Two apps allow parents to spy on kids’ school lunch

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Back to School Things to Know_372707

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2015 file photo, students hold hands as they walk with their new book bags in Miami. They received the free bags as part of an annual back to school event also offering free health screenings, and free food distribution. With new backpacks, pens and pencils and clothes, millions of […]

Knowing what your kids eat when you’re not around is a challenge many parents face when they send their kids back to school.  

What are they ordering in the lunch line, pizza or a salad? 
     
Now in some Midstate schools, there’s a way to hold your child accountable and manage your kids’ health from your phone.
    
Some Midstate schools have an app that lets you prepare and check what your child orders for lunch. 

The Lower Dauphin School District has two apps they use in partnership with Chartwells Food Service.

The first is called ‘Nutrislice’ and it helps with meal prep. With ‘Nutrislice’ parents can view the week’s lunch menu with nutritional guidelines. It shows food ingredients, calories, and details like sodium intake.      
    
For students with food allergies like soy or gluten, parents can click a button that will gray out all those options.”It’s a great safety tool” said Lower Dauphin School District Food Service Director, Brad Mettle. 
     
Parents know planning only goes so far, that’s where the second app ‘My School Bucks’ comes into play. 

Mom and dad can see what food their kids purchase. They can also control their students’ financial balance. 

“Everything is at the palm of your hand, it’s a couple clicks and you can see what they’re buying”.  Mettle continued, “One of the best features is the low balance reminder. If you put $50.00 in and it gets down to $5.00 you get an alert so the students and parents can keep their account.”

In the Lower Dauphin School District, there are about three and a half thousand students, two thousand of which order a school lunch every day.  
     
Mettle said they work hard to make school lunches healthy with all five food groups. “A grain, protein, fruit, vegetable, and a milk. All the recipes are under the specific guidelines for the kids their age”. Mettle continued “They’re getting a nutritious meal when they come to school”. 

Nutritious, delicious, and affordable. Lower Dauphin School District said Elementary School student lunches are $2.50 and High School & Middle School student lunches are $2.70. Student breakfast is $1.30 at all levels.

Mettle said the program is convenient. “We offer a breakfast program as well so if you’re rushing in the morning we can serve kids breakfast at school every day.” Mettle continued, “During lunch, we have a lot of different options, I would say 15-20 different options.”

If you don’t see anything on the menu your child can eat due to dietary restrictions, Mettle said your school food service director will help specialize a menu for your child. 

Other school districts that offer services like this include Big Springs, Carlisle, Central Dauphin, Dallastown, Derry Township, South Eastern, South Middleton, Steelton-Highspire, Stroudsburg, Upper Adams, and Shippensburg. 

For more information on ‘Nurtislice’ click here
For more information on ‘My School Bucks’ click here

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