My JRCS » Lunch & Snacks

Lunch & Snacks

Lunch and Snack Guidelines:

During the school day, the children at Juniper Ridge will take a mid-morning break for snack and another break mid-day for lunch. Students eat in their classrooms with their teachers. Each student is required to bring a nutrient rich snack to school each day. Families may also want to pack their children a lunch each or utilize the Lunch Lizard program (information is below).  We do not have the facilities to prepare or refrigerate school lunches. Parents are asked to pack meals with thought given to the health and growing needs of children. Healthy, well balanced meals provide essential nutrition for their brains and bodies to perform optimally. We encourage that every morning you give your children a nourishing protein-rich breakfast as a foundation for the work of the day. A hungry child makes a poor learner. Please send with your children a healthy snack and a nourishing lunch. Leave candy and sugar-filled snacks at home as an after-school treat.  Hot water will be available in the classrooms for children bringing instant soups.

Make sure that your teacher is aware of any food allergies, intolerances and restrictions. Students are fascinated by what comes in the lunch baskets of their classmates and there is often an active and lively trading (even when it is discouraged by the teacher). Children with adverse reactions to some foods have been known to experiment, not always to their advantage. Please inform your teachers of any dietary issues.

As a rule, please send snacks and lunches that do not require heating up. Although many classrooms have a microwave, there is not enough time for students to heat lunches up. Imagine a class of 25 children, 15 of them requiring use of the microwave for one minute each. Lunch is already a scant 20 minutes long. Teachers have recess duty and cannot remain behind with children who have not finished (or begun) their lunch. We may not leave children unattended in the classroom. Please help us to avoid this no-win scenario by sending lunches that do not require heating.

Be mindful that as your child grows older, appetites can suddenly increase. It is not uncommon for children who could barely finish their lunch suddenly begin to eat both snack and lunch at snack time. A good rule of thumb is to pack enough food so that something will come home. If you are seeing an empty lunch bag after school, ask your child if you should be packing more food.

Some families have their children pack their own lunches. If this is your practice, it is essential to monitor what you child is packing. Too often, children who pack their own food come with too little or inappropriate choices of foods.

Lunch Lizard Program:

Juniper Ridge had been able to team up with the SD51 Lunch Lizard program to provide nutritional lunches for students. Thanks to the State of Colorado all children are able to eat lunch from the program free of charge. Please be aware that this does not extend to ala carte items, including extra milk.

Click this link to access the menus offered each month.

Juniper Ridge Lunch Lizard Menu

The Lunch Lizard menu will not be updated for the last two weeks of May. Below is the May menu for the last two weeks of Lunch Lizard operation for the 23-24 school year.

From the Lunch Lizard Manager:
"Please inform your students what is on the menu for these dates, as the online menu will not reflect the correct items.
The last day of lunch lizard will be sack lunches. These will greatly consist of PB&J's but I will have a limited number of lunch meat sliders. Students who have recorded peanut butter or strawberry allergies will be first priority to receive a slider."
Lunch Lizard Summer Schedule
Lunch Lizard will be operating throughout the summer, starting on June 3rd. This year, they are offering a breakfast option through June. Please note the dates and times of service! Lunch Lizard follows the normal lunch schedule for Juniper Ridge (Monday through Thursday), and Kids Aid/Food Bank will supply extra items on Thursdays.
If you want to keep up to date with all things Lunch Lizard, please check
Special thanks to the Lunch Lizard and everyone associated with this program!
  • To participate in the Lunch Lizard program, please set up online payments for your student’s meals through the My Payments Plus online system (


  • To set up an account and online payments, parents will need their child’s student ID number. To obtain this number, please call the JRCS office at 970-986-8219.

    ** Please do not call the School District office for this information **

  • If you are new to, you will need to create a login by clicking “Register Now”. If you have used My Payments Plus previously (at a different school) your login should still work.

  • Once you have either logged in or created an account, click:

    “Manage Account” then “Manage Students”. Then choose CO for the state and “Mesa County Valley School District” for the Institution. Then enter your child’s student ID and last name.