Eden Prairie Schools’ Food Service offers well-balanced, healthy meals meeting federal nutrition standards. A few facts about school meals:
- No more than 30% of calories come from fat, less than 10% from saturated fat.
- Meals provide 1/3 of Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium.
- Age-appropriate portion sizes.
- Fruits/vegetables are offered every day.
- Salad bars provide locally sourced produce when available.
- Breads baked daily in the full bakery at the EPHS.
School Nutrition programs are working to make healthy meals kid-friendly by:
- Making homemade soups and sauces and some dressings in our central kitchen.
- Testing items to get student views on what we are serving or thinking about serving.
- Reformulating student favorites to make them more healthy, such as serving pizza on whole grain bread with low-sodium sauce and low-fat cheese.
- Using oat bran in all our bread recipes to make them a whole grain product.
- Incorporating culturally appropriate foods to meet the tastes of our diverse student populations and provide alternative foods for students with dietary restrictions and allergies.
Food companies are responding to calls for more nutritious options by reformulating processed foods with healthier ingredients, less fat, less sodium, and less sugar. For example, pizzas are increasingly made with whole grain crusts, low-sodium sauce and reduced fat cheese; chicken nuggets use a whole grain breading and are baked rather than deep-fried; and french fries are often without trans fat and baked instead of fried. Many schools are now serving baked sweet potato fries.
Eden Prairie Schools offers skim, 1%, and skim chocolate milk. According to the USDA, 70% of girls and 60% of boys (ages 6-11) do not consume the recommended daily amount of calcium. Experts agree that to ensure intake of calcium, vitamin D, protein and other nutrients important for growth and development, it is better for children and adolescents to drink flavored milk than to avoid milk all together which is why chocolate milk is offered as an option. Flavored milk delivers the same nutrient package as regular milk and 2005 Dietary Guidelines state that small amounts of sugars added to nutrient-dense foods, such as reduced-fat milk products, may enhance the taste, thus improving nutrient intake without contributing excessive calories.
Farm to School
Nationwide, farm to school programs connect schools with local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing health and nutrition education opportunities that will last a lifetime, and supporting local small farmers.
Our average Health Inspection score for school year 2017-18 was 97.05. Every school's individual inspection report is posted in each kitchen.
Food and Nutrition Resources
The Minnesota Nutrition Council, Inc. and Midwest Dairy has developed a resource list of websites and books for use with consumer audiences. (The content of these sites is not controlled by the Eden Prairie School District.) Click on areas below for more detail:
- General Websites and Children Specific Websites
- Adult Nutrition Books
- Childrens' Nutrition Books
- Welcome to the dairy Farm
- Farm to School
School district staff works to protect specific children from potential food allergies.
Many children in the district have life threatening allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. Child nutrition staff will label manufactured food that have the peanut and tree nut warning at the elementary level.
It is important to note that many food items that are served including buns, bread, cookies and cakes are made in our school district bakery. Peanut butter sandwiches are also made at each school on a regular basis.
Food service staff clean and sanitize all items that have any potential for cross contamination with peanut or tree nut products. This process is an effort to prevent any potential risk for our students with these life threatening allergies.
Families may need to provide lunch from home if this slight possibility is a concern for their student.
RRoushar@edenpr.org or (952) 975-8051
KTreptow@edenpr.org or (952) 975-8053
Recycling Food Waste Saves District Money
The process for recycling and trash removal is as follows: All our trash and recycling, after we sort it, is taken to a sorting station in Minneapolis where it is sorted again. The trash is burned in an incinerator and the energy is used to heat Target Field and many office building in the Minneapolis area. Learn more about how it works!
Waste Management System
The system to manage waste at Eden Prairie Schools consists of garbage, cardboard recycling, food and beverage container recycling (cans, glass, plastics), food donation, and food waste recycling by feeding it to livestock. At the schools, compactors and dumpsters are dedicated to garbage; loose cardboard is baled for recycling; food and beverage containers (cans, glass, plastic) are collected in barrels for recycling; edible excess food is set aside for food donation; and food waste is collected in barrels for livestock feeding.
