BLOOMINGTON -- Hockey players served breakfast at Bloomington Junior High School students while the Cat in the Hat whirled through Irving Elementary School’s cafeteria as students ate green eggs and ham.

It was all part of a plan to encourage healthy eating. On other days, whole grain bread, low fat milk, vegetables and fruit speak for themselves as part of new federal nutrition standards.

Irving fourth-grader Aakiah Sylvester likes eating breakfast and lunch at school and is among about 200 students who eat breakfast there every day.

“This is my favorite,” she said of the green eggs and ham.

District 87 food services director Julie McCoy said some managers worried kids wouldn’t like the healthy choices or would bring something less-healthy from home, but that hasn’t been the case.

The new menu offers leaner proteins, more fruit and low fat or skim milk. Certain foods, like bagels, are smaller, so they meet lower calorie counts.

McCoy said students’ food intake hasn’t decreased and, in fact, actually increased in some areas.

“We have to be a role model to set an example for kids” every day, she said, not just during a national healthy-food promotion in March.

Still, the push brought celebrity servers — police, firefighters and Bloomington Blaze players — mixed with daily nutrition awareness.

The federal requirements call not only for more vegetables, but for specific numbers of different types of vegetables: dark green, for example, or a type of bean.

“We do a lot of taste testing and let the students be part of it” when items are introduced, McCoy said.

“They are pretty interested in trying vegetables,” agreed Irving food manager Lucy Abbott.

Abbott said the new rules have been “no problem.”

“A lot of it is Mrs. Obama,” she said, with students taking to heart the First Lady’s encouragement to eat healthy foods and exercise.

At Irving, Abbott promotes “clean your tray,” which encourages students to eat an entire serving of fruit or vegetables. Those with a “lucky tray” win pencils, books and stuffed toys.

Brightly colored stars, which list students’ breakfast foods, hang from the ceiling.

At the junior high, sixth-grader Dylan Fosdick got an apple with his breakfast — along with an autograph from Blaze defenseman Aaron Dawson, Peoria.

At 61/2 feet and 220 pounds, it’s likely he ate his vegetables.

(8) comments


I love it

Let's introduce healthy eating with factory farmed high cholesterol fatty eggs and wash it down with some more factory farmed fatty pig flesh!

Don't forget to learn how to use the defibrillators kids.


The food in the picture doesn’t look very healthy. Not a single fruit or vegetable.


You both ( coal and ct) are so misinformed but yet still feel like you just have to say something don't you? Typical Bloomington residents.

You can't see any fruits or veggies because what you are seeing is a "HOT" foods line. Would you want your bananna served at 165 degrees? MMMM how about some nice steamy hot peaches for breakfast. I'm sure applesauce is best served so hot it burns your mouth. The "cold" line is about a foot to the left of the frame of the picture and it is FULL of fruits for breakfast. Just about any kind of fruit you could imagine. But no, you can't see it so they must not have fruits at all huh?

There is absolutly no pork in any of the meats at District 87. It is all turkey sausage. Turkey ham and so on. The eggs are a low fat "egg beaters" type product. Let me guess you never eat eggs at your house? What you ARE looking at is whole grain bagel halves and whole grain biscuit, turkey sausage patty sanwiches. Yes sounds horribly un-healthy to me. What do you two eat for dinner at home? It must be only the finest bean sprouts and tofu for you. Water to drink because even skim milk is too fatty for you.

What you both fail to notice is that in moderation anything can be good. It's not as if the children are eating 5 pound of eggs for breakfast. Yet all of you still like to blame school food for the reason your child is fat. It could not be that you let them sit in front of the TV and text all night and play their video games for hours on end after they return from school. Anything they do is fine with you so long as they aren't a bother to you.

You could both benefit by taking your children for a nice walk each day. Get them out of the house. Ooh no, it's too hot, it's too cold, I'm too busy.Iit must be the schools responsibility to raise your child for you. How about being proactive and actully visiting your childs school? I did. They have wonderful choices that are way better than any lunch I was ever served growing up.

Alas, you will still keep buying your dinners at MCDonalds, or ordering a pizza because getting involved is just too much work. You'll just blame the school system because it couldn't possibly have anythig to do with YOUR choices now could it?

The District spends 100's of 1000's of dollars each year providing fruits and vegetables to your children. Go look at the yearly spending it's all public record and free for you as a tax payer to review. Nope, once again too much work. You'll just sit in your comfy chair mad at yourself but yet blaming others because the denial is just too strong for you to come out from behind.

