STEPS Take STEPS Into Spring Are you getting ready to pull your grill out of hibernation? It’s a great time to turn your attention to leaner, healthier protein options and step things up with April’s STEPS Challenge: Power Up With Protein. Protein is aptly known as the building block of the body; getting enough of it is crucial for maintaining muscle mass, which naturally declines as you age. Get rewarded for consuming the nutrients you need by choosing lowfat sources of protein. Every time you make the decision to eat a lean source of protein this month, you earn three points in the STEPS Challenge. Rack up 50 points for the month, and you could win a $50 gift card to the grocery store of your choice! Which protein sources are lean? Of course, skinless chicken or turkey breast fits the bill, as does pork loin, tenderloin and ham. Seafood such as shrimp, crabs and fish are other healthy options. Beef can be lean, too— pick extra-lean ground beef (at least 90% lean), round roasts or top loin or sirloin. Make these options even leaner by trimming away visible fat and cooking them in a healthful manner: broiling, grilling, poaching or baking. Vegetarians might find this month a particularly easy challenge! Most of your protein choices (including quinoa, eggs and beans) are already lean; just be sure not to add too much fat during the cooking process. Looking ahead to the final monthly challenge in 2013-14, May is your chance to “Spread the Love!” A perfect complement with School Lunch Hero Day and School Nutrition Employee Week, this month’s call to action focuses on how you can make others feel good—which, in turn, does your spirit good, too! Send a “thank you” note to a colleague or family member. Reconnect with a friend who’s been out of touch. Buy flowers for your sweetie, just because it’s a Tuesday. Award yourself 10 points every time you make an effort to do a nice thing for another person. It only takes five good deeds to be eligible for a prize drawing for a SNA Emporium gift card. Earned 50+ points at the end of each month? Submit your tracking sheet at www.schoolnutrition.org/STEPS or fax to (301) 686-3115 to be eligible for the month’s reward! Remember, your participation could make your state a STEPS Challenge All-Star State, and make you eligible for this year’s grand-prize drawing for an all-expenses-paid trip for two to SNA’s Annual National Conference in Boston this summer. ANC 2014 Join Early Birds in Registering for ANC Even if you’ve never been a self-declared “morning person,” there are perks to being an early bird when it comes to registration for the 2014 Annual National Conference (ANC). The conference is just around the corner—July 13-16 in Boston—but the time to register is now, particularly if you want to save money. To get a discounted rate, register by the early-bird deadline of May 9! In addition, school nutrition operations can save money when sending more than one person from the same district. After the initial registration, each additional person in the same registration category receives a discounted rate when the registrations are faxed or mailed at the same time in the same envelope. It’s just one more selling point you can share with your boss when asking to attend this year’s premiere school nutrition event. What are some of the other selling points? The list goes on and on, starting with more than 100 education sessions, where you can learn from some of the top professionals in the school nutrition field. New this year are interactive roundtable sessions, perfect for those who want to discuss some of the most pressing topics with peers and tackle solutions head-on. Next, don’t forget the massive Exhibit Hall, featuring more than 850 booths offering products that have the potential to streamline your operation, improve your budget and excite your customers. And, of course, the docket of speakers and musical acts for this year’s conference is more impressive than ever. Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis kicks things off at the Opening General Session, and a concert by pop rockers Huey Lewis and the News will be a big finish! Register for ANC 2014 today by visiting www.schoolnutrition.org/anc. You just might find that being an early bird has never felt so good. School Nutrition Employee Week There Are Heroes Among Us What’s the definition of a hero? Answer: The people who should be admired for outstanding qualities and achievements in everyday life. Even if you’ve been working in this business only for a short time, you’ve likely come across several of these individuals. That’s because school nutrition professionals have to juggle a lot of plates—pun intended! Between preparing healthy meals for America’s students, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies and offering service with a smile, school nutrition professionals are true heroes! That’s why School Nutrition Employee Week (SNEW)—May 5-9, 2014—is the perfect opportunity to recognize the hardworking professionals in your school cafeteria. SNA has designated this week to remind everyone that school nutrition employees are superheroes that deserve some recognition. For the second year in a row, SNEW kicks off with “School Lunch Hero Day” (SLHD) on Friday, May 2. Once again, SNA has partnered with Jarrett J.Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series, and Random House for this special occasion. Krosoczka’s main characters were inspired by his own youthful encounters and celebrate the heroes working in school cafeterias all across the country. It’s easy to participate in SNEW and SLHD—and rewarding, too! Just think how wonderful you will make others feel by recognizing their efforts. Maybe it’s arranging for their achievements to be recognized during morning announcements or perhaps it’s a “sit-down” lunch where they are served by principals, teachers and staff! You’ll find plenty of ideas on SNA’s website to help you get started. Consider the gift of an SNA membership, which will reward them all year long. Plus, anyone who recruits new members to the national Association during the month of May automatically will be entered to win two complimentary sets of the ninevolume Lunch Lady series (one for the winner and one for their school). Plus, new this year, members will be able to purchase spirited SLHD merchandise from SNA’s Emporium. Visit the official website at www.schoolnutrition.org/SNEW for details. Membership Recruitment Spring Into Action and Be Rewarded! Spring has sprung, and it’s the perfect time to spring into action with your SNA membership recruitment efforts. Increasing membership has never been easier or more worthwhile through membership recruitment drives designed to boost SNA’s ranks and reward you at the same time. Currently, the Spring Membership Drive for State Associations is underway (March 1–May 31, 2014), and there is still plenty of time to participate. Take a look at your challenge: • Mission to State Associations: Recruit as many new members and retain as many current members as possible to meet or exceed your 5% membership growth goal, from your May 2013 year-end numbers. • Rewards: Receive the Membership Goal Award of $300 if your state meets its 5% membership goal, and/or receive the Increasing Membership Award and receive $2 for every member your state association has at the May 2014 year-end point that is over your May 2013 year-end total (up to $200). Individual members can spring into action and get rewarded, too. SNA membership helps your career in school nutrition go places. And when you recruit new members during SNA’s Annual Membership Drive (June 1, 2013–May 31, 2014), you could be going new places for real! Recruit five or more new members by May 31, 2014, and you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a Grand Prize Trip to Miami, Fla., or one of seven registrations to SNA’s 2015 Annual National Conference (ANC) in Salt Lake City. For all the information you need to help you spring into action and be rewarded for your efforts, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/membership. SNA Meetings & Events MAY 2, 2014 School Lunch Hero Day MAY 5-9, 2014 School Nutrition Employee Week MAY 21–22, 2014 Spring Industry Boot Camp National Harbor, Md. JULY 12–16, 2014 Annual National Conference Boston, Mass. OCTOBER 13–17, 2014 National School Lunch Week JANUARY 15–16, 2015 School Nutrition Industry Conference Phoenix, Ariz. MARCH 1–4, 2015 Legislative Action Conference Washington, D.C. MARCH 2–6, 2015 National School Breakfast Week
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