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What is a Healthy Meal?

At Three O'clock Project, we work hard to ensure all our partners are getting a healthy meal for their after school or summer programs. But what exactly is our definition of healthy?

All of our meals must meet the USDA's definition, which is a whole grain, vegetable, fruit, protein and milk. This is considered a "meal pattern" and all of our meals served must meet these minimums (including portion sizes).

However, we like to be overachievers and ensure our partners are getting the absolute best meals for the kids in their care. We work with healthy meal vendors across Louisiana to provide daily, fresh meals with high quality ingredients. Our meals come with fresh (not canned) vegetables and whole or sliced fruit. Often we provide two types of veggie or fruit choices, since we know we live in a world of picky eaters!

To us, healthy = fresh, whole, colorful, visually appealing, and well rounded. We want kids to have consistency in their diets, and see vegetables and fruit on every plate at every meal.

For an actual breakdown of what our healthy supper meal looks like, look no further! Below are the minimum requirements, according to USDA.

MILK | 1 cup of fat free or 1%

PROTEIN | 2 oz

VEGGIE | 1/2 cup [TOP often offers two veggie choices]

FRUIT | 1/4 cup [TOP has 1/2 cup minimum]

GRAIN | 1 oz [TOP must be whole grain]

Does this mimic what you serve at home? Would you like to see sample menu items that we serve on a daily basis? Comment below and let us know!



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