SUMMER CELEBRATION A Salute to Old Glory For a majority of School Nutrition readers, the most patriotic of holidays—that would be the Fourth of July, aka Independence Day—is right around the corner. But before you stock up on fireworks and hop on a parade float, there’s another seasonal occasion to don the red, white and blue. It was just 237 years ago that the Second Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes—also known as Old Glory or the American flag—as a national symbol. This event is commemorated by Flag Day, marked annually on June 14 since 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing the holiday. It’s not an official federal holiday, though, and just two states—Pennsylvania and New York—observe Flag Day as a state holiday. In honor of this month’s not-officially-a-holiday, enjoy a few fun facts about the Stars and Stripes. • Betsy Ross typically gets credit for designing the original American flag, but that assertion comes only from her grandson’s claims. Instead, journals from the Continental Congress actually name Francis Hopkinson as the flag’s designer. • A high school student, Robert G. Heft, designed the current look of the American flag as part of a history project. He got a B-. After President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Heft’s design over 1,500 other options, however, the teacher changed his grade to an A. • Five out of six of the flags planted on the moon during the Apollo missions are still standing. One was blown over during lift-off during the Apollo 11 mission, according to Buzz Aldrin. Even though Flag Day officially falls on a Saturday in 2014, you can use this type of American flag trivia with students in your cafeteria or summer meals program between now and July 4. Pair the fun with a patriotic-themed menu item, such as a red, white and blue yogurt parfait. For more U.S. flag trivia, visit http://tinyurl.com/flagdaytrivia. CHILD HEALTH Obesity Rates Decline in Young Children Recent federal data reveal an encouraging trend in the fight against obesity, as rates of obesity among children ages 2 to 5 have dropped a whopping 43% in the past decade. The findings come from a government study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and are considered a gold standard to measure public health trends. Researchers found that slightly more than 8% of children in this age range were obese in 2011-12, down from nearly 14% in 2003-04. It’s positive news, coupled with a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that found obesity rates among low-income preschoolers participating in federal nutrition programs also had declined (2008-11). According to CDC growth charts, a child is considered obese if his or her body mass index is at or above the 95th percentile. While the researchers don’t know the precise reasons for the drop, they note that many childcare centers have improved nutrition and physical activity standards in recent years. The data also show decreases in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among youth. Another possible factor might be improvement in breastfeeding rates in the United States, seen as a correlating factor in lower incidence of child obesity. While the latest news is encouraging, federal health officials noted that obesity rates for the broader population remain unchanged, and for women older than 60, obesity rates rose about 21% during that same period. An early spring Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll actually determined rates of obesity among adults continuing to rise in all 50 states. Obesity rates continue to be highest in Southern and Midwestern states and lowest in Western and Northeastern states, an ongoing trend since 2008 when Gallup-Healthways began tracking the obesity rate. To read the entire federal report, visit http://tinyurl.com/jamaobesity. For more information about the recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, visit http://tinyurl.com/gallupobesityrates. TRENDS Customers Choose Veggies Are more students in your cafeteria saying “No, thank you” to meat-based entrées? An increasing number of restaurants— particularly quick-serve eateries— are taking a cue from their customers and adding vegetarian or vegan options to their menu. It’s a trend you might consider boosting at your own school. Although vegetarians make up a relatively small percentage of U.S. consumers, many identify as “flexitarian,” frequently choosing meatless meals, but not strictly embracing all vegetarian principles. Although only an estimated 4% of Americans are considered “true” vegetarians, according to a series of Harris Polls commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group, another poll revealed that 47% of people in the United States eat at least one meat-free meal a week—up a whopping 40% from a poll taken six years prior. If you want to take advantage of this burgeoning interest in vegetarianism, focus your menu efforts on nutritious plant-based ingredients. Beans, mushrooms and soy products can be used in a variety of cuisines, including Mexican (bean burritos, tacos and salads), Asian (edamame rice bowls or tofu stir-fry) and American (mushroom burgers and veggie pizza). For extra help on prepared vegetarian options available to school nutrition operators, check out the On the Market section of the January 2014 issue of School Nutrition. FOOD TRIVIA Easy as Pie? Ha! Have you ever called someone “upper crust”? Maybe you’ve insisted that you would take someone else’s report “with a grain of salt?” And surely you’ve asserted that a particular task is “easy as pie!” When you made such statements, it’s likely that most people (certainly those who grew up speaking English) understood what you meant without further comment. But if you take a moment to think about it—or