Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find ingredient and allergy information?
All of Preferred Meals product specifications are provided to the school and should be available through the school for parent review. Because our menus vary from school to school, it is best to contact them directly to compare actual item codes with the product specification sheets which include ingredients and allergen information. We try very hard to keep products constant, but instances do arise when we need to make a substitution because of vendor shortages. It is important to note that the best source for accurate information will be the actual labels on the cases of product at the schools. We try very hard to keep products constant, but instances do arise when we need to make a substitution because of vendor shortages.
My child can’t drink milk, is there another option?
The National School Meal Program requires milk to be served as part of every meal, however, if you submit a doctor’s note to your child’s school, they may be able to make a substitution. In addition, the school allows access to water at all meals per NSLP regulations. If you have further questions about accommodating a milk allergy contact the staff at your school for further guidance.
Are these meals healthy? Do meals served follow certain nutritional regulations?
Almost all of the schools that we provide meals to participate in the USDA’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) to receive funding for the meals served to students. Different levels of reimbursement are provided depending on a student’s eligibility for a Free, Reduced-Price or Paid meal which is determined at the school by application.
In order to receive funding, schools must follow strict requirements including limitations on Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, Calories and Sodium. In addition, lunches served each day must include required amounts of Protein, Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables and Milk. A variety of vegetables from certain subgroups including Dark Green Leafy, Red/Orange and Legumes (dried peas and beans) are required each week.
Daily breakfast requirements include two servings of Grains, Fruit and Milk. Protein may be substituted occasionally for one of the grains at breakfast. For more information on school meal programs, visit: http://www.fns.usda.gov/child-nutrition-programs
With items like pizza, chicken nuggets and hotdogs, how can your meals be healthy?
Even though our menu items may sound like the popular restaurant versions, they are very different. Our meals are specially formulated to be lower in fat, sodium and sugar and higher in fiber to be in compliance with federal regulations for school meals. We use lean protein, low fat cheeses and all of our grains are whole grain rich. Because fat, sodium and sugar are some of the ingredients that are used in restaurants, and even at home to make food taste good, students may not be accustomed to the taste. So when you see pizza on the menu, it’s not your typical pizzeria pizza. Our version has a whole grain crust, ¼ cup of red/orange vegetable and low fat cheese. Our nuggets, chicken products and “fries” are baked, not fried and all breading is whole grain. Our hot dogs are made with lean beef, chicken and turkey and served on a whole grain bun. And all entrees are served with fruit, vegetables and low-fat milk.
It will take some time for students to get used to the taste of these meals. Encouragement from home and school will help students learn to make healthier choices.
Do your meals contain pork?
As a rule, Preferred Meals does not menu pork on our menu. Items that are typically made with pork such as sausage, ham and pepperoni are made with Turkey or Beef on our menus.
If by chance we have a pork item, it will be designated as such with a symbol on our www.preferredmealsmenu.com website.
Why doesn’t the nutrition information on the milk carton match the nutrition report on the menu website?
Nutrition information and menus are planned using a blended estimate of milk choices served in schools. For individual milk nutrients consult actual labels on cartons served at the school.
How can I make a payment to my child’s account or sign up for meals?
All payments and student accounts are maintained directly through the school. Please contact your school office or school foodservice staff for payment options.
I can’t find my school on the preferredmealsmenu.com website.
If you are having difficulty accessing your school on preferredmealsmenu.com, please let us know by writing us at email@example.com. Please include the name of your school and district and the state where it is located. We will get back to you with instructions for locating your school’s menu.
How do I print or save the menu on the preferredmealsmenu.com website?
Monthly menus may be printed from the preferredmealsmenu.com website by selecting a date during the month you would like to print in the calendar on the right hand side of the page, then choose which meal you would like to print (Breakfast, Lunch, Snack or Dinner) from the dropdown box on the right hand side of the page. Check the box above the dropdown if you would also like to print the nutritional information. Click the green “Print This Menu” button and the entire month will display.
For example: If you would like to print the November Lunch menu, using the arrow keys on the calendar, scroll to the month of Novemer, then click on a day in the month to display a week during November on the main screen. Choose “Lunch” from the dropdown box, then click “Print This Menu” to display the menu. Menus will display 75 days from the present date.
If you have Adobe installed on your computer, you may save the menu to your computer after the menu is displayed by choosing “print”, then change the printer in the printer dropdown box to Adobe PDF. You will then choose the location where you want to save the menu.
I have a different problem with the preferredmealsmenu.com website.
If you are experiencing a different problem with the preferredmealsmenu.com, please describe the problem in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know the name of your school, district, and the state where it is located. We will get back to you with a resolution to the issue.