First Lady Praises SN Professionals Celebrating the third anniversary of the Let’s Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama traveled the country, praising school nutrition professionals all along the way. Although she visited the folks at “Good Morning America,” “The Dr. Oz Show” and “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” School Nutrition readers might argue that her most noteworthy stop occurred at two local elementary schools in Mississippi. When Let’s Move! was launched in 2010, Mississippi ranked at the top of the list for obesity rates. Since then, the state has recorded an encouraging 13% reduction in childhood obesity, a fact that Mrs. Obama attributed at least partially to the efforts of local school nutrition operators. “Your schools did hard work. They replaced their fryers with steamers—hallelujah—and started serving more fruits and vegetables and whole grains,” the First Lady said. “…That means that tens of thousands of children here in Mississippi are getting the healthy start to their lives that they need.” SNA Past President Mary Hill, SNS, executive director of foodservices for Jackson (Miss.) Public Schools, represented the Association at the event, which also featured celebrity chef Rachael Ray. The First Lady and Ray, along with 400 elementary school students, participated in the Let’s Move! Cafeteria Cook-off, which pitted two teams—each headed by a cafeteria chef and a [non-school] professional chef—against each other to create a healthy and tasty school lunch. While one team prepared fajitas made two different ways and paired with a fruit smoothie, the other whipped up turkey Sloppy Joes with a quinoa patty, fruit salad and broccoli trees. Before a panel of 20 students selected the winner, the First Lady took a moment to focus on the achievements of school nutrition. “I’m particularly proud of all of the school chefs, the foodservice workers at schools like this one all across this state and all across this country,” she said. In mid-March, the cook-off was featured on “The Rachael Ray Show,” where the winner was announced: Congratulations to the fajitas team! On her show, Ray also shared words of praise for those working in school kitchens and cafeterias. “I think that [cook-off school chefs ] Fanny and Wendy are great examples of a whole army of fantastic school cafeteria professionals coast to coast that have had to be on the front lines of all this change,” she said. As part of the celebration, Mrs. Obama also announced the launch of Let’s Move! Active Schools, a new campaign to address the challenge schools have in finding free or low-cost ways to incorporate movement before, during and after the school day. For more on this new venture, as well as the Chefs Move to Schools and the original Let’s Move! initiatives, visit www.lets move.gov. SCHOOL BREAKFAST Jump Start a Healthier Future School breakfast positively impacts the academic, health and economic futures of America’s students, but far too few children are actually eating that morning meal—especially when served at school. That’s the message that Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and its partners recently took to Capitol Hill. Speaking on behalf of SNA, Marla Caplon, RD, LD, director of food and nutrition services for Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools, shared how school nutrition professionals all across the country are reaching more students with healthy school breakfast options through alternative delivery models, such as breakfast in the classroom. The Capitol Hill briefing was spurred by the results of recent research from Share Our Strength, conducted in conjunction with Deloitte. The 2012 study confirmed that, on average, students who eat school breakfast achieve 17.5% higher scores on standardized math tests and attend 1.5 more days of school each year. Looking toward the future, students who attend school regularly are 20% more likely to graduate from high school, and those graduates typically enjoy more than $10,000 additional salary per year than non-graduates. But only a fraction of the millions of students eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch also eat a breakfast at school. One goal of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is to close the gap. The study estimates that if just 70% of eligible low-income students ate breakfast, this could lead to 3.2 million more students achieving better scores on standardized math tests, 4.8 million fewer school absences per year and 807,000 more students graduating from high school. For more details about the study and additional benefits of school breakfast participation, visit www.nokidhungry.org/breakfast. LEGISLATIVE ACTION Call to Action Last winter, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released guidance that temporarily eliminated the weekly maximums for grains and proteins under the new meal pattern issued in January 2012. At press time, the elimination of these weekly maximums extends only through SY 2013-14. The first point of SNA’s 2013 Legislative Issue Paper is to make this temporary solution permanent— and with more help from members of Congress, school nutrition operators may find the menu planning relief they need. School nutrition advocates are urged to contact their U.S. Senators and House Representative to request that these individuals cosponsor S. 427 and H.R. 1303 and support school lunch flexibilities. Send a letter, e-mail