On July 1, 2012, new federal nutrition standards took effect and meals served through the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program must now meet these science-based requirements. These new standards are based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and follow the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The biggest changes in the first year include offering fruits and vegetables as two separate meal components every day, and increasing whole grains while decreasing calories and sodium.Also new will be the calorie count per age and grade level. Students in grades K-5 can have a maximum of 650 calories for lunch and 500 calories for breakfast; students in grades 6 – 8 can have a maximum of 700 calories for lunch and 550 for breakfast; high school students in grades 9 – 12 can have a maximum of 850 calories for lunch and 600 for breakfast. This may seem like a lot of calories except when we consider that ketchup has 15 calories in a teaspoon of ketchup or 83 calories in a cup of fat free milk. If a student consumes a cup of apples, a cup of milk and ¾ cup of whole grain cereal; they will meet half the 500 calories available to them at the K-5 level for breakfast. The food service department is working very hard to come up with a combination meal plan that will provide students with required maximum number of calories and meals that will provide a filling and satisfying lunch and breakfast. Because the calorie counts are so stringent, it is difficult to find combinations of foods that complement one another. If you have questions about the requirements of the new meal program, please access the child nutrition website at: http://www.squaremeals.org/ We are off and running on week two here at SSISD. So far students have been making it to school on time, conforming to the new start times, and are working hard in their course work. The heat is making the end of day a little difficult, but students are hanging in there and fussing very little. We are so very proud of the students and teachers who work hard at doing their very best!!! Parents, let us know how we can help you the first day of school all the way until the last day of school!! Please check the website at www.san-saba.net for school information and follow us on facebook, too! If you have any question about this article or any other question about school happenings please contact me at 325/372-3771 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org .