TREND REPORT Local Foods Top 2016 Chef Survey A few months back, School Nutrition reported on the rising sales of local and organic food. Now, the pros are backing those numbers up and showing that this is a trend with staying power. In the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) annual survey, responding chefs named locally sourced meat and seafood as the No. 1 hot trend for menus in 2016, locally grown produce as the No. 3 trend and hyper-local sourcing as the No. 4 trend. (What’s No. 2? Chefs pegged fast-casual concepts here.) Along with local foods, chefs are more focused than ever on the environment and health, placing natural ingredients/minimally processed food, environmental sustainability, healthful kids’ meals and sustainable seafood in the top 10. Overall, the fastest-growing trend is African flavors, the popularity of which surged by 20% when compared to last year, while Middle Eastern flavors rose by 11%. It’s a sad day for kale, however, as the popularity of salads made from this once-reigning leafy green is down by 10%. Additionally, gluten-free cuisine and quinoa—both hot-ticket items in the past few years—dropped by 8% each. The survey also breaks trends down into categories. In kids’ meals, the chefs predict that not only are we going to see more healthful children’s meals overall, but also more fruit and veggie side items, additional whole-grain items and a rise in entrée salads for the little ones. (Looks like school meals are ahead of the trends!) Ethnically inspired kids’ meals are also a growing trend, the survey reports—no surprise when you know how popular ethnic dishes are in the lunchroom! To learn more about the NRA’s What’s Hot? 2016 Culinary Forecast, visit www.restaurant.org/News-Research/Research/What-s-Hot. HEALTH Breaking the Bad for a Better You Do you have a habit you’re not so fond of? Maybe you bite your nails or crack your knuckles. Now’s the time to kick it for good. In order to break your habit, first understand what causes it. For some people, it’s stress (do you find yourself craving a cigarette or drink when it’s been a rough day at work?) For others, it’s a result of boredom (this is likely when the nail-biting kicks in). You need to be your own detective to figure out what exactly is making you succumb to your bad habit. If you can decipher what triggers you to start indulging in your habit, then you can become more aware of how to avoid doing it. It’s hard to do this on your own, so you’ll need support. Write down your goal, and share it with friends and family, asking them to set you straight if they see you succumbing to the bad habit (hint: sharing your goal on social media is great for this type of support!) Make sure, however, that those goals are realistic and you’re going about achieving them in the way that’s right for you. Everyone is different, and your experience with breaking a habit will be totally different than someone else’s. For example, if you want to quit smoking, set a goal you know you can reach, perhaps by cutting back initially—even if going cold turkey worked for your neighbor, it might not work for you. Stay on the path to a healthier you without falling behind, growing discouraged and ultimately slipping back into the trap of your bad habit. If you’re really hooked on your bad habit, and can’t seem to shake it from your daily routine, try finding a healthy substitute for it. For example, if you eat too much junk food, fill your kitchen with nutritious items to snack on instead. That way you will reach for apple slices rather than the package of cookies for a late night snack. You still get a similar stimulation without the negative side effects. Don’t let a bad habit dictate your life. Take control and get on the road to success. Before you know it, your nail-biting, knuckle-cracking, hair-chewing habits will be history. For more tips on how to break bad habits, go to http://tinyurl.com/SNbreakbadhabits. Healthy Substitutes If you… Bite your nails Stay up late Eat junk food Smoke cigarettes Watch too much TV Then try… Giving yourself a manicure Keeping electronics out of the bedroom Filling your kitchen with healthier snacks Eating fresh veggie slices (it helps satisfy nicotine craving s) Reading a book or magazine (such as SN!) HR CORNER Managing the Introvert and the Extrovert When it comes to being an extrovert or introvert, you probably already know into which category you fall. Extroverts gain energy from external stimuli, whether it’s social gatherings, shared ideas or personal interactions. Introverts, however, are drained by too much social interaction and benefit from alone time, when they process information and think creatively. However, what you might not know is who among your staff members or colleagues are introverts versus extroverts and how they should be managed differently. Meetings Mix up the type of meetings you schedule with team members. Extroverts will thrive from having sessions with the entire group, while introverts will offer up better solutions in one-on-one meetings. Send follow-up emails after larger meetings to give an introvert an extra chance to weigh in, as they might have felt reticent or too overwhelmed to provide input while surrounded by others. Multitasking Introverts may feel scattered if they have too many tasks at a time. While you can often give an extrovert a list of items to accomplish, consider doling out tasks to your introverted employees one at a time. As an alternative, you can assign an introvert a larger task that takes sustained focus and creativity, such as developing plans for National School Lunch Week. Assignments Extroverts naturally want to connect with people, so they’re ideally situated to work the serving lines or in the cashier position. An introvert, however, would likely be overwhelmed by the chaos of a lunchroom; if possible, give them tasks in the kitchen or