CHEFS Moving Forward Demonstrating a commitment to creative partnerships that advance efforts to develop healthy school environments, SNA and the American Culinary Federation are co-leading a new coalition that will oversee administration and promotion of the Chefs Move to Schools program. The program facilitates opportunities between volunteer chefs and schools to team up in helping children foster healthy eating habits. Other leading culinary, nutrition and school organizations in the coalition include Share Our Strength, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Harvard School of Public Health, the National Food Service Management Institute, Cornell University and many others. The program was launched in May 2010 as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to reduce childhood obesity in America. To date, some 3,400 chefs and 3,300 schools across the nation have signed up to participate. Collaborative projects have included school gardens, cafeteria salad bars, healthier school recipes, educational demonstrations and more. The announcement about the new coalition was made by Mrs. Obama at a celebration commemorating the second anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative. The event, held in Dallas Independent School District, was hosted by Executive Director, Food and Nutrition Services Dora Rivas, SNS, SNA Past President 2009-10. Rivas and her team were recognized by Mrs. Obama for the most Gold-award-winning schools from one district in the HealthierUS School Challenge, as well as for the team’s collaboration with professional chefs on healthy menu changes and the establishment of cooking classes for students and families. SNA CEO Frank DiPasquale, who attended the event, commented, “We all have an important role to play in helping America’s students make healthier choices. SNA is proud to be partnering with the Chefs Move to Schools coalition to support our members’ ongoing efforts to promote healthy school environments.” School nutrition professionals are encouraged to check out the new website, www.chefsmovetoschools.org, sign up to participate in the program, find a local chef partner and access training resources, recipes and best practice case studies. (Previous participants are encouraged to re-register in the new system.) The website, said Mrs. Obama, “will make it even easier for chefs to connect with schools and share ideas with each other. So, I’m counting on chefs and schools across our country to … sign up and start cooking!” HR CORNER Am I Listening Now? Many of us just “hear” the words of a conversation, rather than truly listening to what is being said. Hearing is simply the physical process of sound waves traveling from your ear to your brain with information. But strong, active listening skills allow you to be an engaged participant in a conversation, understand the other person’s perspective, get the full story and perhaps even learn something you did not know! We think at about 600 words per minute, but we talk at just 150 words a minute. That’s why it can be easy to find ourselves jumping ahead in our thoughts while we should be listening to another person’s words. It’s also common to listen more closely only when the conversation relates to our interests. To improve your active listening skills, try these tips: ■ Maintain eye contact. ■ Affirm your understanding: smile, nod, say “uh huh,” etc. ■ Stay focused; avoid physical and mental distractions. ■ Listen for what is not being said. ■ Ask questions, request clarifications, paraphrase and summarize. ■ Don’t interrupt, but recognize when it is appropriate for you to respond. Why does it matter? Active listening is a powerful skill that can improve your relationships with a spouse, children and friends—as well as supervisors and colleagues. Active listening improves your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. It can diffuse tensions, communicate caring and concern and make the other person feel valued. Remember the old saying: “A wise man talks less and listens more!” TWEENS & PRE-TEENS It Takes a Community New from the Team Nutrition initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service is Healthier Middle Schools: Everyone Can Help, a series of communication tools that school nutrition professionals can use in engaging teachers, principals, parents and students in school wellness efforts at the middle school level. Recognizing the value of a school-wide coordinated approach toward student wellness promotion, Team Nutrition offers videos and print handouts targeted to different members of the middle school community. These new resources feature useful strategies designed to encourage community members to become more engaged in school wellness efforts. For example, the handout developed for parents urges readers to reach out to their child’s principal, teachers and/or other parents to learn more about current efforts to improve food or physical activity options at school—and how to become involved. The video and print resources also encourage parents and teachers to be role models to students when it comes to making healthy food choices and being active. Students are presented with suggested ways they can promote wellness at school, such as conducting a survey or petition about preferred after school sports or activities and ways to approach adults for help in coordinating a healthy eating or physical activity challenge between students in other grades or schools. What ideas can you think of to encourage other members of the school community to assist in promoting student wellness? There are resources developed specifically for school nutrition professionals, too! Check them out at