Keeping track of your child’s eating habits at school just got a little easier.
Pistanick Partners, a nutrition consulting firm, is handling food planning for the Wellington Schools this year on a $25,000 contract.
Katie Bigart, a representative from the company, spoke to school board members Oct. 11 about changes Pistanick has enacted.
She presented what is available for students and parents to see about school meals on My School Menus, a free phone app that can also be accessed at www.healtheliving.net.
After selecting the Wellington district and which school’s menu you want to view, it provides an up-to-the-minute look at what is available that day, and includes filters for language, allergens, dietary choices based on religion, and food that could conflict with conditions like diabetes.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of allergens affecting students and that is our biggest concern,” said Bigart.
She said software used by the company has been certified by the Ohio Department of Education and the United States Department of Agriculture.
New emphasis has also been placed on healthier options such as sriracha dishes and salads made from scratch in-house.
“This is a cool thing and it was a good decision by the board to implement it,” said fellow board member Brett Murner. “We’re talking about some real food here.”
The website also provides a “build-a-meal” option consisting of that day’s choices and a detailed counter of calories, sugar, carbohydrates, sodium, and other nutritional factors.
If a cook has to make a last minute change to a meal, all it takes is a call to Pistanick to update the online menu and the food production records, said Bigart.
“This saves everyone a lot of time and hassle,” she said. “What took a string of phone calls before can now be accomplished in a matter of minutes.”
She said Pinanick services also provide advice that comes in handy in advance of an audit of the school.
“I was on site all day today and visited every single one of your schools,” she said. “Cooks can get really bogged down with the day-to-day stuff. There’s little things that can go unnoticed. Ranch being served right now is full of fat and not allowed in schools. If an auditor saw that they would say corrective action was needed immediately.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Katie Bigart, a representative from Pisanick Partners, speaks to the Wellington school board at a meeting on Oct. 11.