office, away from the hustle and bustle of the students. The truth is, no one fits 100% into one category, so even the most extroverted person might display some introverted qualities occasionally. Check in with your employees periodically and ask for feedback. You might be surprised to learn that the introvert craves some time serving the students! MYTH BUSTERS Fact vs. Fiction: Peanut Allergies Myth: 24% of Americans have a peanut allergy. Truth: Although peanuts are the most common allergen among children who suffer from a food allergy, the number afflicted is lower than you might think. Research by the National Peanut Board shows that, when asked, the general population believes that up to 24% of people are allergic to peanuts; in reality, 2% of the population has an allergy to the legume, estimates the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. But you may want to take those numbers with a grain of salt. The actual percentage of people with a peanut allergy ranges from the institution doing the reporting; the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases claims it to be just 0.6%, while the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology notes that peanut allergies in school-aged children, specifically, could be as high as 4.6%. Approximately 20% of those with peanut allergies will grow out of it; for many, however, it’s a lifelong condition. To learn more about the myths and facts of peanut allergies, visit the Food Allergy Research & Education website at www.foodallergy.org or the National Peanut Board’s allergy-dedicated website, www.peanutallergyfacts.org. Enter to WIN Names of FAME SNA Past President Leah Schmidt, SNS, Food Service director, St. Joseph’s (Mo.) School District, has been named the 2016 Golden School Foodservice Director of the Year in the annual FAME (Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence) Awards competition. The FAME Awards honors exceptional school nutrition program directors and supporters. Schmidt is awarded for her strong leadership skills and dedication to school nutrition. Additional FAME award winners this year include Kent Yant, MBA, FMP, director of Gwinnett County Public Schools in Suwannee, Ga., who earned this year’s Silver Leadership Award. Heather D’Ambrosi, MS, RD, team leader-nutrition specialist, Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Fla., has been honored with the Silver Spirit Award., The Silver Special Achievement Award, which recognizes the accomplishment of district nutrition programs that serve fewer than 10,000 students, goes to Michelle Curry, director of Food and Nutrition, South Pasadena (Calif.) USD. The Silver Rising Star Award, which goes to a director with five or fewer years in this position, went to Tamara Earl, SNS, Child Nutrition supervisor, Mason City (Ohio) Schools. Additionally, the Silver Friend of Child Nutrition Award was given to Linda Vento, sales representative for Concept Food Sales in Pittsburgh. Finally, this year’s honoree of the Gertrude Applebaum Lifetime Achievement Award, selected exclusively by the FAME sponsors, is Dorothy Pannell-Martin, BS, MA, president, SFS21, LLC, in Aiken, S.C. The FAME Awards are made possible by the generous support of Basic American Foods, Schwan’s Food Service, Inc., and Tyson Foods, Inc. The 27th annual FAME awards will be presented this month, during SNA’s School Nutrition Industry Conference (SNIC) in San Diego. For more details, visit www.fameawards.net. 2016 Golden Carrot Awards Good as Gold The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which promotes vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, has awarded its 2015 Gold Carrot Award Grand Prize to D.C. Central Kitchen/D.C. Public Schools. D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK) piloted a plant-based entrée program at Walker Jones Education Campus, a K-8 school that operates within D.C. Public Schools and will now serve Veg-Out Chili and Powered-Up Pasta with Chickpeas as part of its main menu. DCCK also aims to leave no wasted food, so extra food from the school lunch line is first offered to DCPS students and then used to serve residents at local homeless shelters, after-school programs and rehabilitation clinics. PCRM also awarded a grand prize to The Village School, a private school in Houston, which offers vegetarian and vegan entrées five days a week. Runners-up for the Golden Carrot Award were Atlanta Public Schools, for its “More, Please” campaign offering seconds of fruits and vegetables; Odyssey Charter Schools in Orlando, Fla., for its farm-fresh salad bar; and Santa Barbara (Calif.) Unified School District, for its nutrition education lessons. To nominate your district for a 2016 Golden Carrot Award, visit www.healthyschoollunches.org; nominations are due by July 29, 2016. Nominations are evaluated on the daily variety of vegan and vegetarian options, availability of fresh fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich nondairy products and the use of nutrition education and other programs. Eat, Drink, Be Merry The holiday season may be over, but Taste of Home is preparing for next year’s season with its Merriest Potluck Recipe Contest. Submit your holiday potluck recipe containing no more than 12 ingredients in one of multiple categories, including appetizers, soups and salads, sides and main dishes by January 15. You could win $500. Visit www.tasteofhome.com/contests. The Farmer in the School Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in November announced $4.8 million in grants for 74 projects in 39 states that support USDA’s efforts to connect child nutrition programs with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 were distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service and Training. For the 2016 school year, grants will serve more than 5,211 schools and 2.9 million students. Funded projects