www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Resources/healthiermiddle schools.htm as you begin your brainstorming process. FOOD PROFILE The Exceptional Onion Looking for a way to add flavor to recipes without sodium, sugar or unwanted calories? Just add onions! In addition to intense flavor, onions offer just 30 calories per serving, providing fiber, vitamins C and B6, potassium and a number of other nutrients and healthpromoting phytochemicals, reports the National Onion Association. Onions also contain generous amounts of a flavonoid called quercetin, which studies have shown helps protect against cardiovascular disease and some cancers. In addition, onions contain a variety of other naturally occurring chemicals, known as organosulfur compounds, which have been linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. When it comes to using the vegetable, onions should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place. Do not store onions in plastic bags; doing so reduces their shelf life. When cutting onions, the best way to prevent your eyes from tearing, says Kim Reddin of the National Onion Association, is to chill them for 30 minutes before cutting and then use a sharp knife. Also, since the root end of the onion has the highest concentration of sulphuric compounds that make your eyes water, consider chopping from the top end down—or buy pre-cut products that also save time and labor. Sliced into salads, simmered into sauces or chopped into salsas, onions add layers of flavor to food while adding quality to your life. But don’t limit yourself to adding onions to your recipes at home; introduce this versatile vegetable to your operation’s menu options to offer both health and taste benefits to your student customers. CAFETERIA MAKEOVERS Inspiration Sensation The School Nutrition magazine team continually hopes that readers will find inspiration in the innovations and best practices shared throughout these pages each month. Have you been inspired by what you’ve read? Pat Penrod, cafeteria manager at Evergreen High School, Metamora, Ohio, has. After reading “Color Your Cafeteria Beautiful” (August 2010), she was inspired to conduct her own cafeteria makeover, in collaboration with the school’s art class. The five-month redecorating project was unveiled in 2011. Penrod explains that she did not want to make images of foods or the Viking school mascot integral to the cafeteria décor; rather, her vision involved more abstract, academic-related art. Students on the team suggested painting various food-related words in foreign languages on the cafeteria walls, while a parent who owns a graphics company designed and donated “The Viking Café” signage to accompany the student artwork. Now visitors to the cafeteria are encouraged to essen, mangiare and spise—that is, “to eat” in German, Italian and Norwegian, respectively. Penrod treated the class to a pizza party at the completion of the project. But the real reward was the high praise that came from all levels of the school community, including from the district’s superintendent and the school’s principal. Contemplating a change to your school’s dining area or wondering how to get students involved in the cafeteria makeover process? Let this example be one to inspire you to take the first step! NutrıNET New York Coalition for Healthy School Food www.healthylunches.org This state-based advocacy group’s aim is to expand awareness of plantbased foods in schools as a way to educate entire communities. Its website features resources to help schools across the country teach students about good nutrition (including posters and handouts with tips for teachers and nurses to promote healthy school food). The site also features best-practice case studies and model wellness policies, as well as such recipes as Black Bean Casserole and North African Gumbo. Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition www.bellinstitute.com/ wholegrainkids School nutrition professionals can share the goodness of whole grain with their students through a variety of educational activities available from General Mills’ Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. Visit this page to access the “Go With Whole Grains for Kids: Classroom Activities” toolkit. Downloadable materials are divided by age (Grades K-2 and 3-5) and include tools to help kids track their whole grain consumption each day, as well as art activities to help identify whole-grain foods. Barilla Foodservice www.barillafoodservice recipes.com This in-depth site features detailed instructions for cooking pasta in commercial volumes, as well as more than 100 recipes developed by and for foodservice chefs. All recipes include complete nutrition information, and recipes are searchable by a variety of nutrition criteria (such as low-sodium and whole grain). The site also includes a glossary, a pasta/sauce pairings guide and more resources. Calendar12 Apr12 APR. 21-23 Annual Conference, National School Boards Association Boston, (703) 838-6722 APR. 22-25 Annual Leadership Development Conference, Women’s Foodservice Forum Dallas, (972) 770-9100 APR. 25-27 OneShow, National Automatic Merchandising Association Las Vegas, (312) 346-0370 APR. 30-MAY 3 Annual Conference, Food Marketing Institute Dallas, (202) 452-8444 May12 MAY 1-3 Annual Convention, United Fresh Produce Association Dallas, (202) 303-3424 MAY 4-8 Annual Conference, American Commodity Distribution Association Costa Mesa, Calif., (518) 474-5122 MAY 5-8 NRA Show 2012, National Restaurant Association Chicago, (312) 853-2525 MAY 7-9 Weight of the Nation™ Conference, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Washington, D.C., (800) 232-4636 June12 JUNE 6-8 Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar & Expo, International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association New Orleans, (608) 310-5000 JUNE 17-19 58th Summer Fancy Food Show, National Association for the Specialty Food Trade Washington, D.C., (212) 482-6440 JUNE 19-23 Annual Conference, Association for Healthcare Foodservice Miami, Fla., (888) 528-9552 DateBOOK April Global Child Nutrition Month Month of the Young Child National Garden Month National Soyfoods Month School Library Month National Public Health Week (Apr. 2-8) National Volunteer Week (Apr. 15-21) Administrative Professionals Week (Apr. 22-28) National Playground Safety Week (Apr. 23-27) International Children’s Book Day (Apr. 2) Easter (Apr. 8) Earth Day (Apr. 22) May Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Beef Month Celiac Disease Awareness Month National Egg Month National Salad Month National Strawberry Month Teen Self-Esteem Month Be Kind to Animals Week (May 6-12) National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11) School Nutrition Employee Week (May 7-11) Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 13-19) Cinco de Mayo (May 5) School Nurse Day (May 9) Mother’s Day (May 13) National Employee Health and Fitness Day (May 16) World Turtle Day (May 23) Memorial Day (May 28) June Fireworks Safety Month National Dairy Month National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month National Great Outdoors Month Stand for Children Day (June 1) World Environment Day (June 5) Flag Day (June 14) Father’s Day (June 17) Summer Begins (June 20) Enter to WIN Zero to [Play] 60 Schools enrolled in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program are eligible to receive needed funding to help jumpstart and sustain health, nutrition and physical activity improvements. The initiative, launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League, is providing funds that can be used for a variety of activities and tools, such as student engagement and motivation, in-school promotions, family engagement, tracking and measurement and overall Fuel Up to Play 60 program implementation. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2012. For more information, visit http://school.fueluptoplay60.com/funds/ funds_for_futp60.php. Get Cooking! Submit your best original breakfast recipe that includes at least one AdvancePierre Foods product, and you could win Foodservice Rewards Points! Recipes must be quantity recipes scaled to serve at least 25 and will be judged on nutritional guidelines, taste, originality and ease of preparation. One grand-prize winner will receive 30,000 Foodservice Rewards Points and see the winning recipe featured in a full-page ad in School Nutrition. One first-place winner will receive 5,000 Foodservice Rewards Points, while one second-place winner will receive 2,500 Foodservice Rewards Points. The deadline to enter is April 30, 2012. To enter, send your recipe to AdvancePierre Foods “FUEL TO GO” Recipe Contest, 9990 Princeton-Glendale Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45246. For more details or to enter online, visit www.apfk12.com. Fish Is Delish FPI®, a High Liner Foods (USA), Inc., foodservice brand, invites school nutrition professionals to work with their broker representatives to create recipes that incorporate FPI and Viking K-12 products for a chance to win prizes in its Picture of Health contest. Entrants must create a brief video capturing their experiences menuing these dishes in their operation. The more menu placements your recipes have, the better your chance to win prizes. The entrant from each region with the most menu placements will win a $200 gift card, and the winner of the video component will receive a $500 gift card. The national winner, who will be chosen through an online voting process, as well as in-person voting at the Annual National Conference in Denver in July, will win a $2,000 gift card. The deadline to enter is May 25, 2012. Brimming Bowls The USA Rice Federation announces the winners of its Healthy Rice Bowls contest for K-12 school nutrition professionals. Linda Hartbarger, cook/manager for Bellamy Middle School in Chicopee, Mass., won the grand prize of $250 toward her school’s education fund and a rice cooker for her cafeteria’s Asian rice bowl bar featuring General Tso’s chicken with long-grain white rice, snap peas and a variety of toppings. Two runners-up received a rice cooker: Dawn Ramsey, foodservice director for Park School in Baltimore for her whole-grain rice salad selections, and Erin Thacker, nutrition and wellness educator, and Renee Swank, school nutrition manager at Crestwood Intermediate School (both from Chesapeake [Va.] Public Schools), for their Country Breakfast Rice Cereal Bowl. For rice recipe ideas, visit www.menurice.com. Pear-fection Congratulations to the winners of the Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service Play With Your Pears contest! This student competition featured fanciful ways to showcase canned pears in artwork. Entrants decorated their pears, photographed the finished work and posted it on the Eat Canned Pears Facebook page. Awards were given in individual and group categories. First-place individual winners were Karna Hoaglund of Sandy Hook, Va., for Birds of Pearadise and Whitney Worth of San Jose, Calif., for Life of a Seahorse. Mitchell Boys & Girls Club of Milwaukee, Wis. and Kings Academy, Section B, of Sunnyvale, Calif., took honors in the group categories. The winners received SmileMakers, Inc., gift certificates for art and school supplies. To see more of the winning entries, visit www.eatcannedpears.com/kids.
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