Roxanne “Roxi” Knops 2015-10-05 23:39:52
A School Nutrition Manager’s World Those of you who are school nutrition kitchen managers: Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all your responsibilities? I certainly do. Just think of all the tasks on our individual to-do lists! Everyone on the team has one overall job: feed hungry students. To do this, kitchen managers must complete a number of tasks before the student takes a bite. And by learning a little bit more about the demands on managers, those of you who work as employees can also gain perspective. Managers start by ordering the ingredients to prepare healthy meals. These must comply with nutrition regulations and be in the right amounts, so we have just enough and not too much. Orders also must meet a budget, plus our site equipment challenges. We must inspect deliveries to ensure that menu items are received in good condition and meet food safety standards. We don’t want “surprises” when we are ready to use the product; it must be stored properly and kept fresh and safe until use. If we truly are too busy, this may be an assignment to delegate to a responsible employee. Not only will the job get done, but you will demonstrate confidence in your employee and allow her or him to develop new skills for career growth. Each morning, a manager should greet coworkers and make a personal connection with each. Compliment someone’s new haircut or offer praise about a recent task. Also, managers should make a point to see if anyone has questions or concerns regarding the day’s job assignments. Does everyone understand the standard operating procedures? Remind staff of the importance of following standardized recipes exactly to serve tasty food that complies with regulation requirements. Another priority on the manager’s to-do list: Make a daily connection with the school principal and non-foodservice staff. Keep lines of communication open between you and the building staff. This includes our custodians, on whom we rely to keep our kitchens and dining facilities in tip-top shape. Now, it’s meal time—and the reason we do all that we do: serving our students! As managers, make sure staff members treat each and every student like he or she is our only customer that day. Share your passion and enthusiasm with your staff, your coworkers, the building staff and students, district personnel and community members. At times it might be overwhelming to manage the strengths and weaknesses of each person on your team, but remember: “It takes a village.” National School Lunch Week School Lunch Snapshot Photo Contest This month, we celebrate National School Lunch Week (NSLW), October 12-16, 2015, in cafeterias nationwide! The theme, “School Lunch Snapshot,” is all about embracing photo-sharing to convey the message that today’s school lunches are healthy and appetizing. SNA members are encouraged to whip out their cameras and smartphones during NSLW to capture the spirit of school lunch: healthy foods, smiling faces, creative innovations, friendly staff and balanced trays. During the entire month of October, submit your best photos online for a chance to win a special prize pack. Photos will be judged by a panel of food photography and marketing experts. The winning photos will be published in School Nutrition, as well as online at SchoolNutrition.org and the SNA Facebook and Instagram pages! For more information about NSLW and the Photo Contest, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/NSLW2015. Four Years and Counting STEPS Challenge Last month marked the start of the fourth year for the STEPS Challenge! And 2015-16 promises to be another exciting year, with all-new monthly challenges, tips, conference events and opportunities to win great prizes. Whether you’re new to SNA’s wellness program (made available with support from Jennie-O Turkey Store) or you’ve participated since its inception, you’ll be connected with hundreds of other SNA members who share your same desire for improved health and well-being. October encourages participants to reach for fruit, instead of candy and treats, and November’s challenge prompts you to find ways to add extra servings of veggies into your diet each day. Make this school year your healthiest yet! Visit www. schoolnutrition.org/steps to learn more or get started.
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