At-risk Hartford students to benefit from new dinner program

December 28, 2011 by  

Hartford students who come from financially-strapped families will have the opportunity to be served a nutritious dinner during their after-school enrichment programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA)is behind the new initiative, which is aimed at ensuring all children in Hartford and across America, can count on eating a healthy dinner during the school week. Most of Hartford’s students already qualify for free or discounted breakfast and lunch at school, based on their family incomes.

The new supper program affects several hundred students whose after-school activities last until 6 or 7 p.m. The Hartford School District is allotted about $3 per student from the USDA to fund the dinner meals.

Students who regularly eat nutritious meals have an academic advantage over malnourished children, according to education experts. Although nutritional needs vary a bit in younger children, school-aged kids generally require the same amount of nutrients as adults. A healthy diet includes a variety of nutritious foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein such as chicken and turkey, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy products.

The ‘At-Risk Supper Program’ menu will offer meals such as baked chicken, steamed broccoli, fruit, a whole wheat roll and low-fat milk, according to the USDA website. Another meal option consists of a grilled cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread, oven-baked sweet potato fries, a piece of fruit and low-fat milk. Printing services are available to run off a complete list of food choices to qualifying Hartford students. Talk to your health care provider if you specific questions or concerns about nutrition and your child.