By Roxanne “Roxi” Knops, SNA School Nutrition Employee/Manager Representative 2016-04-07 09:22:04
So Many Ideas, So Little Time Ahhhh, Pinterest—the rabbit hole of the Internet! I logged onto Pinterest once, and before I knew it, a couple hours had flown by. (In case you haven’t checked it out yet, Pinterest is an online corkboard of sorts, where you can save recipes, craft ideas, home décor inspiration and more.) There were so many ideas that would be fun to try—but, then, I remembered that I have folders full of years’ worth of ideas I have collected from magazines (including School Nutrition!), newspapers, the Internet and friends. I still haven’t even tried most of them! When I was younger, I used to be a big crafter, enjoying counted cross-stitch, needlepoint, sewing, gardening and rubber stamping. I completed plenty of projects back then, but recently I came across a counted cross-stitch project that I was working on while pregnant with my first child, Sarah, who was born in 1985. The project is an alphabet sampler, and I had gotten halfway through the letter V when I stopped and tucked it away. Well, Sarah is now due to have her fourth baby (a little girl after having three boys!), so my goal is to complete the project, frame it and hang in granddaughter’s pink bedroom. I used to be creative at work, too. Decorating the kitchen was a big priority when I started my journey in school nutrition, back in 1994. Back-to-school, Homecoming, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter, Spring, Memorial Day and the beginning of Summer—somehow, we had enough time to do this, and we were encouraged to do so. It was fun, and the students loved it! We have less time to do that now, but we’re still creative! Just think about our time management skills—it takes some creativity to make sure all the food is prepped, cooked and held safely, all in time to serve a product to be proud of. Not to mention, rearranging duty assignments when one or more of the staff call in sick; now that can be a very creative process! If you think about it, problem solving, which we do every day, is a form of creativity! Our meals are pieces of creative artwork, too. I am so impressed with the photos I see on social media from school kitchens around the country, showcasing how beautifully their food is presented to their customers. Taking the time to make the food look tantalizing is time well-spent. After all, we (and the students) eat with our eyes first. A little creativity in plating can equal a big gain in participation, which goes to show—whether you’re creative at home or at work, it can make a big difference to you and those around you. School Lunch Hero Day May 6, 2016 Between preparing healthy meals for America’s students, adhering to strict nutrition standards and offering service with a smile, school nutrition professionals are true heroes! School Lunch Hero Day (SLHD) is the perfect opportunity to recognize the hardworking professionals in your school cafeterias. SNA continues its partnership with Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady book series, and Random House, to remind everyone—directors, managers, parents, students, and school staff —that school nutrition employees recognition. Held Friday, May 6, SLHD aims to showcase the ways in which school nutrition professionals make a difference for every child who comes through the cafeteria. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/SLHD for an SNA planned activity with Krosoczka, as well as ideas and resources for how to honor your colleagues. Check out SNA’s online Emporium for special gifts for your staff at http://emporium.schoolnutrition.org. Or consider the gift of an SNA membership, which provides benefits all year long! Chapter Leadership Day Annual National Conference July 9, 2016 Are you looking for ideas to strengthen your local chapter? Chapter Leadership Day, held in conjunction with SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) in San Antonio, Texas, is a valuable opportunity for volunteer leaders to learn new ideas and techniques for strengthening their chapters. Presentation topics will include developing a strong leadership team, planning effective meetings and building membership. The cost is $25 per attendee. Be sure to indicate on the ANC Registration Form if you plan to participate. Visit www.schoolnutrition.org/anc for more details and to take advantage of the early bird registration rate. This year’s ANC, held July 10-13, 2016, will be here before you know it! Attendees can expect more than 100 education sessions to assist in meeting annual training hours for USDA Professional Standards, an Exhibit Hall filled with more than 800 booths and inspirational General Sessions.
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