BACK TO SCHOOL Summer OVER-Feeding? Too often, school lunch gets an unfair rap as a serious culprit contributing to childhood obesity. However, more than one study—including one published in the June 2013 issue of The Journal of School Health—shows that students actually gain more weight when they are out of school for the summer. In this most recent research, study authors followed 3,700 K-5 children at 41 schools for half a decade, finding that students routinely experienced “a significant increase in the velocity of weight gain during the summer break.” For overweight and obese children, attending school actually protected them against gaining more weight. The authors noted that the rate of weight gain was alarming, particularly due to the short timespan in which it occurs. The latest research backs up the findings of a 2007 study published in The American Journal of Public Health, which tracked more than 5,000 children in kindergarten and first grade at 310 schools. Those researchers determined that body mass index increased at a faster rate during summer vacation than throughout the school year. Speculation for the cause of this increased weight gain mirrors theories as to why adults eat more on the weekend and gain weight faster during a holiday period—in short, it’s party time, and calories aren’t being mindfully monitored. The lead author on the 2007 study, sociologist Doug Downey, suggested that combating this problem requires additional parental involvement, along with a longer school year and more afterschool programs. Authors of the 2013 research suggested that health policies in schools should place additional emphasis on encouraging students to stay active and eat well during the summer months. To read the abstract of the 2013 study or purchase the full text of the research findings, visit http://tinyurl.com/summerlunchstudy. INDUSTRY 40 Years of Setting the Bar You see barcodes on nearly every product you purchase, but have you ever stopped to think about how they work or what their true purpose is? This year, a specific type of barcode, the GS1 Universal Product Code (UPC)—which you’re most likely to use on a daily basis when ordering or receiving items for your school meals operation—celebrated its 40th anniversary of helping retailers, especially in the food and foodservice industry, track product purchases and movement. In April 1973, a cashier in a supermarket in Troy, Ohio, scanned a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum for 67 cents. That seemingly insignificant act had a much larger meaning—in fact, that pack of gum later went on display in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. But the barcode first existed in a realm entirely outside of the grocery and foodservice industries. In the 1960s, it was created to track railroads; however, it ended up being impractical for that purpose and quickly fell out of favor. It reemerged in the form we know it as now—the UPC—in the 1970s, when U.S. manufacturers chose it as the standard for product identification. UPC barcodes work by assigning a unique 12-digit code to an item; each number has a specific meaning pertaining to the manufacturer, store or warehouse. It tracks purchase, inventory, distribution, weight, price, discounts and other identifi ers. The final digit—offset from the others—is considered an error check, used to determine problems when scanning or manually entering the code. The vertical black bars of the code represent each digit with a unique pattern of two bars and two spaces of variable widths. Even though we take UPC barcodes for granted, their backstory continues to evolve. An industry-wide collaboration known as the Foodservice GS1 US Standards Initiative aims for 75% of the foodservice industry to voluntarily adopt GS1 standards for production ID, location identification and data sharing by 2015. For more on this initiative, visit www.gs1us.org/industries/foodservice. USDA Healthy Snacking a Success The effort to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in the nation’s poorest elementary schools has achieved a documented measure of success, according to an evaluation report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. National implementation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)—initially launched in 2002 as a pilot before being expanded into a national program in 2008—has led to a 15% increase in produce consumption, which equals approximately 1⁄3 cup per day, among participating students. This study reviewed participation by 4,700 students in 214 schools. Designed to entice kids into eating foods they might not otherwise be exposed to, the FFVP provides free fresh fruit and vegetable snacks—offered outside regular school meals—in elementary schools with high rates of free and reduced-price meal enrollment. The results of the study also offered optimism for more long-lasting impact. On an average week, FFVP schools offered nutrition education and produce promotion activities 2.4 times per week compared to 0.7 times per week at non-participating schools. As a result, FFVP students demonstrated more positive attitudes toward fruits and vegetables than their counterparts. Among other findings, fresh fruit snacks led the way in popularity, with 97% of students giving them a try, while 84% tried the vegetables. More important, however, 86% and 61% ate all or most of the fruit or veggie snack, respectively, provided to them. To read the full report of the study, visit http://tinyurl.com/ffvpfinalreport. For more information on the FFVP, navigate to www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/ffvp or contact your state agency. (Editors’ Note: For a detailed look at the impact of school-based health initiatives, including the FFVP, see “Are We Moving the Meter?”, June/July 2013.) NutrıNET A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety http://tinyurl.com/foodsafetystorms Food safety is especially challenging in the midst of a weather emergency with flooding and/or power outages. This guide from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service provides tips on how to respond, what to keep, what to toss and where to get answers to questions. Share this link with families in your community. Kid-Friendly Recipes http://tinyurl.com/foodnetworkkids The Food Network comes to the rescue, offering more than 800 easy, delicious recipes designed to appeal to discerning kid taste buds. Recipes from all meal parts, including snacks, are featured. Sample recipes, which were developed by a variety of the network’s on-air celebrities, include Pretzel Peanut Bark, Chicken Parm Pizza and Vegetarian Pot Stickers. Produce Converter www.howmuchisin.com/produce_converters How much produce should you buy when a recipe calls for say, one cup of diced onion or a pound of berries? This easy-to-use website takes the