Food Policy

Balanced Healthy Lunch From Home Guidelines

Your student’s lunch should have the following items to be considered balanced. The following portions are served as part of the National School Lunch Program guidelines. Namaste staff has your child’s best interest in mind and reserve the right to substitute any items your child brings from home with a Namaste alternative. Thank you for supporting your child’s health!

  • 2 servings (2 oz.) of whole grains – for example: whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain tortilla 

  • 1 serving (2oz.) protein – for example: lean meat, tofu, beans, lentils

  • 1 serving (1/2 c., 4oz.) fruit – for example: apple, banana, grapes, berries

  • 1 serving (3/4 c., 6 oz. vegetables – for example:  carrot sticks, cucumber slices, broccoli florets, tomato slices,     red or green pepper

  • Water or Plain Milk (8 oz.) to drink – (100% juice, 8 oz, and less than 120 calories is OK)

All lunches brought from home must have a whole grain, protein, fruit, and vegetable in order to create a balanced lunch. Any product containing high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar above 10g,  sodium above 200mg (for sides), or above 200 calories (for sides) is NOT allowed.

The following are examples of items NOT allowed:

  • Fruit-flavored gummy snacks (100% dried fruit is OK without added sugar)

  • Snacks with over 10 grams of sugar such as cookies, cakes, sweets, and candy

  • Lunchables 

  • Fried foods

  • High sodium snacks and chips including baked chips and cheez-its

  • Fruit flavored drinks, energy drinks, soda, or Gatorade 

  • Fruit cups packed in syrup (Fruit in water or juice is OK)

Peanuts are NOT allowed at Namaste due to students with severe allergies.  Students may come into contact with a student who consumed peanuts and have an allergic reaction. Please avoid bringing foods with peanuts. 

Approved Snack List

  • Fruit smoothies (made with frozen fruit with no added sugar and fat-free or low fat yogurt) 

  • Fresh fruit – trays, salads or kabobs 

  • Fresh vegetables – trays, salads or kabobs 

  • Fat-free or low fat yogurt

  • Yogurt parfaits (fat-free or low fat yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal or granola as topping) 

  • Dried fruit with no added sugar 

  • Soy butter (serve with fruit, whole grain crackers, or whole grain bread)

  • Baked whole grain tortilla chips with salsa or bean dip  

  • Bean quesadillas or burritos made with whole grain tortillas with salsa 

  • Whole grain cereal bars 

  • Trail mix made of  seeds and dried fruit

  • Whole grain crackers or graham crackers

  • Low-fat cheese (serve with fruit or whole grain crackers) 

  • Hummus (serve with vegetables or whole grain crackers) 

  • Small whole grain waffles or pancakes topped with fruit or nut or seed butter 

  • Whole grain pretzels (soft or crunchy) 

  • Low-fat or air-popped popcorn (no added butter or salt) 

  • Roll-ups on whole grain tortillas (fill with a lean protein such as turkey and cheese)

  • Hummus, nut or seed butter and jelly or vegetables

Please visit: https://www.healthiergeneration.org/take_action/schools/snacks_and_beverages/smart_snacks/alliance_product_calculator/ to see if snack meets the USDA’s Smart Snacks in School Nutrition Standards. 

If you have any questions about how to pack a healthier, balanced lunch, please contact Mr. Turpin at rturpin@namastecharterschool.org