Livestock Feeding Program
Eden Prairie Schools uses Barthold Farms, a network of family farms that recycle food waste from commercial waste generators in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The farms recycle food waste by cooking it and feeding it to hogs.
Food waste is generated in two areas of the school district's food service operation:
- At the Nutrition Center located in the Eden Prairie High School where food for district-wide meals are prepared, cooked, chilled and temporarily stored before delivery to all district schools.
- At the cafeteria in each school where food is prepared and meals are served to students and staff.
The district's livestock feeding program is integrated into the Nutrition Center's food service operation at Eden Prairie High School:
- Barthold Farms provides the high school with food waste collection barrels to collect food waste for recycling. These barrels have a capacity of 32 gallons and have lids and wheels. Full and empty collection barrels are temporarily stored inside the shipping and receiving area next to the high school's loading dock.
- Each weekday morning the Nutrition Center fills "cold carts" with chilled and packaged food cooked the previous day. Cold carts keep the food cold as it is being delivered to schools on two district-owned delivery trucks. When the cold carts arrive at the schools, food service employees heat and serve the food for lunch.
- During the lunch periods, food waste is separated into collection barrels by students and staff in the school cafeterias. Full collection barrels are temporarily staged at the school loading docks.
- After lunch has been served, empty cold carts and full food waste collection barrels are picked up at the schools and transported back to the high school. Empty cold carts are returned to the Nutrition Center and full food waste collection barrels are consolidated at the high school's loading dock.
- Barthold Farms picks up full collection barrels five days a week at the high school.
Eden Prairie Schools diverts an average of 10-15 tons of food waste per month to livestock feeding.
By managing the food waste generated separately from its garbage stream, Eden Prairie Schools saves on its trash hauling and disposal costs.
In addition to cost savings, Eden Prairie Schools has experienced other benefits because the food waste it generates is managed separately from its garbage stream:
- Improved workers safety because heavy garbage bags no longer need to be lifted into garbage dumpsters.
- Improved labor efficiencies because of fewer employee trips to empty garbage into compactors and dumpsters.
- Increased cleanliness of operations due to elimination of liquid waste from the garbage stream.
- Reduction in odor due to elimination of food waste from the garbage stream.
- Reduction in the use and maintenance of in-sink garbage disposals.
- Improved inventory management because food waste is separate and more visible to food service employees.
All school districts that participate in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs are required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (Act) to have a wellness policy that includes standards and nutrition guidelines for foods and beverages made available to students on campus during the school day, as well as, specific goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that to promote student wellness. The Act requires the involvement of parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators, and the public in the development, implementation, and periodic review and update of the wellness policy.
The district's wellness policy (533) can be viewed under District Policies in the 500 series.
Wellness Nutrition Summary Wellness Summary
Child Nutrition Presentation-Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act-Breakfast and lunch meal pattern requirements.
The Wellness Advisory Committee partnering with administration and Hennepin County Public Health to increase the use of Mindfulness and Movement in our schools. Mindfulness and Movement Summary
Committee Agendas and Meeting Minutes
- January 28, 2021 Wellness Meeting Minutes
- February 18, 2020 Wellness Meeting Minutes
- November 12, 2019 Wellness Meeting Minutes
- November 12, 2019 Agenda
- September 17, 2019 Wellness Meeting Minutes
- September 17, 2019 Agenda
- May 14, 2019 Agenda
- May 14, 2019 Wellness Meeting Minutes
- April 18, 2017 Agenda
- April 24, 2018 Wellness Meeting Minutes
- April 24, 2018 Agenda
- May 16, 2017 Agenda
- May 16, 2017 Minutes Wellness Meeting
- October 17, 2017 Agenda
- October 17, 2017 Minutes Wellness Meeting
- November 14, 2017 Agenda
- November 14, 2017 Minutes Wellness Meeting
- January 9,2018 Agenda
- January 9, 2018 Minutes Wellness Meeting
- March 13, 2018 Agenda
- March 13, 2018 Minutes Wellness Meeting
- May 8, 2018 Agenda
- May 8, 2018 Minutes Wellness Meeting
- September Agenda Wellness Meeting
- September 18,2018 Wellness Mtg Minutes
- November Agenda 2018
- November 13, 2018 Minutes Wellness Meeting
- What is the schedule for school meal pick up days?
