SCHOOL BREAKFAST Strides Made, Miles Still to Go The January release of the Food and Research Action Center’s (FRAC) annual school breakfast reports, School Breakfast Scorecard and School Breakfast: Making It Work in Large Cities, shows that breakfast participation at school is up. According to the Scorecard, two meaningful milestones were reached during SY 2011-12: For the first time, more than 50 low-income children participated in school breakfast for every 100 students who ate school lunch, and more than 90% of the schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program also participated in the School Breakfast Program. These numbers equate to an average of 10.5 million students eating school breakfast daily. The top-performing states—the District of Columbia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont and West Virginia—reached ratios of 60:100 and above. While these are record numbers for the program, which FRAC began tracking during SY 1990-91, the long-held goal of serving breakfast to 70 out of 100 low-income, lunch-eating students is still far out of reach. Clearly, there is much work to be done to promote the benefits of eating breakfast at school. Research has shown that school breakfast not only reduces hunger, it also abates absenteeism, tardiness and nurse visits, all while improving nutrition, learning and test scores. Universal breakfast and breakfast being served in the classroom have emerged as likely turning points for increased participation. Among the 10 states reporting double-digit gains in participation is New Jersey, which saw a 16.3% uptick. Much of this can be attributed to a statewide campaign, “Breakfast After the Bell,” which offered universal free breakfast immediately after the start of the school day in high-poverty districts that had low school breakfast participation rates. “States and schools that want to get serious about increasing breakfast participation have to get serious about making breakfast more accessible to students, whether that’s looking at breakfast in the classroom or other proven strategies,” asserts Jim Weill, FRAC president. For more information about both reports, along with full PDFs, visit FRAC’s website at www.frac.org. FOOD FORECAST The “In” Crop Is your food fashionable? At the end of 2012, culinary experts solidified their predictive picks for the top foodie trends of 2013. Now that we’re fully immersed in the new year, let’s see how your culinary habits, both personally and professionally, match up with the authorities’ prophecies. Children’s meals were all over the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot in 2013 survey results. Chefs are boosting the health content of their kids’ meals, while foodies everywhere are realizing the impact of whole-grain items, as well as fruits and vegetables as side items. Perhaps correlating with that theme are the increase in gluten-free cuisine options and a burgeoning interest in non-wheat noodles, such as quinoa and rice pasta. As the American public grows more health-aware, it’s no surprise that produce continues to be a hot conversation topic. Locally sourced and environmentally sustainable options linger on the forefront, while the folks at the Atlanta Journal- Constitution have predicted that a wider assortment of greens is being used on menus. Where kale once triumphed, beet greens, chard and turnip greens are now prospering. Veggies are even showing up in desserts—carrot cake has always been a favorite, but corn, cucumbers, beets and avocadoes are now lending their tastes and textures to the sweet finale (for example, avocado ice cream). But it’s not all about health for 2013. Experts have taken a closer look at how Americans are incorporating ethnic foods into their daily lives and have found that the younger generations increasingly are including global dishes on their lists of comfort foods, according to the Food Channel 2013 Trends Forecast. Alongside macaroni and cheese and pot roast, dishes such as Japanese ramen and Vietnamese pho now are regarded as comfort food, as well. Ethnic inspiration is frequently showing up in trendy breakfast items, too, in items such as chorizo scrambled eggs and coconut milk pancakes. In the same vein, McCormick identifies a wide range of unexpected flavor trends, including combining global flavors in unpredictable ways—Japanese Katsu sauce with oregano, for example. If the latest trend forecast has made you realize that your recipes are so 2012, don’t worry—you have nine months left to get in vogue before the experts shake things up again. OBESITY Will We Make the Grade? A report, from last year, F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012, finds that the number of obese adults, along with consequential disease rates and health care costs, is expected to increase dramatically in every U.S. state in the next 20 years. Released by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the