CELEBRITY CHEF Bringing Latin Flavor to School Meals The Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG) continues its series of successful partnerships with celebrities committed to developing healthy school meal recipes with great kid appeal. Following innovative collaborations with television host Rachael Ray and “iCarly” star Reed Alexander, AHG has teamed up with “Top Chef Masters” star Lorena Garcia to bring some Latin flair to school cafeterias. Garcia, recently seen on Taco Bell advertisements for her work in developing healthy recipes for the quick-serve chain, will serve as a spokesperson for AHG throughout 2013. The Venezuelan-born chef, restaurateur and TV host is considered one of the country’s leading Latina chefs and used her appearance on “Top Chef Masters” to bring attention to AHG’s work to fight childhood obesity. The school-friendly recipes she developed for AHG’s Healthy Schools initiative include Bravo Pavo Rice Bowl With Meatballs and Pasta al Forno. Garcia worked closely with school nutrition operators to ensure that recipes can be prepared easily in school settings within typical budget constraints. They were piloted in five school districts in Florida, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia, and evaluations collected feedback from both students and foodservice staff. The recipes meet AHG school nutrition guidelines, which meet or exceed federal standards. Check out Garcia’s and other school meal recipes at www.healthiergeneration. org/schools. AHG’s Healthy Schools Program supports more than 15,000 schools and 10 million children. USDA “Smart Snacks in Schools” Rule Proposed Another long-awaited provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 takes a major step toward implementation with the early February release by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of a proposed rule on nutrition standards for the sale of so-called “competitive” foods in schools. The proposed rule would apply to all foods and beverages sold during the school day in vending machines, school stores and school concession stands, as well as a la carte items sold in the cafeteria. “Good nutrition lays the groundwork for health and academic success. Providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines and snack bars will complement the gains made with the new healthy standards for school breakfast and lunch so that the healthy choice is the easy choice for our kids,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Highlights of the proposed rule include: ■ Ensuring that snack food items are lower in fat, sugar and sodium and provide more of the nutrients kids need. ■ Allowing variation by age group for such factors as beverage portion size and caffeine content. ■ Providing flexibility for important traditions, such as occasional fundraisers, bake sales and classroom parties. Foods and beverages sold at an afterschool sporting event or other activity would not be subject to these requirements. States and local communities with stronger standards will be able to maintain their own policies. The standards will not go into effect until at least one full school year after the public comment has been considered and a final rule is published. This is intended to help to ensure that schools and vendors have adequate time to adapt. The full text of the proposed rule can be viewed at www.fns.usda.gov/cga/ 020113-snacks.pdf. “School nutrition professionals have been working hard to increase nutritious choices available in the cafeteria,” reports SNA President Sandra Ford, SNS, of the Association’s, and its members’, commitment to ensuring that children have access to healthy foods throughout the entire school day. Last fall, in preparation for the rule, SNA’s leadership identified a task force comprised of operators from each region and industry members. At press time, the task force had begun its review of the proposal, gathering information and comments for the Association’s official response to USDA. All comments to the rule must be submitted by April 9, 2013, through www.regulations.gov. HR CORNER Don’t Be Shy The best evaluation meetings are those in which a manager and employee talk openly about performance to date and the goals ahead. But it’s not uncommon for either the manager or the employee (or both) to be a little intimidated, especially if constructive criticism is on the agenda. As an employee, a performance discussion is intended to be a helpful interaction, helping you grow. So, if your manager is not adept at articulating feedback and starting a dialogue, it’s important that you be prepared to ask good questions; jot them down in advance on a notepad that you bring with you to the meeting. We all like hearing that we did a “great” job, but we need more specific feedback in order to repeat and build on that success. Consider asking: ■ What do you think are my strengths, and where do I need to improve? Can you give me some specific examples? ■ How did I make a positive difference on the team this year? ■ What specifically do I need to do to improve my rating next time? ■ What are your goals for me during the next rating period? ■ What new knowledge and skills do I need to move ahead? ■ Would you be willing to assign me more responsibility? ■ Is there anything I can do to help you be more successful? This meeting—and your questions— can help you to build a stronger relationship with your supervisor, while providing you with useful feedback. When you make the effort to ask good questions, you will get more out of the process! Nutrı NET Nutrition Voyage www.teamnutrition.usda.gov Reinforcing wellness messages to students in middle school can be a challenge. USDA’s Team Nutrition offers “Nutrition Voyage: The Quest to be our Best,” a curriculum for kids in Grades 7-8. Divided into a series of “treks,” lessons allow students to investigate, participate in a challenge, evaluate and reflect. Math, science and English teachers can integrate activities into existing curricula. Click on “Resource Library” to access this and other activities. Alliance for Potato Research and Education www.apre.org This site presents accessible, sciencebased information about all aspects of the potato, including nutritional benefits and the role it can play in a well-balanced diet. Click the Potatoes on the Plate in Schools link for a presentation specifically about incorporating potatoes into school meals that comply with new meal pattern requirements, along with sample menu ideas. USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council