Child Nutrition

9 months ago

Image of kids in a huddle                

Feeding Mandan’s Students



There are special people at all our schools who work each day to help improve students’ concentration, enhance classroom participation, increase test scores and keep our students healthy and ready to learn. Amazingly these people do this without even entering the classrooms.

Who are these people? We are the Nutrition Services staff at Mandan Public Schools and proud of our employees who work hard each day to provide our students with nutritious, balanced meals. On a monthly basis our kitchen staff proudly prepares and serves approximately 45,000 lunches and almost 15,000 breakfasts to our students.

Teachers tell us that well-nourished children are more eager to learn and do better in class. When we give our kids healthy food choices they learn healthier habits. Together we can make a difference and help our kids develop healthy habits for life!

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) sought to increase the availability of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals, and reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans fat to meet the nutritional needs of school children within their calorie requirements. The intent was to provide nutrient-dense meals (high in nutrients and low in calories) that better meet the dietary needs of school children and protect their health. The Act sought to improve lunches and breakfasts by requiring schools to adhere to some strict guidelines. Examples of some of those guidelines are:

·       Offer fruits and vegetables as two separate meal components

·       Offer fruit daily at breakfast and lunch

·       Offer vegetables daily at lunch including specific vegetable subgroups weekly

·       Offer whole grains: half of the grains would be whole-grain rich

·       Offer meals that meet specific calorie ranges for each age/grade group to ensure proper portion size

·       Reduce the sodium content of meals

·       Prepare meals using food products that contain zero grams of trans fat

·       Require students to select a fruit or vegetable as part of the reimbursable meal

·       Require menus to adhere to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Food on school menus must contain 30% calories from fat, less than 10% of calories from saturated fat, at least 1/3 of the RDA for key nutrients like calories, protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and C.


We understand that not every child has the same preference for food and we do have options in place to accommodate that. In elementary school, children are allowed to have a choice between different kinds of fresh fruit, canned fruit, fresh vegetables and hot vegetables each day. They have their choice of a hot entrée or boxed meal that still contains the same nutritional needs as our hot lunch. Each of these choices meets the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutritional standards we must follow.

We are required to offer five food groups at each meal. If they prefer, students only have to choose any of three of the five food group items. One requirement is that they must choose a fruit or a vegetable.

Thank you from the Mandan Public Schools Nutrition Services.

We look forward to serving your children this school year!


Becky Heinert

Director of Nutrition Services

As the motto on our office wall states:

It is our children for whom our program was established, they are

 our most important ingredient!”

2020-2021 Meal Prices

Elementary Breakfast - $0 Elementary lunch - $0 Secondary breakfast - $0 Middle School Lunch - $0 High School Lunch - $0 Adult Breakfast - $2.40 Adult lunch - $4.00 Reduced Price Breakfast - 0.00 Reduced Price Lunch - .0 Child or Adult Guest Breakfast - $2.40 Child or Adult Guest Lunch - $4.00 Milk – individual cartons - $.45 Milk for milk break - $9.00 (monthly)

Meal Charging Procedure

9 months ago

Mandan Public School District Nutrition Services Meal Charging Policy

Because good nutrition is key to the optimal growth and development of children, we make every possible attempt to reach out to parents before meal charging becomes a problem.

Parents are responsible for monitoring their children’s meal account and ensuring a positive balance in their accounts. Student lunch balances can be viewed in the parent portal in PowerSchool, or you may also set up an account by going to By setting up an account through MySchoolBucks, you can deposit money into your student’s lunch account, check their balance, or view a transaction report.

The following protocol will be used by Mandan Public School District to assist parents with their responsibility to maintain a positive balance.

·      Once a child’s balance has reached a balance below $10.00 (full price student), or $2.00 (reduced price student), an automated instant alert will go out on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. (This will be for elementary and Middle School students only. No instant alert will go out for High School students)

·      If an elementary student has a negative balance a written notice addressed to the parent will also be sent home with the student from the school secretary.

·      Middle School and High School students will be notified at the cashier stations when their accounts are low.

·      Once an account has reached a negative balance of $10.00 or below, only the second-choice meal will be offered to the student, they will not have their choice of which entrée they will receive.  It is the parent’s responsibility to monitor their child’s account.  

·      If meal charging for an individual student becomes a continuous problem, that particular student’s charge privileges may be suspended and it may create a potential report to Social Services for child neglect.  

·      Ala carte items at the High School and Middle School may only be purchased when the student’s account has a positive balance. There is no charging of ala carte items under any circumstances.

·      No adult may charge meals. Employees of the District must prepay by depositing money into their accounts before meal service.

·      Parents of elementary students who want to have lunch with their student must call the school before 10 a.m. on that particular day and pre-pay in the school office before the lunch service begins.

Free and reduced price meal applications are available at every school and will be accepted at any time during the school year. 

If you have any questions or need assistance in filling out the application please call the Director of Nutrition Services, Becky Heinert, at 701-751-6500.

Nondiscrimination Statement

9 months ago

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Lunch Program

9 months ago

Changes to our Lunch Program

You may have heard that there will be new federal requirements for school meals. Knowing what changes were likely to take place, we have gradually been making changes so it wouldn’t be such a shock to the students when the new requirements went into effect.

Fruits sliced open

Biggest Changes:

  • Students will now be required by the USDA to have ½ cup of fruit or vegetables on their tray for it to count as a full meal. Previously we encouraged students to take a fruit or vegetable but they were only required to have 3 of the 5 components on their tray, a fruit or vegetable were not required. We plan to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables daily to give the students more to select from.

  • The amount of food and calories offered at each meal will be based on three different age groups; grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Before, we only had two age groups which left some of the younger students with way too much food, and some of the older with not enough. You’ll see that on the menus, many of our items are the same, but portion sizes and recipes will be designed to meet the specific age groups.

  • We need to offer ½ cup of fruit to grades K-8 and 1 cup of fruit to grades 9-12.

  • We need to offer ¾ cup of vegetables to grades K-8 and 1 cup of vegetables to grades 9-12.

  • We are now limited as to how much meat/meat alternate (cheese, yogurt, etc.) and grains we can offer. Previously, we only had a minimum to meet, but could offer more. Now we have to stay within the specified ranges for each age group. This means main entrees may not be as large as they have been. Remember, though, that there are more fruits and vegetables available than before. We’ll have to be a little creative to make this work, but have no doubt we can make each meal something our students will enjoy.

Boy eating vegetables

USDA Changes We Have Made:

  • All grains offered (with the exception of pasta) must be whole grain rich. All grains offered meet this requirement. Pasta is mixed 50/50.

  • We must offer vegetables from the following groups each week: dark green, orange/red, beans, starchy, and other vegetables. We’ve been working towards this goal by serving fresh veggies with low-fat ranch, switching all lettuce to a higher mix of romaine & spinach, and offering beans/legumes.

  • Starting July 1st, 2014 all menus must meet USDA’s first sodium target. Working with our manufacturers we have met this target with what we feel are some very good products for our students.

  • Any foods sold in schools during the school day must be “whole grain rich” or have the first ingredient be listed as a fruit, vegetable, a dairy product, a protein food, or be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit or vegetable. The school day is considered 12:01am until one half-hour after the last bell.

How You Can Help:

  • Encourage your children to try new things at home and school.

  • Join your child for lunch and/or breakfast.

  • If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!

Thank you, we look forward to serving our students of the Mandan Public Schools a good and nutritious meal each and every school day!