annual report warns that if obesity rates continue on their current track, by 2030, all 50 states could have obesity rates above 44% (39 states above 50% and 13 states above 60%). But if states successfully lower adult obesity rates in that same period, reducing the average body mass index (BMI) of residents by just 5%, thousands or even millions of people could avoid obesity-related diseases. It could save lives and billions of dollars in health care costs, concluded the study authors. According to Jeff Levi, PhD, TFAH executive director, “We know a lot more about how to prevent obesity than we did 10 years ago. This report outlines how policies like increasing physical activity time in schools and making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable can help make healthier choices easier. Small changes can add up to a big difference. Policy changes can help make healthier choices easier for Americans in their daily lives.” The report includes a series of policy recommendations, including: • Fully implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, by implementing the new school meal standards and updating nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages in schools; • Fully support healthy nutrition in federal food programs; and • Increase investments in effective, evidence-based obesity-prevention programs; • Make physical education and physical activity a priority in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; and • Finalize the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children Guidelines. For more information on the findings of this report, visit http://healthyamericans. org/report/100. FOOD SAFETY Playing It Safe With Food Your business is food and food is your business, so it’s likely that you are a fountain of knowledge when it comes to good practices regarding food safety! However, in the hurried pace of a school cafeteria, it’s always helpful to brush up on some basic food safety reminders. Home Food Safety, a collaborative program of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods, offers an abundance of tips that can be useful at work—and shared with the parents of your students. When it comes to leftovers, “Unfortunately, you can’t rely on sight and scent alone to tell if food is spoiled or contaminated with foodborne pathogens,” warns Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD. Follow these steps when reheating leftovers: • Refrigerate leftovers to 40ºF or below within two hours of the food having been served. (In hotter weather, over 90ºF, refrigerate after one hour.) • Seal leftovers in an airtight, clean container, and label it with the expiration date. • Reheat leftovers to 165ºF and use a food thermometer to make sure all types of food reach the safe minimum internal temperature throughout before you eat. • Check the typical shelf life of leftovers at http://homefoodsafety.org, so you discard them if they pass the expiration date. When in doubt, throw it out! The Home Food Safety homepage also provides detailed information about each of four areas: WASH, SEPARATE, COOK and REFRIGERATE . Content includes safety tips, videos (in English and Spanish), educational tools, FAQs, activities to help reduce the risk of food poisoning and more. Additionally, a free mobile app, “Is My Food Safe?” (for the iPhone and Android), is available for download and includes a quiz to test your kitchen safety knowledge. Check out all these resources at http:// homefoodsafety.org. WHAT IS…? A Balanced Diet for Your Garden If you want to keep your home (or school) garden healthy and flourishing, but without spending a cent on commercial fertilizers, look no further than composting. Made of a balance of organic ingredients, including food scraps, dead leaves, grass clippings and wood shavings, compost provides a nutrient-rich fertilizer to help your plants thrive. While chemical fertilizers might seem a more convenient option than compost, some experts liken the difference to boosting a poor diet with vitamin supplements and eating well-balanced, nutritious meals. You survive and grow on the first one, but you’ll flourish with the latter. Creating “fruitful” compost is as simple as saving particular food scraps in an appropriate composting container. Fruit and vegetable leftovers (not meat, fat or dairy) are considered the “greens,” or the nitrogen source. Mix these with yard waste, referred to as “browns,” which act as the carbon source. Do a little Internet research to determine a combination ratio ideal for decomposing; from there, the material does most of the work itself, as the carbon and nitrogen react. However, periodically mixing up the material to incorporate oxygen and ensuring the mixture stays damp helps to move the process along. The length of time it takes for the compost to be ready depends on the amount of work you do. Left to its own devices, it can