- What if I am unable to pick up meals?
- What is included in the meals?
- Only district with an in-house bakery
- Farm fresh
- Cook & chill: Scratch cooking delivered safely to your school
- Another EP first: Rotisserie chicken
Eden Prairie Schools Child Nutrition is in a class of its own with its full-service production bakery housed at Eden Prairie High School. We are the only school district in Minnesota with a dedicated, central bakery that serves all of our schools. That means we do not need to add preservatives! Breads, buns and baked goods are made fresh daily. We're currently experimenting to prepare homemade baked goods that do not contain gluten.
Fresh-baked items include: Hamburger buns, hot dog buns, submarine sandwich buns, tea biscuits, bread loaves, French bread, focaccia, bread bowls, cookies, fruit crisps, breakfast baked items and homemade granola.
Our gluten-sensitive products include pound cake and a chocolate chip cookie currently being tested at the high school. We are developing our own blend of gluten-free flour made from ingredients such as rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour. People with gluten allergies should know that our gluten-sensitive products are made on the same equipment as our regular baked goods.
Eden Prairie Schools works with local farms and vendors to source many of the foods that we serve. This is part of our meal planning and we're always looking for more ways to bring fresh foods to our tables.
Our fruit and vegetable suppliers source local produce as much as possible. We also work directly with growers and farmers for our apples and cheese:
- Whole apples come from Bayfield Farm and Orchard, Wisconsin
- Pre-packaged apples are from Richland Hills Farms, Wisconsin
- Cheese is from Bongards Premium Cheese, Wisconsin
Child Nutrition staff in the production kitchen at Eden Prairie High School cook from scratch each day our soups, sauces and several entrées. Using our cook and chill system, these are packaged and refrigerated for next-day delivery to each of our district schools. Here's what's made fresh when it's served in school:
- All soups served in Eden Prairie Schools
- Spaghetti sauce (our most popular menu item; we hand-make more than 12,000 gallons of sauce annually)
- Sloppy Joe
- Taco meat (beef)
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Turkey gravy
- Ranch salad dressing
Eden Prairie Schools is one of the few school districts in the nation to prepare our own rotisserie chicken on two large rotisserie ovens in our production kitchen. Child Nutrition staff prepare fresh chicken for same-day serving. We control the seasonings and leave out additives by overseeing each step of the rotisserie cooking process.
After the last day of school for seniors (May 25) the remaining Food Service account balance of any senior who has sibling(s) actively enrolled in Eden Prairie Schools will be transferred to the next-oldest sibling's account. For the remaining seniors, an email will be sent to the parents listing the options for refunds.
Do I have to sign up for meals for the days when my child is at school?
No, the sign up forms are only for meals that are brought home. Food Service does not need advance notice that your children are getting a school breakfast or lunch when they are at their school.
How does my child get the free USDA program meals when s/he is at school?
Students go through the line as usual; the only difference is the account is charged for a zero-cost meal. This is the case for all K-1 and hybrid learners when they are at their school.
How will we know when the program ends?
The USDA program will run through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. If there are changes in our program we will let the parents know via email and Portal inbox. Please make sure the email address in your Parent Portal account is correct.
What is in a lunch that qualifies for the free USDA program?
A complete lunch (aka “reimbursable” lunch) consists of at least three of five components: protein/grain (usually the entrée), fruit, vegetable, and milk. One of the choices must be a fruit or vegetable. They can get all five components if they wish; the minimum is three.