or fax explaining why this legislation is so important, noting that with calorie limits maintained, local school nutrition operators are best suited to update the new meal pattern and that flexibility is required to achieve our national objective of improved nutrition. In addition, the House bill addresses the paid meal equity provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. It would allow local authorities to set the price of a “paid” meal when the school nutrition program is being well managed. S. 427, “The Sensible School Lunch Act,” was introduced on February 28, 2013, cosponsored by a bipartisan group led by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and currently supported by 10 Senators from both sides of the political aisle. H.R. 1303, “The School Nutrition Flexibility Act,” was introduced on March 20, 2013, by Rep. Steve Silvers (R-Ohio) and also currently has bipartisan support from 21 cosponsors. SNA has a long way to go to gain sufficient support for these proposals in Congress, and the famous grassroots advocacy of SNA members is needed to achieve this goal. Reach out to your federal lawmakers today! MAJOR CITY DISTRICTS United for Good Nutrition It takes a village to raise a child, and six large, urban school districts are taking that sentiment to heart by banding together to boost their efforts in providing the most wholesome school food choices possible. Districts in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami-Dade and Orlando, Fla., announced the formation of the Urban School Food Alliance earlier in 2013, with the intention of negotiating the best prices for food and supplies. Each district has embarked on a specific procurement goal that aims for serving more wholesome food, but also improving eco-friendly practices in the cafeteria. For instance, the Miami and Orlando districts are both seeking ways to reduce the costs of environmentally responsible trays and flatware, while New York has focused its efforts on decreasing the price of organic, free-range chicken products. The flagship districts, which first met in Summer 2012, together serve more than 2.5 million meals every day. In a show of solidarity, members of the Alliance served identical meals on March 20: roasted chicken, brown rice with seasoned black or red beans, steamed green broccoli, fresh fruit and milk. Representatives from the participating districts currently meet regularly via teleconference. FOOD PROFILE Baking Essentials Here’s a challenge: Try to distinguish between a teaspoon of baking soda and one of baking powder without any boxes or labels to point you in the right direction. Having difficulty? That’s no surprise. The two leavening agents are practically indistinguishable, possessing similar names and virtually identical purposes, raising the question: What’s the difference? Chemically speaking, baking soda and baking powder are both sodium bicarbonate, a salty, alkaline compound. Baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate, and when baking breads, cakes and other treats, it reacts with acid— anything from buttermilk to citrus to vinegar—to leaven the dough. The reaction creates tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand in the batter, causing the product to rise. Baking soda also promotes browning; however, too much can quickly turn golden pancakes into dark, bitter flapjacks. Baking powder, on the other hand, adds an acid in a powdered form, along with cornstarch as filler. This means it simply needs moisture to rehydrate the acid and prompt the sodium bicarbonate to do its job. Most baking powders are “double-acting,” meaning “reacts twice”—once when moisture is added and again when it’s heated—making the end product fluffier than if it had been leavened with baking soda. If a recipe doesn’t contain enough baking soda to make the final product rise sufficiently, you can’t just add more baking soda—the end result would be overly browned and taste strange. However, a little baking powder will boost the recipe’s rising power without adding an alkaline taste or extra color. Both ingredients should be stored in a cool, dark and dry location and replaced every 9 to 12 months. If either are too old—particularly baking powder—it can result in flat, dense food. While there’s no substitution for baking soda, you can replace a teaspoon of baking powder with a 1⁄2 teaspoon of cream of tartar plus a 1⁄4 teaspoon of baking soda. You still might not be able to tell the difference between baking powder and baking soda, but knowing how both work means you can make better decisions on how to create light, fluffy baked goods for everyone to enjoy. AHG/Healthy Cafeterias https://schools.healthier generation.org The Healthy Schools Program of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation continues to develop helpful online resources to assist school nutrition operators. These include sample menus developed to comply with updated USDA meal pattern requirements. Other tools aid in procurement and marketing, as well as the proposed “Smart Snacking” rule. Click on “Wellness Categories” to find the “Healthy Cafeterias” link. MyPlate Resources http://pinterest.com/MyPlateRecipes Pinterest, the popular online bulletin board and image and content sharing site, now features nearly 1,000 recipes that have been identified as meeting MyPlate guidelines. Recipes featured come from such publications and websites as Everyday with Rachael Ray, FoodNetwork.com