Laguna Beach schools win national awards for healthier breakfasts and lunches

The Action for Healthy Kids and USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service have honored Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) with the Small or Rural Food Authority Breakfast Trailblazer Award and the Small or Rural School Food Authority Lunch Trailblazer Award for improving the nutritional quality of school meals. The awards, announced this month, recognize LBUSD’s significant strides in reducing added sugars during breakfast and lowering sodium content during lunch.

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Photos courtesy of LBUSD

LBUSD has been recognized for its healthier breakfasts and lunches, including parfaits seen here

The district implemented changes such as switching to reduced-sugar cereal, offering only unflavored milk and eliminating fruit juice from the menu to reduce added sugars at breakfast. To address sodium reduction in lunches, LBUSD utilizes salt-free seasonings and sources lower-sodium options for condiments and canned goods. In addition to these changes, students have a daily selection of fresh produce through a rotating Salad of the Week and a well-stocked Salad Bar, ensuring they can access various delicious and nutritious options.

“These awards represent a significant achievement in our ongoing commitment to student well-being, a priority firmly established by the Board of Education’s forward-thinking sustainability plan,” said Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jeff Dixon. “We are grateful to our dedicated nutrition staff whose tireless efforts are instrumental in this success. Their focus on reducing added sugars and sodium in meals while prioritizing the incorporation of fresh, local produce ensures that we meet rigorous nutritional standards and that the changes we make are both impactful and well-received,” he concluded.

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All smiles standing in line for lunch at El Morro Elementary

LBUSD’s nutrition program is regularly updated and guided by student feedback and Goal 2 of the district’s sustainability plan. This goal focuses on improving the health and wellness of schools, students and staff. The nutrition program prioritizes organic and locally sourced fruits and vegetables and provides salad bars at all school sites. These efforts enhance the nutritional quality of meals and support the district’s commitment to creating healthy and sustainable school environments.

School districts can apply for the Recognition Awards if they participate in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. A map of all the Recognition awardees and more information about their awards can be found on the Awards Spotlight webpage.


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