RESEARCH RESULTS School Meals Beat Out Lunch From Home Mark one in the “win” column for school lunches. After an onslaught of challenging media attention about the nutrition profile of schools meals, a little bit of good news recently emerged—a study, published in July in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that, despite public perception, home-packed lunches typically are less nutritious than reimbursable school meals. In fact, just 27% of the lunches brought from home that were reviewed in the study met a minimum of three out of the five current meal component standards for meals served in the National School Lunch Program: a half-cup of fruit, . cup of vegetables, 1 ounce of grains, 1 ounce of meat/protein and 1 cup of milk. Some of the key findings from the study include: • A quarter of the so-called “brown bag” lunches didn’t include a primary entree; in fact, most lacked a protein foundation, such as yogurt, cheese or peanut butter. • Only one-third of the home-packed lunches included fruit and just 11% included vegetables. • A quarter of home-packed lunches included a sugar-sweetened beverage, while 28% included water. According to the study, 4 out of 10 students bring their lunches from home daily in lieu of purchasing a school meal. To read the study abstract or purchase the full text of the study, visit http://tinyurl.com/lunchboxstudy. HOLIDAYS Sweets for Your Sweet Although many celebration cynics claim that Valentine’s Day and Halloween were invented by the candy and card companies to promote product sales, they couldn’t be further from the truth about these longstanding traditional holidays. However, there is one special observance, occurring this month, that actually was invented by a candy company—but that doesn’t make it any less fun to celebrate with your friends, family and students. The celebratory event is Sweetest Day, and this year, it falls on Saturday, October 18. These days, it’s only “officially” observed in certain states—Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and parts of New York and Pennsylvania—although even in these areas, it’s unlikely to gain as much attention as Valentine’s Day. The roots of Sweetest Day date back to 1921 in Cleveland, Ohio, where confectioners from candy company C.C. Hartzell distributed more than 20,000 boxes of candy across the city with the assistance of movie stars such as Ann Pennington of the Ziegfeld Follies fame. The purpose was to bring happiness to those who were often forgotten, so the candy was given to orphans, homebound residents and hospital patients, among others. In 1937 and 1940, the industry, led by the National Confectioners Association, resurrected the event, by again using the occasion to distribute candy. Handing out candy to students certainly doesn’t fit with federal regulations and the development of healthy school environments. But the message of brightening the day of someone often overlooked is worthwhile to promote! Because Sweetest Day always falls on a Saturday, make plans to celebrate it on Monday, October 20. You could use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut sandwiches and other foods in a sweet shape to set the mood. Set up a display board with colorful markers and ask students to share the name of someone they want to recognize, whether it’s a friend, family member, neighbor, teacher or school cafeteria employee. Establish a coloring station for youngsters to craft homemade greeting cards. Just ensure the students understand that Sweetest Day isn’t about romantic love or eating sugary treats, but about simple acts of kindness to brighten someone’s day. However you celebrate, know that it’s sure to kick off the week on a very sweet note! FACING THE FUTURE 2014 Trends Shaping Foodservice Trend. Definition: A general direction in which something is developing or changing. As 2014 begins to wind down, how are some of the year’s hottest foodservice trends shaping the future? Many of today’s restaurant diners are becoming more health conscious, and the trend toward healthier menu selections is expected to continue. This includes the need to offer more details about the nutritional content and origin of recipes and ingredients. As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, consumers expect to conduct most of life’s business via smartphone. That’s why most restaurants post their menus online and many offer mobile ordering. The ability to pay a restaurant check on a mobile device or tablet also is increasingly available. Gluten-free options continue to gain popularity among those who don’t have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity— according to the Mintel Group, a consumer market research firm, 75% of consumers without a medical need eat these foods because they are perceived to be healthier. And the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness