Brown rice, dried beans/lentils, carrots, bananas, generic tuna, frozen spinach, green beans, are some affordable staples for your other two meals until finances pick up.

12/1/13 10:51 A

The standard school lunch calorie amount is based on the age of the child.

For your situation, I would suggest that you track these meals as you do other foods.
Build them into your nutrition tracker for I imagine you will see some sort of "meal plan" rotation and this will make it easier in the future.

The key is the portion size. Are you getting 4 chicken nuggets, 6, 8 or 10.
Are you using 1/2 cup mashed potatoes or 1 cup
Are you taking 1/2 cup applesauce or 1 cup

For the fruit, check to see if you are using sugar packed canned fruit, or water/juice packed.
A 1/2 cup serving is going to have about the same calories as a small piece of fruit; about 60 calories. You may be getting a little less fiber; but you are still getting nutritional benefit.

Your SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

NIRERIN Posts: 14,084
12/1/13 10:49 A

using the generic entries that spark provides will be your best bet. if a company manages your cafeteria, check out their website [
is sodexho's, they managed my college cafeteria] for info. do be mindful that these might be for more adult sized portions, so if you are being served children's portions you might want to enter it as 1/2 to 3/4 of a full sized portion depending. every place that serves kids that i have ever been has had a ton of charts on the walls with what a serving of food is and what should be served at each snack/meal and all you need to do is compare that to regular usda guidelines to see if they differ so that you can adjust the portion that you track it if they do.
so you might search
dinner roll
and use the generic entry. search
chicken noodle casserole
and use the generic entry.
and use the generic entry. or whatever it was that you were actually served.

so for the apple versus cocktail question you would have to find the portion size of fruit cocktail [likely half a cup], find the generic info for it [or better you find out what brand they use and get the actual info] the compare it to the info for the size of apple you have.

JAMIE68117 SparkPoints: (4,321)
Fitness Minutes: (5,913)
Posts: 59
12/1/13 10:41 A

I do remember reading somewhere they're supposed to be 550-850 calories depending on the age group, including the 100 calorie milk. But I have a hard time believing these small meals are anywhere near 850 calories! I guess maybe 550 not including the milk I could believe, and I'm sure higher on some days.

JAMIE68117 SparkPoints: (4,321)
Fitness Minutes: (5,913)
Posts: 59
12/1/13 10:33 A

I started a new job recently working with kids, and at around 6 (an hour before I'm off) we feed the kids dinner. It's your typically school "hot lunch" type stuff. The staff is able to eat with the kids if we want, and I have a few times because it saves me money, as well as time which is nice cuz I'm usually pretty tired when I get home. Money is really right right now, so it's always nice getting a free meal. My question is- what is the typical calorie count for school lunches? Isn't there some sort of average they're supposed to aim for, to be in accordance with regulations? And how many calories would I save by eliminating the syrupy-fruit, and just having an apple when I get home? I don't want to completely sabotage my weight loss by not knowing my dinner calories, but I also hate to turn down a free, portion controlled meal at the end of a long day! Do you think I could safely fit these dinners into my healthy diet?

Edited by: JAMIE68117 at: 12/1/2013 (10:34)
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