I could go on for ever proving you both wrong because I took the time to educate myself on the subject. I'm out of time though as I am late getting to the gym for my daily run. After that I am going to my childs school to sit down and eat a healthy lunch with them. At 3:15 I will pick them up and we shall start planning the rest of the days activities. After their homework is done of course. For you two....I think Papa John's starts delivering at 4:00PM.


I was commenting on the article.

Sadly prior school lunch programs were dreadful.
It has improved a bit, and in B/N schools there is decent funding at most for even better options, but there is still a long way to go with the federal model that calls pizza sauce french fries a vegetable, especially with the ag industry calling many shots like claiming strawberry high fructose milk is healthy with more calories are artificial additives than soda.

I would argue whether you statements are completely true though, having seen actual orders on a school board some of the items you describe are not what is typically provided through the low cost distributors. If ALL the eggs served were of the Egg Beater variety, then the school is throwing away all the typical eggs it has to order through the federal program, which makes little sense.
Nearly all the federal commodities provided are of the garbage variety; there is no whole wheat anything; all fruits are the syrup water in a can type.
Of course the local district can spend their own money to do much better, but that is not common, especially outside B/N at all the cash strapped districts.

As a silly example in one of those rural districts, once the revised federal calorie and contents guidelines went out after the start of the school year, my niece complained that the hamburgers now came with only half a bun. The school didn't change the menu or the food, they just lopped half the bun off the hamburger to comply. Of course the cooks are cornered in that they already ordered for the year.


Once again ct i don't know where you get your information from but it is wrong. the schools aren't required to take ANYTING from commodities let alone whole eggs. They do not follow any federal model that calls pizza sauce a vegetable. A slice of pizza at the schools is made with whole grain crusts and only counts as 2 bread components and 1 protein component. There is no vegetable component in any pizza served. Stop watching tv movies. The article is about BLOOMINGTON schools not others. Who cares what they serve in CA. or NY. it has zero effect on anyone here.

I am looking at a carton of the strawberry milk right now. 120 calories. Total fat, Sat. Fat. Trans Fat Cholest. ALL ZERO. There are 22g of sugar in it but is is real sugar not corn syrup. Not onr type of milk at District 87 has corn syrup in it. Where are you digging this false information up? Why don't you call the foodservice department at the Board Office and get the truth instead of spreading these falsehoods.

Once again I'm sorry for your niece but this article is about BLOOMINGTON DISTRICT 87 SCHOOLS not ruralville where ever you are talking about. If you want to complain about that school then do so. write a letter to the editor or casll the school. Disrict 87 serves complete WHOLE GRAIN hamburger buns. Yes every bread item at District 87 is WHOLE GRAIN. the new food rules say that they must be. If your school isn't following those guidelines it isn't District 87's problem. Go complain about your school after someone writes an article about it. Oh, that's right, they didn't write one now did they.

Schools do not just get their foodstuffs from the government as you say. District 87 has their own distributor. It is a main food distributor used by many other restaurants in this town. They deliver quality products that are better than most people can buy in the store. I have seen it wih my own eyes. If you would like to call me a liar i will gladly prove you wrong on any front with plenty of evidence in tow. One last thing, District 87 does not order their food a full year at a time. They get two deliveries a week yes a week. Plus two deliveries from their bread source and two deliveries a week from their milk source. Once again a simple phone call to the board office would have told all of this freely.

it is my advice to you that you either stop assuming District 87 is like all other schools. or better yet, work out something so your niece can transfer to District 87. If her health is that important to you it would be an easy choice. Or will you just continue to sit on your chair spouting things you think you know about but obviously do not.

What's next? Are you going to say that the children do not get real meat unless they all go out like hunter gatherers and kill their own cow? Geez people wake up and do some research. LAZY !!!


It sounds like you might be involved with this program and defending the ugly at all costs no matter what - probably like many who have defended the nonsense, so you can get a paycheck.

I have signed the invoices for school lunch USDA entitlement commodity orders. Those of us at the top don't have to call, lol!

So you are saying District 87 takes none of the free USDA federal entitlement commodities and pays cash out of its budget to cover the free and reduced lunch programs??
And District 87 ignores federal nutrition requirements too??
Is D87 certified compliant with the 2012-13 guidelines??

Whole grains are only required for half the menu and that is how the distributors are filling the orders- and you noted some examples. There isn't enough product in the pipeline to serve schools with 100% whole grains for 100% of their grain based items. 100% isn't required for 2 more years. Also the guidelines allow whole grain rich which means only half the grains in a product have to be whole to count as 'whole grain' which of course is silly.
It is sad that such has to be mandated at that schools were pumping out garbage before.