Does my child have to take milk for it to be considered a meal?
No, he/she does not need to take milk as long as he/she has three of the five required food items.
Are there things that are okay under the program (sandwiches, milk, etc.) and others that are not (ice cream, etc.) or is there a not-to-exceed limit matching the current lunch price?
Only a full meal which has all the components will be free. All other purchases such as a second lunch or an a la carte purchase such as a milk or a yogurt cone will be at their regular prices.
If breakfast and lunch is free, why do my children have to go to the cashier to have their barcode scanned?
Recording the transactions allows us to track and claim the meals to be reimbursed.
Don’t kindergarten students already get free breakfasts?
The State of Minnesota does have a program so that all kindergarten students get free breakfast; however we are currently using the USDA program.
How do I know if my child received a free meal?
A record of the student’s account including their purchases and balance can be viewed in the Parent Portal. Click on Food Service, then the child’s name.
My child was charged for lunch; why wasn’t it free?
The USDA program and Free/Reduced-Price Meal Benefits cover only complete meals consisting of at least three of five components: protein/grain (usually the entrée), fruit, vegetable, and milk. If your child just got the entrée or made other a la carte choices, the cost would be charged to his/her account. At the high school, students can ask for a “combo meal” at the grille lines to help ensure they receive a complete meal. They can also get a complete meal at Campus Cuisine.
Why was my high school student told they could not get food items?
If the student’s account balance was not enough to cover the price of an a la carte item, the cashier will let them know they cannot make that purchase. However, the student can still get a complete meal. Yogurt cones and a la carte items at Eagle Grille, American Grille and Prairie Grounds Coffee Shop are not covered by the USDA program.
Do I need to put money in my children’s accounts if meals are free?
At this point you do not need to put funds in your children's accounts as long as they are only getting the free meals. If you wish to allow them to purchase a la carte items, you will need to have funds in their account.
Why am I getting emails saying that the balance in my child’s account is low?
Emails are automatically sent every Tuesday and Friday afternoon when the account is at a balance of $10 or below.
How do I put money in my children’s account?
There are step by step instructions on the Child Nutrition page of the district website; see the Student Meal Accounts tab under Meal Accounts, Prices and Payments, below.
Who do I make a check to if I'm sending a check with my child?
Checks should be made payable to Eden Prairie School District.
I made an online deposit into my child’s account; why is there a $3 fee?
One-time electronic payments have a $3 fee no matter what type of card or account is used. If you set up recurring payments there is the same $3 fee on the first transaction and no fee for subsequent transactions.
Where do I find the menus and nutrition information?
You can find the menus online at https://schools.mealviewer.com/district/EdenPrairieISD272,MN.
If you hover your mouse over an item the nutrition information will show in a pop-up. You can also download the MealViewer app to your mobile phone.
Is this free breakfast and lunch program a whole separate program with a predetermined box lunch of some sort that would be picked up and eaten at school?
No. It is the regular menu items that are shown on our menus.
My family does not drink milk; can we decline the milk?
You can decline the milk when picking up meals.
My child is enrolled in EP Online; how do I sign up for meals?
Links to the Google forms are located at the top of this page; look under How do I request meals for day pick up? or How do I request meals for late afternoon pick up?
How do I pick up meals for my children?
Pick up is at the East Entrance (door #13) of Eden Prairie High School. Park and come inside the first set of doors. There will be signs directing you where to enter and exit.
Can I get meals for my child who is not an EPSD student?
Yes, it is available to all children under the age of 18 and Tassel students. This includes children that are not yet school-aged.
If the take-home meals are in a meal box, what is the typical lunch food/drink included?
The virtual learning meals are put in bags and include milk. You can find what we are offering under the Grab & Go menu on your school menu.
What if you only need lunch but not breakfast?
For take-home meals both breakfast and lunch will be included. On-site students may choose either breakfast and/or lunch.
My child has allergies, what steps do I need to take regarding the Grab & Go meals that go home with students?