include: • Conway (Ark.) Public Schools received a planning grant to design a local food processing kitchen program in a centralized school kitchen facility that will allow the district’s schools to serve nutritious local produce throughout the school year. • Ferguson-Florissant (Mo.) School District received an implementation grant to partner with St. Louis University and local farms to expand and integrate its farm to school program through the HELP (Healthy Eating with Local Produce) project. Through HELP, student employees will use preservation techniques to make local produce available to all 24 schools in the district year round, even outside of regular harvest seasons. • Tucson (Ariz.) Unified School District received an implementation grant to increase local produce purchases, as well as provide garden training for foodservice staff. • Sacramento City (Calif.) Unified School District received an implementation grant to partner with the Food Literacy Center and Soil Born Farms to design a project to procure fresh vegetables, and provide garden education and nutrition education. HEALTH Fit Body, Fit Mind If you needed more proof that regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself, research shows that staying in shape into your golden years promotes long-term brain function. The study, completed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and published in NeuroImage, linked level of fitness to stronger brain connections. Interestingly, though, researchers found that benefits occurred even at a low level to moderate level of fitness, rather than rewarding only the extremely fit. “Our study provides the strongest evidence to date that fitness in an older adult population can have substantial benefits to brain health in terms of the functional connections of different regions of the brain,” Arthur Kramer, director of the Beckman Institute, says in a university news release. It’s important to note that the research just shows a relationship between the two and does not prove cause-and-effect; however, the research is promising. “The idea that fitness could be related to brain health regardless of one’s physical activity levels is intriguing, because it suggests there could be clues in how the body adapts for some people more than others from regular activity,” study leader Michelle Voss notes in the release. “This will help our understanding of how fitness protects against age-related cognitive [mental] decline and dementia.” NutriNET The Center for Food Integrity www.foodintegrity.org The Center exists to answer questions about where food comes from, who’s producing it and how it’s being produced. It aims for balanced information, and includes a focus on the pros and cons of cage-free eggs. Retail Me Not www.retailmenot.com Is this the year you keep your budget in the black? Before you buy, search Retail Me Not for a coupon code and save yourself money! Find printable coupons and online coupon codes on this site. Household Products Database http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov What’s under your kitchen sink, in your garage or in your bathroom? Learn more about cleaning products and their potential health effects. Calendar16 Jan16 JAN. 3-7 International Education Conference, The Clute Institute Orlando; www.cluteinstitute.com JAN. 12-14 Potato Expo 2016 Las Vegas; www.potato-expo.com JAN. 19-22 Foodservice Directors Symposium & Chef Summit, The National Association of College & University Food Services New Orleans; www.nacufs.org JAN. 20-23 EcoFarm Conference 2016, Ecological Farming Association Pacific Grove, Calif.; www.eco-farm.org JAN. 24-27 Dairy Forum 2016, International Dairy Foods Association Phoenix; www.idfa.org Feb16 FEB. 15-18 53rd Annual LDA International Conference, Learning Disabilities Association of America Orlando, Fla.; www.ldaamerica.org FEB. 18-20 2016 Executive Leadership Forum, Association of School Business Officials International Las Vegas; asbointl.org FEB. 20-23 2016 AFFI-CON, American Frozen Food Institute San Diego, Calif.; afficon.affi.org Mar16 MAR. 6-9 36th Annual Conference & Tabletop Display, Refrigerated Foods Association St. Petersburg, Fla.; www.refrigeratedfoods.org MAR. 22-24 Summit on Improvement in Education, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching San Francisco; www.carnegiefoundation.org MAR. 31–APR. 1 Green School’s Conference & Expo, U.S. Green Building Council Pittsburgh, Pa.; www.greenschoolsconference.org DateBOOK January Financial Wellness Month National Get Organized Month Oatmeal Month Poverty in America Awareness Month Diet Resolution Week (Jan. 1-7) New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) Dress Up Your Pet Day (Jan. 14) Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday (Jan. 15) (observed) Civil Rights Day (Jan. 19) Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Birthday (Jan. 30) February Library Lovers’ Month National Black History Month National Cherry Month Sweet Potato Month National School Counseling Week (Feb. 1-5) Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week (Feb. 2-8) National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb. 23-Mar. 1) Groundhog Day (Feb. 2) Elmo’s Birthday (Feb. 3) Rosa Parks’ Birthday (Feb. 4) Super Bowl (Feb. 7) Chinese New Year–Year of the Monkey (Feb. 8) Mardi Gras (Feb. 9) Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) 58th Annual Grammy Awards (Feb. 15) Presidents’ Day (Feb. 15) Academy Awards (Feb. 28) Leap Day (Feb. 29) March Irish-American Heritage Month Music in Our Schools Month National Ethics Awareness Month National Nutrition Month National Women’s History Month National School Breakfast Week (Mar. 7-11) National Poison Prevention Awareness Week (Mar. 20-26) Dr. Seuss’ Birthday (Mar. 2) National Grammar Day (Mar. 4) International School Meals Day (Mar. 5)
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