www.cookingwithpulses.com This site features a number of kid-friendly activities, including a crossword puzzle, word search activity book, comics and a maze. Students can learn more about pulses by trying out kid-friendly recipes or completing science projects, like growing lentil sprouts. Calendar13 Mar13 MAR. 13-15 2013 Annual Conference, Produce for Better Health Foundation San Francisco, (302) 235-2329 MAR. 16-18 68th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Chicago, (800) 933-2723 Apr13 APRIL 7-10 Annual Convention, National AfterSchool Association Indianapolis, (703) 610-9002 APR. 7-13 Annual Conference, American Commodity Distribution Association Nashville, (803) 734-8209 APR. 11-14 2013 Conference & Trade Show, International Foodservice Executives Association Dallas, (800) 893-5499 APR. 13-15 73rd Annual Conference, National School Boards Association San Diego, (800) 950-6722 APR. 14-17 Annual Leadership Development Conference, Women’s Foodservice Forum Orlando, Fla., (972) 770-9100 APR. 15-16 36th Annual National Food Policy Conference, Consumer Federation of America Washington, D.C., (202) 387-6121 APR. 28-MAY 3 Annual Conference, National Head Start Association National Harbor, Md., (866) 677-8724 APR. 30-MAY 2 Food Safety Summit Expo and Conference, BNP Media Baltimore, Md., (847) 405-4124 May13 MAY 14-16 Annual Conference, United Fresh Produce Association San Diego, (202) 303-3400 MAY 18-21 Restaurant and Hotel-Motel Show, National Restaurant Association Chicago, (312) 580-5403 Date BOOK March Deaf History Month (Mar. 13-Apr. 15) Music in Our Schools Month National Nutrition Month Women’s History Month Youth Art Month National School Breakfast Week (Mar. 4-8) Employee Appreciation Day (Mar. 1) International School Meals Day (Mar. 8) International Women’s Day (Mar. 8) Registered Dietitian Day (Mar. 13) St. Patrick’s Day (Mar. 17) National Agriculture Day (Mar. 19) Spring Begins (Mar. 20) Easter (Mar. 31) April Global Child Nutrition Month Mathematics Awareness Month National Card and Letter Writing Month National Garden Month Physical Wellness Month School Library Month National Public Health Week (Apr. 1-7) National Library Week (Apr. 14-20) Administrative Professionals Week (Apr. 21-27) National Park Week (Apr. 22-26) National Playground Safety Week (Apr. 22-26) National Pet Day (Apr. 11) Paul Revere’s Ride Anniversary (Apr. 18) Garlic Day (Apr. 19) Earth Day (Apr. 22) Shakespeare’s Birthday (Apr. 23) World Penguin Day (Apr. 25) Arbor Day (Apr. 26) May Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month National Egg Month National Strawberry Month National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10) School Nutrition Employee Week (May 6-10) School Principals Day (May 1) National Bike to School Day (May 8) Mother’s Day (May 12) Memorial Day (May 27) Enter to WIN Pint-sized Chef As the winner of the Loukoumi’s Celebrity Cookbook “Favorite Childhood Recipe” Contest, 8-year-old Grace LaFountain from New Hartford, N.Y., earned the opportunity to cook her “Great- Grandma Hutchins’ Fudge” recipe alongside celebrity chef Cat Cora. The contest invited children ages 4-12 to submit their favorite childhood recipes, explaining their choices. Those selected as national finalists subsequently recorded videos of themselves in the kitchen prepping their recipes. For more information, visit www.loukoumi.com. Grain Gains The Whole Grains Council announces the winners of its 2012 Whole Grains Challenge, which had a special focus on K-12 schools. St. Paul (Minn.) Public Schools was named the Grand Prize Veteran winner, while Baker School District, Baker City, Ore., won Grand Prize Rookie honors. Other winners were New York (N.Y.) Department of Education; Shawnee (Okla.) Public Schools; Chelsea (Vt.) Public Schools; New Milford (Conn.) Public Schools; Southwest Middle School, Orlando, Fla.; Union Chapel Elementary School, Kansas City, Mo.; Park School, Baltimore, Md.; and Grace Hartman Elementary School, Rockwall, Texas. A guest chef will hold a workshop for both of the grand-prize recipients, and all of the winners will receive cases of a variety of whole-grainrich products. Learn more by visiting http:// wholegrainscouncil.org/newsroom/2012- whole-grains-challenge-winners-chosen. The Rice Stuff Congratulations to the winners of the USA Rice Federation’s Healthy Brown Rice on the Menu Contest for K-12 school menu planners. Grand-prize winners were Renee Swank, school nutrition manager, and Erin Thacker, SNS, nutrition and wellness educator, both of Chesapeake (Va.) Public Schools, for their Rice and Veggie Breakfast Burrito (Breakfast category); Angie Gaszak, nutrition specialist, St. Paul (Minn.) Public Schools, for her Moroccan Rice (Lunch category) (pictured above); and Dimitra Kostos, foodservice director, Chichester (Pa.) School District, for her Orange Glazed Brown Rice Salad (Rice Bowl category). They each received SNA conference registrations, two Aroma rice cookers and a 50-lb. brown rice donation to their respective districts. For more on the contest, including the runners-up, visit http:// menurice.com/industry-segments/schoolsk- 12/rice-bowls. Berry Delicious Submit your favorite main course recipe featuring cranberries, and you could be a winner in the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center’s quarterly recipe contest. Winners will receive prizes from the Center and have their recipes published in the Center’s newsletter and online. Entries must be submitted by March 31, 2013. For more information or to enter, visit http://tinyurl.com/b9pb9xz. From the Heart Are you known for creating original recipes that you gift to others during the winter holidays? Enter Country Woman’s Festive Food Gifts contest. The grand prize is $500, second prize $300, third prize $200, and runners-up will receive a subscription to Country Woman magazine. Recipe entries are due by April 1, 2013. For more information or to enter, visit www. tasteofhome.com/Contests/Recipe-Contests/ Festive-Food-Gifts. Fit Kids Are Happy Kids Congratulations to Northridge High School, Middlebury, Ind., named the winner of the Henkel Helps Get Kids Fit program’s $25,000 award. The school created a video describing how it would help improve kid fitness, including plans to implement a bicycle program for students. The contest was sponsored in cooperation with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. To learn more about the contest and winners, visit www.henkelhelps.com.
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