If this is a new student or a new allergy, start with the school nurse. If it is an already documented allergy, contact your school nutrition manager.
Can I choose a no meat option in the distance learning meals for my child?
If we have a doctor’s note on file stating the need for no meat in your child’s diet, then we would provide an option. Contact your school nutrition manager. If it is a diet preference, we are not offering choices at this time. We do have some vegetarian options in the meal plan. In order for us to streamline our meals service we do group all our meals together.
What are you doing to promote healthy meals?
We were awarded an (AGRI) Rapid Response Farm to School grant to promote local produce and products this year. Each month we have students both on site and distance learning try local produce, products or bakery made items with local rye and wheat flours. In September, we sampled local fresh green beans from Axdahl Farms (Stillwater, MN). In addition, we are promoting each food group, green beans, milk, citrus, legumes and rye. You can find more information on the Child Nutrition page of the district website under Nutrition Resources>Child Nutrition Corner>Farm to School Highlights 2020-2021.
If you have a question that isn't covered here, please contact us at FoodService_Office@edenpr.org.
Eden Prairie Schools’ Child Nutrition Department is working to ensure our students receive safe, nutritious school meals, whether students are attending class in-person, online or in a hybrid model.
- Food safety is our top priority. Whether meals are served in school or at a pick-up location, school meal preparation is conducted in strict adherence with federal, state and local food safety regulations.
- CDC and FDA procedures are in place to protect school nutrition staff and the students they serve, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment, additional cleaning of food preparation and service areas, and regular training on proper hygiene practices and food safety measures.
The food service staff will place the food on the students trays if the food is not pre-wrapped or packaged. Students can self-select packaged items as long as they do not touch multiple items at once. We have created signs that say “Touch One, Take One” to help educate the students.
We have changed to a touchless point-of-sale system. Students will no longer use a keypad to enter PINs. Student PINs remain the same but they are now used as barcodes that the cashiers will scan. For grades K-8, the cashier will have a class sheet with barcodes next to the students’ names, and he/she will scan the barcode for each student and their meal will be charged. For students at the high school their PIN barcode will be attached to the back of their student ID, and they will hold the ID up to the scanner and their meal will be charged. Students' Food Service PIN barcodes are also part of their home screen of the Student Portal.
- Floor stickers are in the cafeteria to remind students to practice social distancing while in line.
Eden Prairie Schools has a computerized meal system called Infinite Campus. Each student is assigned a personal identification number (PIN) that corresponds to their individual meal account. Deposits to meal accounts (cash or check) can be sent to school with students any day of the week for any amount. Please make checks payable to Eden Prairie School District. Or funds can be deposited online through your parent portal account on a one-time or recurring basis. Funds remaining in the account at the end of the school year will carry over to the following year. Parents can log into the parent portal through Infinite Campus to access their student’s meal account and view cafeteria purchases.
Please remember that meal accounts are not intended to be a charge account. Parents/guardians will be notified by e-mail when the account balance is $10 or less on Tuesdays and Fridays after 4 p.m. through Infinite Campus. Parents/guardians may set up reminder parameters in the parent portal by choosing the recurring payment method. You must check your parent portal account often if you do not choose to set up recurring payments.
If you wish to place a daily spending limit on your child's meal account or limit what items can be purchased, please call your school's cashier.
Adding Funds to Your Student's Meal Account Online
The district uses the online system in the Parent Portal for parents to add funds to student meal accounts. (Fees for activities, sports, and transportation are paid through Fee Pay.) You must check your parent portal account often if you do not choose to set up recurring payments.
The Food Service tool allows parents access to the following food service information:
- Current account balances
- Transactions (food item purchases, account deposits of cash, check and credit card, when enabled)
- Account history (historical transaction records)
The tool can also be used to add funds to students’ accounts on either a one-time or recurring basis. The first step is to set up a payment method (credit/debit card or e-check). One-time payments do incur a fee; recurring payments incur a fee the first transaction, but not the subsequent transactions.