encounter strange looks from someone who has only recently learned this language—you may wonder at the origins of such strange phrases and concepts. Most languages have food-based idioms that don’t seem to make a lot of sense. Want to call someone a jerk in French? Sling this at them: espèce d’andouille! You’ve just called them a piece of sausage. After a rough day in the Netherlands, Dutch speakers mutter a phrase translated as “staring at the sloop like a herring.” Even other English-speaking countries have bewildering idioms: If you fuss too much, an Australian might say you’re “carrying on like a pork chop.” For a fun exercise to share with staff or students, consider sharing a look behind the origin of some common American colloquialisms that relate to food. Describing someone as “upper crust” means they’re part of the highest social class, and it typically carries a connotation of being stiff or stodgy, along with very wealthy. One theory is that in the 1500s, nobility was given the top half of a loaf of bread, while commoners and poor folk got the burnt bottom of the bread. While the phrase didn’t come into common usage until hundreds of years later, one could imagine it was an appropriate distinction between economic classes. The phrase “bringing home the bacon,” which now refers to being the primary wage-earner in the family, comes from 12th-century England, where a church offered a side of bacon to a married man who could swear before the congregation and God that he hadn’t fought with his wife for a year and a day. (Anyone who is—or has been—married knows that’s a difficult task to accomplish, and surely the man who earned the bacon deserved it!) Alternate theories suggest that the phrase refers to the top prize in boxing. Some idioms, such as “easy as pie,” have been corrupted over time. It’s hard to imagine someone minimizing the complicated steps of pie baking. Well, they didn’t. Originally, the expression was “Easy as eating a piece of pie.” What a mouthful—but one that makes much more sense. Perhaps the oldest food phrase on our list, “with a grain of salt” dates back to Pliny the Elder, who wrote up a list of antidotes to poisons. One of these was a grain of salt. Therefore, you protect yourself against poison by taking a grain of salt every day. However, the Latin word salis means both salt and wit, so the phrase actually might have been to take things “with a grain of wit”—also some good advice. There are many other puzzling food phrases to explore—“apple of my eye,” “the big cheese” and “red herring,” to name a few. So, look for School Nutrition to investigate these and report back in the future! CHILD HEALTH New Federal Grants Support Wellness Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will award three universities grants totaling $5 million toward the development of childhood obesity prevention programs. The following universities and projects were selected for the funding: • University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.)—“Get Fruved”: A peer-led, train-the-trainer social marketing intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake • Tufts University (Boston, Mass.)— A “kids-only” retail coupon study to promote healthy snack options among adolescents in convenience stores • Winston-Salem State University (Winston-Salem, N.C.)—a community initiative that seeks to help 10- to 12-year-old children from low-income families. The financed projects were required to integrate all three functions of agriculture science—research, education and extension—and the award choices were made by a competitive process based on scientific merit. “These grants fund critical research that will help USDA and our partners implement effective strategies to support America’s next generation, so they can have a healthy childhood and develop healthy habits for life.” To learn more, visit www.nifa.usda.gov. Nutri NET Media-Smart Youth http://tinyurl.com/mediasmartyouth Media-Smart Youth is an interactive curriculum for students ages 11-13 designed to empower them to think critically about the media’s role in influencing their wellness choices and to build skills that allow them to make informed decisions about healthy habits. The curriculum combines media literacy and youth development principles and practices with up-to-date research findings and federal recommendations about nutrition and physical activity. Cargill Harvest Provisions™ www.harvestprovisionsK12.com This new website from Cargill’s Harvest Provisions turkey brand is designed to help school nutrition operators enhance the appeal of their menus and grow their meal programs, while complying with meal pattern regulations. Included are details about the brand’s protein-rich, lowfat products specifically for K-12 operations, as well as product preparation tips. United States Potato Board www.potatogoodness.com Now that summer’s here, are your thoughts turning to seasonal food favorites, such as potato salad? Check out videos featuring Culinary Institute of America Chef Bill Briwa, who demonstrates some fresh takes on this popular food. Learn how to create Asian, spring and warm potato salads. Also available are videos demonstrating a variety of potato breakfast dishes. Calendar14 June14 JUNE 10-13 Annual Conference, United Fresh Produce Association Chicago, (202) 303-3400 JUNE 19-21 10th Annual Leadership Conference, Center for the Advancement of Foodservice Education (CAFÉ) Salt Lake City, Utah, (410) 268-5542 JUNE 21-24 Annual Meeting and Food Expo, Institute of Food Technologists New Orleans, (800) 462-9440 JUNE 25-28 105th Annual Conference and Expo, American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences St. Louis, Mo., (703) 406-4600 July14 JULY 7-10 Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition, National Environmental