The School District of Palm Beach County, Florida - Nutrition Standards/Promotion


Celebrating 10 Years Of Wellness


Nutrition Standards and Promotion

Each year it is important to assess and create an action plan to ensure implementation with the United States Department of Agriculture’s nutrition standards. This year the focus was on assisting schools with implementing the new Healthy School Team requirements. The School Food Service Department allocated the resources necessary to provide schools which included a dedicated school-based wellness contact. Communication regarding Healthy School Teams was dispersed in various methods. Initially a bulletin was drafted and sent out notifying the principals that they needed to establish a Healthy School Team. Once all schools reported their team members, newsletter were utilized to communicate important information and update. In addition, the Department created a webpage to provide dedicated resources to assist schools in establishing successful Healthy School Teams.

In addition to the Healthy School Team implementation, the School Food Service (SFS) Department is responsible for designing the menus offered throughout Palm Beach County for all of the Child Nutrition Programs. The menu development process is complex and consideration must first be given to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines. The USDA Nutrition Standards for menu planning were phased in beginning in the 2012-2013 school year. These guidelines were founded on research-based studies conducted by the Institute of Medicine along with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations. Each year the Nutrition Standards are reviewed at a federal level requiring districts to remain abreast of the legislative process.   

Smart Snacks in School guidelines are also a part of the USDA nutrition standards and established nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages sold in school which include vending machines, school stores, snack bars, food/beverage related fundraisers, and afterschool snacks. These guidelines went into effect on July 1, 2014 and the SFS Department is responsible for ensuring compliance. During the 2015-2016, the Department drafted a bulletin in collaboration with the Purchasing Department to address the foods and beverages sold to students via vending machines. Lastly, it is the responsibility of the Healthy School Team to ensure compliance with the Smart Snacks in School with regard to the sale of food and beverages on school grounds during the school day.   

Product Evaluation Procedure

In order for the SFS Department to serve high quality, nutritionally enhanced products, a strong emphasis is placed on the procurement process. The SFS administrative team completes a thorough review of the product to include the nutritional profile, program contribution, and cost analysis. Then food manufacturers will typically present the approved products to the SFS administrative team for further review of preparation methods and overall assessment. 

Once the product is approved by the SFS administrative team, the product is then sent out to sites for school-based testing. Many times schools of the Menu Advisory Board members are utilized for this testing. As part of their participation in this Board, they have been trained on how to administer school-based testing to ensure proper feedback is collected. While student feedback is most important, they also provide reviews on how the product cooks, if it holds temperature, if they would recommend an alternative cooking method, additional applications, etc.

The SFS Department continues to utilize a database that was designed specifically to document the evaluation process. Each item that is approved for the product testing is entered into the product evaluation database. Each item is given an individual reference number. When a school site is selected to test the product, the SFS Manager will have access to the database and the corresponding reference number. Once the feedback is entered into the database, the SFS Department has the ability to run reports and compare like items tested throughout the school year.                             

Online Prepayments

The School District of Palm Beach County offers the convenience of online prepayments to all students registered in the District. This service provides parents with a means of making secure payments any time of the day for their child’s activities and cafeteria meal account. It is an easy to use online shopping environment where you can use credit cards, eChecks, or pre-pay eWallet. This service allows parents to manage school and meal expenses, view the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits webpage and click on the button titled “Meal Accounts – Payment & Purchase History.”

Power Up With Breakfast

The Palm Beach County School Food Service Department has been growing its breakfast program for the past 12 years...Read More.

Stay Charge With Lunch

In Palm Beach County, the number of students qualifying for free and reduced price meals continues to increase...Read More.

Refuel With Supper

In the second year of the Afterschool Meals Program an additional 16 schools were added to the original 4 pilot schools from last...Read More.

Summer Food Service Program

The School District of Palm Beach County offered the Summer Food Service Program through the Seamless Summer Option again in...Read More.

District Vending


During the year, a presentation was given to elementary school principals with regard to the Smart Snacks in School guideline...Read More.

Special Dietary needs


The School District of Palm Beach County, Florida takes a proactive approach to addressing food allergies in schools. According...Read More.

Recharge With Afterschool Snacks

The Afterschool Snack Program (ASSP) was developed to give children a nutritional boost while participating in activities after their regular school day ends. The Afterschool Snack Program is administered by the...Read More.

Healthier US Challenge (HUSSC) Awards

In FY15 thirty-eight of our elementary schools earned the bronze level distinction for the HealthierUS School Challenge. As part of that award they received a plaque, a banner and a $500 monetary award...Read More.

Reengineering Cafeteria


The School Food Service Department was very proud to open Santaluces High School’s newly remodeled cafeteria as the third school to receive the High School Reengineering Program on August 17, 2015...Read More.