and Parents.com and were compiled through an effort of several major media companies, Partnership for a Healthier America and USDA. Does It Go Bad? www.doesitgobad.com Does vanilla extract go bad? What about sugar or ketchup? If you ever find yourself wondering if these or a multitude of other food ingredients have a limited shelf life, this website provides the answers. Short articles address proper storage techniques and how to determine when a particular food should be tossed. Calendar13 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 9-11 Annual Meeting, Association of State & Territorial Public Health Nutrition Directors Kansas City, Mo., (814) 255-2829 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, (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 City, (212) 482-6440 July13 JULY 13-16 Annual Conference and Food Expo, Institute of Food Technologists Chicago, (312) 782-8424 JULY 21-25 National Convention, American Culinary Federation Las Vegas, (800) 624-9458 JULY 26-28 Foodservice Conference & Expo, Produce Marketing Association Monterey, Calif., (302) 738-7100 JULY 28-31 National Leadership Conference, Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals Savannah, Ga., (800) 323-1908 Date BOOK May Beef Month Better Sleep Month National Egg Month National Hamburger 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) School Nurse Day (May 8) Mother’s Day (May 12) National Employee Health and Fitness Day (May 15) Memorial Day (May 27) June Caribbean-American Heritage Month Fireworks Safety Month National Dairy Month National Employee Wellness Month National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month Student Safety Month Men’s Health Week (June 10-16) World Oceans Day (June 8) Anne Frank’s Birthday (June 12) Invention of Baseball Anniversary (June 12) Flag Day (June 14) Father’s Day (June 16) Recess at Work Day (June 20) Summer Begins (June 21) July Family Reunion Month National Blueberry Month National Grilling Month National Make a Difference to Children Month National Watermelon Month Independence Day (July 4) National Ice Cream Day (July 21) Culinarians Day (July 25) Beatrix Potter’s Birthday (July 28) National Lasagna Day (July 29) Enter to WIN Get Cookin’! Time is running out for kids to submit entries for this year’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, presented by First Lady Michelle Obama, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Education and Epicurious. Children ages 8-12 and their parents or legal guardians are invited to create and enter their best original lunch recipes inspired by the MyPlate healthy eating guidelines. One winner from each state and the U.S. territories will win a trip to Washington, D.C., and the opportunity to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” hosted by the First Lady at the White House this summer. Entries are due May 12, 2013. For more information or to enter, visit www.recipechallenge.epicurious.com. Walter Goes to Washington Congratulations to Sandi Walter, SNS, cafeteria manager of Coulter Grove Intermediate School, part of Maryville City (Tenn.) Schools. Walter, a certified SNA trainer with 20 years of school nutrition experience and the current president of the Maryville Chapter of the Tennessee School Nutrition Association, was named the School Nutrition Foundation’s first Josephine Martin National Policy Fellow. The award, established in honor of school nutrition pioneer and SNA Past President Dr. Josephine Martin, enabled Walter to attend SNA’s Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C., for the first time last March (see page 29). To learn more about the endowment fund or to make a contribution, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/JosephineMartin. With Honors SNA President Sandra Ford, SNS, director of food and nutrition services for Manatee County School District, Bradenton, Fla. (see right), and SNA Past President Helen Phillips, SNS, senior director of school nutrition for Norfolk City (Va.) Public Schools, were among those honored recently with a Doctorate of Foodservice (DFS) award by the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers. The DFS program recognizes elected leaders of major foodservice industry associations for their commitment and dedication to their respective organizations and the industry at-large. For more details, visit www.nafem.org/information-resources/pdfs/media/dfsrelease2013.pdf. Fame in Florida Kudos to Lora Gilbert, RD, FADA, SNS, senior director of food and nutrition services for Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools, who was named to the 2013 Orlando Sentinel Culinary Hall of Fame. She was recognized for her “significant contributions to how Central Florida cooks, eats, drinks and dines.” To learn more about Gilbert’s honor, visit http://tinyurl.com/c2s3nsn. Reach Your Breakfast Peak Pinnacle Food Service wants to help make sure that every child has the opportunity to start their day with a delicious and nutritious breakfast. The company has awarded more than $22,000 in Pinnacle School Breakfast Building Grants to date, helping recipients fund their breakfast-building initiatives. Pinnacle will continue to award School Breakfast Building Grants to schools on a rolling basis throughout 2013. Visit http://foodservice.pinnaclefoods.com to find out more about Grant Program requirements and to submit an application.
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