says that gluten-free sales have doubled and are expected to double again in the next three years. As America becomes more ethnically diverse, authentic menu options have become increasingly important. This is especially true of Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, who expect their food to be authentic in its look, feel and taste. What new trends are around the corner? We eagerly await 2015 prognostications! COOKING DEMOS Chef Designed, Children Approved! The Internet breaks down all kinds of boundaries and borders; you’re not limited to the offerings of your particular state or region when seeking training, best practices, research and more. So, you don’t need to live in Idaho to make the most of helpful cooking videos available from the Idaho Department of Education. The videos cover a two-week cycle menu of chef-designed school lunches. The recipes use USDA Foods to help school nutrition operators cut costs, as well as introduce more fresh fruits and vegetables to children. The videos feature Chef Brenda Thompson, RD, as she gives cooking demonstrations of 10 kid-tested recipes, highlighting helpful culinary techniques. The recipes include Cheeseburger Salad Wrap, BBQ Roasted Chicken, Thai Chicken & Basil Barley, Fish Tacos, Volcanic Meatloaf, Southwest Burrito, Mozzarella-Crusted Pollock, Mandarin Chicken Rice Bowl, Cilantro Pork Salad Wrap and a Breakfast Burrito. To view any of the chef-designed school lunch cooking demos, visit http://tinyurl.com/IdahoChefVideos. NutrıNET ProducePro www.fightbac.org/campaigns/produce-handling ProducePro is a new consumer campaign from the Partnership for Food Safety Education focused on tips related to safe home practices in the preparation and enjoyment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Health and food safety educators can download graphics, brochures, talking points, PowerPoint presentations and tip sheets to help explain the value of safe handling practices. Spanishlanguage resources also are available. National Onion Association www.onions-usa.org/foodservice Looking for some innovative catering suggestions? The National Onion Association site offers two free downloadable recipe booklets for foodservice operators. One features recipe ideas for “signature sandwiches,” while the other focuses on onion-based side dishes. Both booklets include mouth-watering photos that will make you want to test the recipes right away! Peanut Allergy Facts www.peanutallergyfacts.org This fact-filled website provides science-based information about food allergies, with a specific focus on peanut allergies. You’ll find links to resources for effective allergy management, including how to recognize an allergic reaction, along with summaries of current research studies and resources for additional information. Calendar14 Oct14 OCT. 9-11 88th Annual ASHA School Health Conference, American School Health Association Portland, Ore., (703) 506-7675 OCT. 11-14 NFRA Convention, National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association, Inc. Orlando, Fla., (717) 657-8601 OCT. 17-19 Annual Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition, Produce Marketing Association Anaheim, Calif., (302) 738-7100 OCT. 18-21 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Atlanta, (800) 877-1600 OCT. 21-23 2014 Distribution Solutions Conference, International Foodservice Distributors Association Indianapolis, (703) 532-9400 OCT. 22-24 Annual Fall Conference, Council of the Great City Schools Milwaukee, Wis., (202) 393-2427 OCT. 29-30 60th Annual Conference, National Chicken Council Washington, D.C., (202) 296-2622 Nov14 NOV. 4-6 National Conference, Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management Uncasville, Conn., (502) 574-9931 NOV. 6-8 Annual Conference, Association for Middle Level Education Nashville, (800) 528-6672 NOV. 7-9 reThink Food Conference, Culinary Institute of America Napa, Calif., (707) 967-2416 NOV. 9-11 Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers Conference, Whole Grains Council Boston, (617) 896-4820 NOV. 15-19 Annual Meeting & Exposition, American Public Health Association New Orleans, (202) 777-2742 DateBOOK October Breast Cancer Awareness Month Celiac Disease Awareness Month Eat Better, Eat Together Month National Farm to School Month National Pizza Month National Seafood Month National Food Bank Week (Oct. 12-18) National School Lunch Week (Oct. 13-17) Yom Kippur (Oct. 3) Walk to School Day (Oct. 8) Columbus Day (observed) (Oct. 13) World Food Day (Oct. 16) Halloween (Oct. 31) November National American Indian Heritage Month National Diabetes Month National Family Caregivers Month Vegan Month National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 15-23) Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 16-22) American Education Week (Nov. 