What Happened to the Cafeteria Cinnamon Rolls?

What Happened to the Cafeteria Cinnamon Rolls?
Posted on 01/24/2022

So, What Did Happen to the Cafeteria Cinnamon Rolls? 
By: Christine Harper 

            I vividly remember the first time fresh broccoli was served at Kindergarten lunch after the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was passed into law.  I was standing in the cafeteria and several little hands raised, with the broccoli in hand, and I hear, “Miss Harper, can you open this for me?”  For a few seconds, I’m sure I had the deer-in-the-headlight look on my face as I wondered how to explain what it was.  Gradually, I worked my way around the cafeteria explaining this green food and encouraging kids to give it a try.  You know, as well as I do, that most five-year-olds are picky eaters!

As a parent, I was skeptical of this new law, wondering if my kid was going to get enough to eat.  He did.  And not only did he get enough to eat, but what he was getting was much healthier and just as tasty!  You guys can remember the days of school lunches, and if you had a lunch lady who could turn anything into the tastiest meal you’d ever had, you had hit the jackpot!  We are so fortunate to have food service folks in our district who can do just that, even with the regulations from the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

After talking with our Food Service Director, Joyce Fenner, even after 12 years of this Act, I understand the regulations a little bit more.  There are 4 age groups that have maximum and minimum guidelines in what they get served.  There is a maximum when it comes to sugar, fat, and sodium content and a minimum of fruit, vegetables, grain, meat/meat alternate, and fluid milk that has to be offered.  For example, at the elementary level, at least ¾ cup of vegetables is required in a serving, and it goes to at least one cup at the MS/HS level.  Mrs. Fenner said that more often than not, students are getting more than what is required.  There is also a minimum and maximum number of calories for each age group. 

According to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, food service must offer 5 meal components–fruit, vegetable, grain, meat/meat alternate, fluid milk–and in each of these, there is a minimum that we must offer.  Our district participates in “offer vs serve,” meaning students can choose what items they want from the meal that is offered.  They do have to take at least 3 of the 5 components, and 1 of the 3 has to be a fruit or veggie. They also can choose to take everything that is offered.  I found out that Whole Grain Rich means at least half has whole grain in it.  So, if the first ingredient is whole wheat, or another whole grain, then it meets the guidelines.

So, what happened to the cinnamon rolls of days-gone-by?  Nothing, really.  They still happen periodically (once or twice a month) and maybe the ingredients have been altered to make them a little healthier (whole wheat flour vs regular flour).  But I’m good with that.  And if I have to take a fruit or vegetable with my meal, that’s good.  I need to be eating more of those anyway!  All I ask of our students is to give it a try before you say you don’t like it.  You might be surprised!