For your health: AAFES offers new healthy choices in school lunches

Students are finding new healthy school cafeteria choices on bases in Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Turkey provided by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

“The Exchange will be serving healthy meals for DoD schools that meet new federal nutrition standards, ensuring that the meals are well-balanced and provide students all the nutrition they need to succeed at school,” said Al Tagab, senior restaurant program specialist for the Exchange’s Europe Region. School meals offer students milk, fruits, vegetables, meat, a meat alternative and grains, and they must meet strict limits for calories and saturated fat.

“We’re always working to offer students in the Europe Region healthier, tastier choices. Capt. Kate Schrumm, registered dietician with the Exchange Headquarters in Dallas, Texas, provides us direct guidance and expertise to ensure menus offered meet all United States Department of Agriculture nutrition standards,” said Tagab.

A few new selections students will see this fall include black bean quesadillas, chicken parmesan, turkey hot dogs and frozen fruit juice swirl cups, Tagab added.

  • Starting this fall, school lunches will meet additional standards requiring:
  • age-appropriate calorie range
  • larger servings of vegetables and fruits (students must take at least one serving of a fruit or vegetable)
  • a wider variety of vegetables, including legumes, dark green and red/orange varieties
  • fat-free or one-percent milk (flavored milk must be fat-free)
  • more whole grains
  • less sodium

Other changes for the school lunch program in the fall include a new Meal Payment Plus Application that allows parents to track their child’s school lunch balance. The Meal Pay Plus site where parents paid for their children’s school lunch has been changed to My Meal Payment Plus and can now be found at The old Meal Pay Plus site address automatically defaults to the new address.

As an option to paying their children’s balance online, parents can also go to any main Exchange customer service. To find out more about the school meals served by the Exchange, log onto, go to Community Info at the bottom of the page and click on school lunch program. (Courtesy of AAFES-Europe Public Affairs)