17-21) National Game and Puzzle Week (Nov. 23-29) Daylight Saving Time Ends (Nov. 2) Sandwich Day (Nov. 3) Election Day (Nov. 4) King Tut Tomb Discovery Anniversary (Nov. 4) Veterans Day (Nov. 11) National Education Support Professionals Day (Nov. 19) Great American Smokeout (Nov. 20) Thanksgiving (Nov. 27) December National Pear Month Safe Toys and Gifts Month Tropical Fruits Month Worldwide Food Service Safety Month Cookie Exchange Week (Dec. 1-5) National Hand Washing Awareness Week (Dec. 7-13) Hanukkah (Dec. 16-24) Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) Christmas (Dec. 25) Enter to WIN Fuel for School Schools enrolled in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program are eligible to receive funding to help them jumpstart and sustain health, nutrition and physical activity improvements. The initiative, launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League, in collaboration with Let’s Move! Active Schools, Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Dean Foods and The Quaker Oats Company, provides monies for a variety of activities and tools, such as student engagement and motivation, in-school promotions and tracking and measurement. The deadline to apply is November 5, 2014. For more information, visit http://school.fueluptoplay60.com/funds/funds_for_futp60. Milkin’ It in Missouri Congratulations to Jill Morey, school nutrition director for Branson (Mo.) Public Schools, who was selected as the winner of Traulsen’s “4Ever Cool” Giveaway at ANC in Boston in July. To enter, conference attendees submitted predictions for the Class of 2030, reflecting the theme that milk coolers purchased for the current school year are expected to last until 2030! Morey won a milk cooler for her school nutrition operation. For more information on Traulsen’s milk coolers, visit www.traulsen.com/products/milk-cooler. Super (Rice) Bowl The USA Rice Federation will accept entries in its annual recipe competition for K-12 foodservice directors and menu planners through October 17, 2014. The “Healthy Brown Rice on the Menu” contest focuses exclusively on brown rice being used in bowls, breakfast and lunch recipes. Submit a description of how you used brown rice in one of these three categories, and you will be entered for a chance to be one of three grand-prize winners of a paid 2015 SNA conference registration, a generous supply of brown rice donated to your school, a commercial Aroma rice cooker for your school and a consumer rice cooker for your home. Three runners-up also will receive a generous supply of brown rice and a commercial-size Aroma rice cooker for your school. Visit www.healthybrownriceonthemenu.com. Super Sundays Taste of Home seeks “legendary homemade recipes that make Sundays the best days” for its “Sunday Best” recipe contest. Submissions can be casseroles, entrées, sides or desserts, and they will be judged on taste, visual appeal, creativity and crowd appeal. One grand-prize winner will receive $500, one first-place winner will be awarded $300, one second-place winner will earn $150, one third-place winner will receive $75 and eight honorable mention winners each will win a cookbook. Entries are due November 3, 2014. To view more contest details or to submit an entry, visit www.tasteofhome.com/contests. Equipped for Success During SNA’s 2014 ANC last summer, California Area Elementary/Middle School in Coal Center, Pa., was named the recipient of Baxter Manufacturing’s first Equipment for Education grant. This grant program was established in partnership with the School Nutrition Foundation to help a school kitchen in need better serve students and meet the changing school nutritional rules by providing a new mini-rack oven. For more information on the grant program, visit www.schoolnutritionorgscholarships. A-peeling Award Way to go! Centerville (Ohio) City Schools’ school nutrition operation was chosen to receive a $50,000 grand prize in Lamb Weston’s “Peel Deal” promotion. The team plans to use the money to grow their school meals program and also has purchased anti-fatigue floor mats to be used in all school kitchens. To learn more about the promotion, visit www.lambweston.com/aboutus/news-detail/116. Evolve and Innovate The National Restaurant Association announced the winners of its 2014 Kitchen Innovations Awards, which honor equipment and technology designed to improve operations. Among the honorees were Alto-Shaam, Inc.’s CT PROformance™ Combitherm® Oven (which also received the Product of the Year Award by Foodservice Consultants Society International earlier this year), Champion Industries’ Dry Assist dishwasher and Garland’s Induction FlexiHob Technology. For more information about the awards and to see the complete list of winners, visit http://tinyurl.com/kitcheninnovations.
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