guesswork out of converting these and other recipe quantities. The converter tool also is available in app form for iPhone ($0.99) or Android ($1.99) devices. Calendar13 Sept13 SEPT. 15-17 27th Annual Conference, Child and Adult Care Food Program Sponsor’s Association Minneapolis, (800) 369-9082 SEPT. 16-18 International Dairy Show, International Dairy Foods Association Minneapolis, (202) 737-4332 SEPT. 30-OCT. 2 2013 Washington Public Policy Conference, United Fresh Produce Association Washington, D.C., (202) 303-3400 SEPT. 30-OCT. 2 National Conference, Society for Foodservice Management Bonita Springs, Fla., (502) 574-9931 Oct13 OCT. 3-5 Annual Conference, Council of Urban Boards of Education San Antonio, Texas, (703) 838-6722 OCT. 6-9 International Baking Industry Exposition 2013, Retail Bakers of America Las Vegas, (619) 298-1445 OCT. 7-9 Fall 2013 Conference, Commercial Food Equipment Service Association New Orleans, (336) 346-4700 OCT. 9-12 87th Annual ASHA School Health Conference, American School Health Association Myrtle Beach, S.C., (301) 652-8072 OCT. 19-22 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Houston, Texas, (800) 877-1600 OCT. 19-23 Annual Convention, National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association, Inc. San Diego, (717) 657-8601 OCT. 25-28 Annual Meeting and Expo, Association of School Business Officials International Boston, (866) 682-2729 OCT. 28-30 Annual CACFP Conference, Child Care Food Program Roundtable Sacramento, Calif., (530) 677-9410 DateBOOK September Backpack Safety America Month Food Allergy Awareness Month Hunger Awareness Month National Food Safety Education Month National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) National Mushroom Month National Whole Grains Month National Clean Hands Week (Sept. 15-21) Labor Day (Sept. 2) Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 4) Yom Kippur (Sept. 13) First Day of Autumn (Sept. 22) October American Cheese Month Celiac Disease Awareness Month Emotional Wellness Month Filipino American History Month National Farm to School Month National Principals Month National Roller Skating Month Pizza Month Polish American Heritage Month World Space Week (Oct. 4-10) Teen Read Week (Oct. 13-19) National School Lunch Week (Oct. 14-18) National School Bus Safety Week (Oct. 21-25) Southern Food Heritage Day (Oct. 11) Columbus Day (observed) (Oct. 14) National Pasta Day (Oct. 17) Halloween (Oct. 31) November National Inspirational Role Models Month National Pomegranate Month American Education Week (Nov. 17-23) National Farm-City Week (Nov. 22-28) National Game and Puzzle Week (Nov. 24-30) Election Day (Nov. 5) Veterans Day (Nov. 11) National Education Support Professionals Day (Nov. 20) Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) Enter to WIN Celebrating Student Success Congratulations to the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Recipe Contest! The contest, administered by Epicurious and presented by the White House and the U.S. Department of Education (with advisory support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recognized winning recipes submitted by students between the ages of 8 and 12, selecting one from each state and U.S. territory. More than 1,300 recipes were entered! Judges included adults and children. Honors went to such dishes as Vegan Powerhouse Pesto Pasta (Maine), Inga Binga’s Salmon Salad (D.C.), Lucky Lettuce Cups (Utah), Yummy Eggplant Lasagna Rolls (Puerto Rico) and Sweet Potato Turkey Sliders (Georgia). Each of the 54 junior chef winners was invited to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in July. Visit www.recipechallenge.epicurious.com for a list of winners and a free downloadable e-cookbook of all of the winning recipes. Medal Worthy Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, LD, a nutrition consultant and speaker based in Billings, Mont., who maintains the School Meals That Rock Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SchoolMealsThatRock), has been honored as a recipient of a 2013 Medallion Award by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Medallion Award recognizes members for their outstanding service and leadership to the Academy and the dietetics profession. Hayes will be recognized at the Academy’s annual conference in Texas in October. She is a frequent contributor to School Nutrition. Tennessee Titans Congratulations to Knoxville and Knox County, Tenn., which have jointly received the most gold medals in the Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties program of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to combat childhood obesity. The program is designed to promote federal nutrition and physical activity standards and recognizes mayors and other elected officials for their efforts toward these standards. Knox County Schools’ efforts in revamping its lunch program and offering an extensive gardening curriculum aided the city and county in earning recognition. The cities of Meriden, Conn.; Norfolk, Va.; and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., also have received four gold and one bronze medals each in the challenge, but Tennessee is the first state to have both a city and county jointly receive medals. For more information about Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties, visit www.healthycommunitieshealthyfuture.org. For more information on Knoxville’s Let’s Move! campaign, see www.letsmoveknoxville.com. Simply Succotash Simplot Foods recently recognized Kay Briles, a school nutrition employee in the Baldwin/Woodville (Wis.) School District, as the grand-prize winner in the Simplot K-12 Vegetable Recipe Contest. Briles’ winning recipe for Mexican Lasagna With Simplot Culinary™ Select Edamame Succotash won her an all-expenses-paid trip to ANC 2013 in Kansas City, as well as a consulting session with a registered dietitian for assistance with guideline details, compliance papework, nutritional information and meeting planning. For more information, visit www.simplotfoods.com. Fancy Fruitwork Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, has announced the grand-prize winner of its second annual Dole Fruit Flash Mob Contest. Staff and students at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Va., produced a three-minute rap performance with original lyrics and choreography in response to Dole’s challenge to create videos that promote healthy eating and incorporate fruit consumption in a school cafeteria setting. The school earned $1,000 and 10 cases of Dole products. The contest’s two first-place winners, Northwood Middle School, Wakarusa, Ind., and North Powder (Ore.) Charter School, each received $500 and 10 cases of Dole products. To view Indian River High School’s winning video, visit http://tinyurl.com/dolefruitflashmob.
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