take up to a year for the compost to develop. But with active engagement, many gardeners can create compost in three to four weeks. Once the compost is black and earthy, and most of the materials have disintegrated to an unidentifiable state, it’s ready to use. Beyond creating a favorable environment for your garden, composting diverts usable household—or school nutrition operation—food waste away from the garbage can and back into a useful role, reducing landfill waste. If you’re interested in learning more about this eco- and budget-friendly way of cultivating your garden, Cornell University’s Waste Management Institute, cwmi.css.cornell.edu, maintains an extensive database of tips, tricks and advice to begin and maintain a thriving compost bin. RESEARCH In Good Shape? The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the American Heart Association (APA) jointly released a 2012 report regarding the status of physical education in America. The results indicate that there’s both good and some not-so-good news. First, the good news: The survey found that nearly 75% of states require physical education (P.E.), with a slight increase (5%) from 2010 in middle schools mandating P.E. The not-so-good news: The majority of states do not charge schools with a minimum instruction time, and more than half allow exemptions, waivers and/or substitutions—such as Junior ROTC, marching band or cheerleading— rendering the mandates less effective. Even that 75% figure is somewhat misleading, however. Only six states— Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York and Vermont— require P.E. in all grades from K–12. In fact, the number of states requiring phys ed in high school has dropped nearly 4% in the past two years. There’s no federal law dictating the need for physical education. These statistics are in stark contrast to NASPE and AHA’s recommendation that districts provide 30 minutes a day (150 minutes per week) of instructional P.E. for elementary schoolers and 45 minutes a day (225 minutes per week) for secondary school students. The rationale behind the guidance is not only based on a child’s need for physical activity for health, but also research showing that daily P.E. can positively impact academic performance. However, the researchers concede that the exact correlation between the two hasn’t been fully determined. To peruse the results in full, visit www.aahperd.org/naspe/publications/Shapeofthe nation.cfm. NutrıNET Celiac Central/Kids Central www.celiaccentral.org/kids/home You can offer students who suffer from celiac disease (along with their parents) some kid-friendly resources available from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Draw attention to this site during May’s Celiac Awareness Month or any time of the year. Available materials include a glossary of terms, an ingredient supply list, interactive games, stories from kids with celiac disease and encouraging advice and words of wisdom. ENERGY STAR Kids http://tinyurl.com/3u97hm Available on this website are downloadable materials from the U.S. Department of Energy on topics such as energy efficiency and conservation, hydropower and wind energy, which teachers can use as part of lesson plans. The site also features tips for ways that kids can save energy, as well as information about the ENERGY STAR Challenge, which allows school nutrition professionals and other school department staff to pledge to reduce energy use by 10%. Pear World http://pearworld.kidzsmart.com This website from the growers of USA Pears is aimed at elementary-age children, bringing the pear orchard to life in the form of kid-friendly recipes, games and arts and crafts activities (such as a fingerprint tree and magnet-making). Also featured is a section on kitchen safety tips and kid-appropriate cooking tools. An interactive “living orchard” changes with the seasons. Calendar13 Apr13 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. 24-26 OneShow, National Automatic Merchandising Association Las Vegas, (312) 346-0370 APR. 30-MAY 2 Expo and Conference, Food Safety Summit Baltimore, Md., (847) 405-4124 APR. 28-MAY 3 Annual Conference, National Head Start Association National Harbor, Md., (866) 677-8724 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 June13 JUNE 2-4 Dairy-Deli-Bake 2013, International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association™ Orlando, Fla., (608) 310-5000 JUNE 20-22 9th Annual Leadership Conference, Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education Miami, (410) 268-5542 JUNE 26-29 104th Annual Conference and Expo, American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences Houston, Texas, (703) 706-4600 JUNE 26-30 Annual Conference, National Association of School Nurses Orlando, Fla., (866) 627-6767 JUNE 30-JULY 2 Summer Fancy Food Show, National Association for the Specialty Food Trade New York, N.Y., (212) 482-6440 DateBOOK April