Health Association Las Vegas, (303) 756-9090 JULY 8-12 National Conference, National Association of College & University Food Services Baltimore, (517) 332-2494 JULY 10-12 Annual Conference, National Association of Elementary School Principals Nashville, (800) 417-0348 JULY 11-12 Annual Conference, National Association for Family Child Care Orlando, Fla., (801) 886-2322 JULY 25-27 Foodservice Conference and Expo, Produce Marketing Association Monterey, Calif., (302) 738-7100 JULY 25-29 National Convention, American Culinary Federation Kansas City, Mo., (800) 624-9458 August14 AUG. 9-12 Annual Meeting & Exposition, American Society of Association Executives Nashville, (888) 950-2723 AUG. 10-14 Annual Conference, Association of Correctional Food Service Affiliates St. Louis, Mo., (818) 843-6608 Date BOOK June Fireworks Safety Month National Dairy Month National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month Turkey Lovers Month National Sun Safety Week (June 1-7) Men’s Health Week (June 9-15) Corn on the Cob Day (June 11) Flag Day (June 14) Father’s Day (June 15) Summer Begins (June 21) July Family Reunion Month Fireworks Safety Month National Blueberry Month National Culinary Arts Month National Make a Difference to Children Month National Recreation and Parks Month National Watermelon Month National Parenting Gifted Children Week (July 21-27) Independence Day (July 4) Tour de France Begins (July 5) Macaroni Day (July 7) E.B. White’s Birthday (July 11) Anniversary of First Moon Landing (July 20) Hammock Day (July 22) Amelia Earhart’s Birthday (July 24) Culinarians Day (July 25) National Lasagna Day (July 29) Paperback Book Day (July 30) August American Indian Heritage Month Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month Family Meals Month National Immunization Awareness Month National Peach Month National Farmers’ Market Week (Aug. 3-9) National Aviation Week (Aug. 15-21) National Safe at Home Week (Aug. 24-30) National Mustard Day (Aug. 5) International Left-Handers Day (Aug. 13) Enter to WIN Sterling Success The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) honored Sandra Ford, SNS, as the 2014 Silver Plate Award winner in the elementary and secondary schools category. The prestigious Silver Plate recognizes achievements in foodservice management, marketing, human resources and industry and civic participation and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Ford is director of food and nutrition services for Manatee County School District in Bradenton, Fla., and served as the 2012-13 SNA President. She also was named the 2014 Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year in the annual FAME (Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence) awards competition. She was nominated for the Silver Plate by Schwan’s Food Service. Asked by IFMA about the most enjoyable aspects of her career, Ford noted, “I love the variety…there are so many ongoing changes while running a $26 million business within a school district. Some days are HR-focused, some days are food-focused—and all days are student-focused.” Before leading SNA as president, Ford served the Association in many areas, including Southwest regional director and as a member of the Certification and Credentialing Governing Council, Education and Research Committees. She also has chaired numerous special task forces. Ford earned her BS and MS from Kansas State University. “Representing my segment is such an honor,” said Ford. “School foodservice is like no other segment. … I represent every school foodservice employee across the nation. We are partners in the education of children, and this award gives me the opportunity to share that message.” Ford and the other category winners were recognized in a special ceremony in May in Chicago. For a complete list of the winners, visit http://tinyurl.com/silverplatewinners. Poultry Pizzazz Try your hand at Taste of Home’s “Spring Chicken” recipe contest, and you could win up to $500. Entries will be judged on taste, visual appeal, feasibility and creativity/uniqueness. One grand-prize winner will receive $500, one second-place winner earns $150, one third-place recipe will receive $75 and eight honorable mention entries each will receive a cookbook. The deadline to enter is June 20, 2014. For more information or to enter, visit www.tasteofhome.com/contests. Make It Meatless The Humane Society of the United States presents the opportunity to enter its “Meatless Monday” Recipe Contest. The contest is open to school nutrition operators at a U.S. public, private or charter school for K-12 students. Recipes must be entrée items suitable for preparation in a K-12 school operation and must contain only vegan ingredients; they cannot contain any animal products or by-products, including meats, eggs or dairy. No more than 12 ingredients may be used, exclusive of salt, pepper, water and oil/cooking spray, and recipes must be written for yields of both 6 and 50 servings. Entries will be judged based on taste, ease of preparation and use in schools and visual appeal of the finished dish. One grand-prize winner will receive $500. The deadline to enter is July 31, 2014. Entries must be e-mailed to MeatlessMonday@humanesociety.org. For more information about the contest, visit http://tinyurl.com/humanesocietycontest. The Power of Peanut Butter Congratulations to 12-year-old Leah Toomey from Allentown, Pa., who won the grand prize in Jif’s 12th annual “Most Creative Sandwich” contest for her Crunchy, Creamy, Dreamy Finger Sandwich. She won $25,000 to use toward her college fund, and four runners-up each received $2,500 toward their own college plans. To view all of the winning recipes, visit www.jif.com/Promotions/Most-Creative-Peanut-Butter.
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