USDA credits tomato paste and puree based on their whole-food equivalency in the fruit/vegetable requirement, ie pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce is a vegetable.
USDA also credits potatoes on serving amounts as vegetables, including when fried/baked as french fries.

Milk has not fat in it huh, do monkeys fly too??
So you think it's a good idea to serve milk that has more sugar per oz than soda??
How about all the added salt, more than soda per ounce, good for kids too right?
As long as you get a paycheck, oh well

Go back to scrubbing pans, and heating french fries; it's all your qualified to do anyhow...


CT it is indeed sad that you have to resort to personal insults instead of just having a discussion. I am in no way affiliated with the district other than having children that attend their schools.
What ever you are at the top of I do not know. I do know it isn't anything to do with District 87 that's for sure.

District 87 does receive commodities. They are not required to take every commodity that is offered though. They do not receive whole eggs in the shell. I'm sorry if your schools do. They do not ignore the federal guidelines. They indeed have implemented many of the rules that do not have to be installed for two or more years. Is it wrong that they want to be ahead of the game? Once again, I'm sorry if your schools do not.

Every bread item is whole grain. You can believe it or not. The only thing that isn't all whole grain is the breading on some sandwich meats. That is only because the Manufacturers have not come up with one yet. As soon as they do the foodservice program switches to that product. this is all in the districts annual newsletter. Once again I'm sorry your schools were "pumping out garbage". I will agree with you that, yes, many schools are indeed doing just that. Unit 5 schools do not follow any of the guidelines and fund their own lunch program. They serve Papa John's Pizza! That's another story for another time though.

While the USDA may allow ketchup and tomato sauces to be counted as a veggie that does not mean the schools have to. District 87 does not. If there is a vegetable on the menu it is just that, corn, green beans, peas, etc.

The milk carton I was drinking out of indeed listed zero as a value for the fat content. If you have an issue with that take it up with Prairie Farms. The strawberry milk is only one option out of four kinds of milk. Skim and 1% being two of them. All milk choices are low fat 1% regardless of flavor though. I can't help the sugar content in milk. I don't think they make sugar free milk but they might. Would you rather they drink plain water? At least the milk has some sort of nutritional value to it. Once again they aren't drinking a gallon of it, they are drinking 4 ounces. The Pepsi I'm drinking has 40g of sugar in it. I'm not sure what soda has only 22g of sugar although I'm sure there may be some.

All in all I'm not really sure why you think I am only qualified to do the jobs you have listed. Are you saying that those people are some how lower than you? I know a few people that indeed do those jobs for a living and they are some of the hardest working people I know. Just because you work for some district who has poor food choices that makes you somehow better than these people? Okay. Just to set the record straight that is not what I do for a living.

Like I said before. I will agree that A LOT of schools serve bad choices through out the nation for what ever reason. Fortunately District 87 does not. I truly am sorry that your experience with your district or other districts does not meet the standards that District 87 strives for. Hopefully someday they will. I would also like to mention that as long as there is moderation you can eat healthy with out having to eat nothing but fresh fruits and veggies all day.

You can't get much healthier than fat free skim milk. Yes, there are others but you have to have products that the students will actually want to have. They are still low fat 1% options. Yes, the sugar is high but what is your alternative? One could argue that Soy Milk would be a good choice and District 87 offers that too.

You tear down every option I have listed saying it isn't true. How do you know this? You don't, you are assuming to try and keep yourself on "THE TOP". If your on so far up there then why don't you start making changes? Or, are you not quite as high as you present yourself to be? One would think that with all of your "superior than others" qualifications, you could really make things happen. Instead, you try to belittle some lady on a newspaper website. I hope you treat your employees with more respect than you do strangers.

I'll do my best to answer any other questions about this that I can. I don't pretend to know everything. I've only stated what I know and have seen with my own two eyes. I'm more than happy to discuss what I know if you can hold your insults in long enough. By the way, I worked in several restaurants through college, it wasn't that bad and it took care of the bills. I would be interested to know what field of employment you are in.

If it is school foodservice or any other foodservice position how can you describe people in your kitchen as low people. Aren't they the ones who ensure you get to keep your "Higher than others" job? I do not work any of the jobs you described but if I did I would fail to see how doing what one had to do to pay their bills and support their families makes one a lower person. You even offended me with that one. Sorry I keep bringing it up but a job does not define a person, their actions do. Your actions are not very becoming. I'm just going to write them off though due to internet "anonymity". I'm hoping in real life you are indeed a good person. I'm sure inside you are.


I have to admit a mistake I made. I misread your "per ounce" statement. Yes the sugars in a four ounce milk are indeed higher than a 12 ounce soda by 2.2 grams. I do not know what the numbers are for 1% or skim though.

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