Child Abuse Prevention Month Global Child Nutrition Month National Garden Month National Grilled Cheese Month National Yogurt Month National Soyfoods Month National Library Week (Apr. 14-20) Administrative Professionals Week (Apr. 21-27) Earth Day (Apr. 22) Arbor Day (Apr. 26) Raisin Day (Apr. 30) May Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Beef Month Celiac Disease Awareness Month Jewish American Heritage Month Mental Health Month National Egg Month National Strawberry Month National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10) School Nutrition Employee Week (May 6-10) Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 12-18) National Women’s Health Week (May 12-18) School Lunch Superhero Day (May 3) Cinco de Mayo (May 5) National Bike to School Day (May 8) School Nurse Day (May 8) Mother’s Day (May 12) National Employee Health and Fitness Day (May 15) Memorial Day (May 27) June Dairy Month Fireworks Safety Month National Great Outdoors Month Men’s Health Week (June 10-16) National Hunger Awareness Day (June 3) National Herb and Spice Day (June 10) Flag Day (June 14) Father’s Day (June 16) Summer Begins (June 21) Enter to WIN Apply Within Farm-to-school grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture help eligible schools improve the health and well-being of their students and connect with local agricultural producers. Three different kinds of grants will be available this year. Planning grants are intended for schools just beginning farm-to-school activities, while implementation grants are available for those schools seeking to augment or expand existing efforts. Support service grants will allow eligible non-profit entities to conduct trainings, create complementary curricula or further develop supply chains, among other activities. The deadline to submit applications is April 24, 2013. To apply or for more information, visit www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/f2s/f2_2013_grant_program.htm. Sweet Stuff If you love to cook with sweet potatoes, enter your creation in the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission’s Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest. Categories are Appetizers, Side Dishes, Entrées, Desserts and Professional Chef. Each category winner will receive $500, and a grand-prize winner selected from all of the entries will win $1,000. The deadline to enter is May 31, 2013. Submit entries to Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest, c/o Louisiana Cookin’, P.O. Box 4430, New Orleans, LA 70178. For more information or to enter online, visit www.louisianacookin.com/sweet-rewards-contest. “Muffin” Mania Congratulations to Peggy Linberg of Upland, Calif., the grand-prize winner of Bays English Muffins’ TOP THIS…Pizza Challenge Recipe Contest. For her Gorgonzola and Pear Pizza recipe (right), Linberg received a prize package that included seven nights in Italy, with a one-day culinary experience in an Italian cooking school. Other finalists included recipes for Pesto Bacon Pizza With Balsamic Fig Glaze, Sunny Side Up Anytime Pizza, Capri Chicken Club Pizza, Sweet Fig & Pancetta Pizza and BBT Caprese Pizza. To view all of these, visit www.bays.com/recipe_contest. html. Igniting a Spark SPARK™, a provider of research-based physical education, afterschool, early childhood and coordinated school health programs, awarded $45,000 to Buffalo Jones Elementary School, Garden City, Kan., the winner of its first Healthy School Makeover Contest. The school received a SPARK Curriculum and Training package, along with other packages and training opportunities. For more information on SPARK, visit www. sparkpe.org. Get Cooking! Have friends and family told you that you have a prize-worthy recipe? BetterRecipes.com holds weekly and monthly recipe contests for cooks of all skill levels for a chance to win $250. You also can peruse the site to vote on recipes submitted by others. Recent contests have included Best Banana Bread Ever, Best Italian Recipe Ever and Breakfast or Brunch Recipe. Visit www.betterrecipes.com/ contests to enter or to learn more. Piece of Cake If your baked creations “take the cake,” then consider entering your best cake or cupcake recipe in Taste of Home’s latest recipe contest. Aim to include 12 or fewer ingredients in your recipe. One grand-prize winner receives $500. Entries are due May 31, 2013. To enter, visit www.tasteofhome.com/Contests/Recipe-Contests/Cakes-and-Cupcakes. Fun With Fungi Congratulations to Greg Fontenot of The Woodlands, Texas, who was named the winner of the 2013 Mad About Mushrooms contest for his recipe for Cilantro Corn Cakes With Sautéed Mushroom & Cumin Yogurt. He received a cedar plank and a cookbook of Oregon recipes. For more about the contest and to view the winning recipe, visit http://tinyurl.com/a8w7a5j.
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/News+Bites/1363747/153410/article.html.