Adding money to a Food Service account (one-time):
- Select Pay.
- Enter the amount you want to add in the Amount field. If a box is not available for you to enter an amount, the account may not be active and you may need to contact your school.
- Select Add to Cart.
- Select My Cart. The Checkout Screen displays.
- Select the Payment Method you want to use.
- Select Submit Payment.
Automatically adding money to a Food Service account (recurring):
- Select Recurring Payments.
- Select a Frequency Option: Monthly or Low Balance and set the required dates and amounts.
- Select the Payment Method you want to use.
- Select Save.
If you need help logging into the Parent Portal, please call the parent helpline at 952-975-7094. If you have questions regarding Food Service please contact FoodService_Office@edenpr.org or call 952-975-8050.
Students in grades K-8 who have more than two unpaid meals, and students in grades 9-12 who have more than one unpaid meal will be notified by automated phone call, phone call from a staff member, email or a letter home. Eden Prairie Schools will make reasonable efforts to contact families. Non-district employees (i.e. volunteers) will not be involved in efforts to collect unpaid meals. Lack of payment will not demean or stigmatize any student participating in the lunch program.
Families can add funds to their students account through Parent Portal. Families are encouraged to apply for free or reduced-price lunch benefit (see tab in this section above). Applications are confidential and not shared with anyone who does not need to know.
- 7-12: $2.05
- Adult: $2.25
- Second Breakfast: $2.30
- PreK-6: $3.00
- 7-12: $3.35
- Adult: $4.00
- Second lunch: $3.70
- Additional milk: $0.55
All menu items are also available a la carte. Prices for individual menu items are available from the cashier. A la carte items and Mega Bites (an extra entrée) do not qualify as free/reduced price lunch options. A student’s account is charged the full price of the item(s) purchased. Parents of students (and siblings) who visit for lunch and purchase a meal must pay full-price, even if the student receives free/reduced priced lunch benefits.
Your children may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. You may submit a printed or online application. A NEW APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED EACH SCHOOL YEAR unless you have received notice that your child(ren) have been approved through direct certification for the current school year. Your application could open the door to more benefits including discounts on internet access, sports fees, AP testing fees and college application fees.
The online application can be accessed through the Parent Portal. Once logged in, click on More, then Meal Benefits in the left sidebar. (Note that to complete the application online it is necessary to allow pop-ups in your web browser.)
The application is also available to download, print and submit via mail or drop off at any school office.
- Applications for the 2020-2021 school year:
A letter approving/denying benefits will be mailed to your home address after the application has been processed. It is the parent's responsibility to have money on the student's meal account until the application has been approved.
If you have questions, please call 952-975-8055.
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.
Minimum Price for Adults and Other Non-Program Meals
School nutrition programs funds may not subsidize non-program meals. Meals that are served to adults (and any non-reimbursable meals such as second lunches) must be priced high enough so that the cost of these meals is fully paid for by the customer.
At a minimum, the meal charge must be equal to the full amount of reimbursements received for a student free meal including the cost for lunches and the value of commodities.
Breakfast consists of the following food components:
- Fruits (or vegetable substitutions)
- Grains or optional meat/meat alternatives such as yogurt
Students at any grade level must select at least three components (one food item may count as two components, e.g. pancakes). One of the choices selected must be at least a 1/2 cup serving of fruit or vegetable.
All kindergarten students can eat breakfast at no charge.
Eden Prairie School District Child Nutrition Office maintains an Angel Fund at each site that is funded by donations. The Angel Fund gives our community an opportunity to share with those in need right in our own school district. The funds are used to assist families in our community that need assistance paying for meals for their children. Donations can come from individuals, businesses and charitable foundations.
Many families donate the balance left in a student's account when they graduate or leave the district. Every bit helps! You may designate the site you would like your donation to go to. Donations may be sent to the Child Nutrition Office at 17185 Valley View Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55346.
Thank you for your help in supporting our students.