A Growth Spurt for Farm to School RECENT DATA RELEASED BY USDA from its 2015 Farm to School Census shows that school districts across the United States are, more than ever, participating in activities that expose students to farms and local foods. More than 5,200 districts (42% of those surveyed for the Census) said they participate in farm to school activities—that’s a total of 42,587 schools, serving 23.6 million students! Another 16% of responding districts noted intent to begin such activities in the near future. Beyond procurement of locally grown foods, farm to school activities vary and are limited only by the imagination of the key stakeholders and subsequent coordination between schools and farmers. Such activities might include invitations to farmers to visit the cafeteria, classroom or other school setting, hosting farm to school community events (such as corn-shucking contests) and celebrating National Farm-to-School Month every October. The survey results revealed some positive benefits of farm to school participation, including greater support for school meals (28%), lower school meal program costs (21%), increased participation in school meals (17%) and reduced food waste (18%). The survey also discovered a 42% increase in school gardens for a total of 7,101 school gardens nationwide, as well as an economic boon to the community as an effect of schools spending school meal procurement dollars on local foods. Read more: https://farmtoschoolcensus.fns.usda.gov/ Top 5 most common farm to school activities 77% Serving locally produced foods in the cafeteria 37% Promoting locally produced foods at school 33% Holding taste testing/demos of locally produced foods 31% Conducting student field trips to farms or orchards 31% Using Smarter Lunchroom strategies to encourage consumption of local foods DRINK UP TO LOWER BMI Water fountains? That’s so 20th century. Research recently done by New York University and Syracuse University found that water dispensers installed in public schools have a positive effect on the body mass index (BMI) of students. Wherefore the difference? A dispenser with a clear jug and a level that dispenses water into a bottle may encourage consumption more than drinking straight from a typical contraption. The study included 1,200 public elementary and middle schools with more than one million students in New York City for two school years. After the water dispensers had been in place for three months, students, on average, had a reduced BMI by .02% to .025%. This led researchers to believe that, over the course of a full year, students could lose as much as an entire percent point in BMI! “This study demonstrates that doing something as simple as providing free and readily available water to students may have positive impacts on their overall health, particularly weight management,” senior study investigator Brian Elbel, an associate professor in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone and NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, said in a press release. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/BMI-water-study GLAD GRADS NOW; TOMORROW: A TAD SAD? Ask the officials at the National Center for Education Statistics, and they’ll tell you America’s high school seniors aren’t academically ready for college upon graduation. This comes from the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NEAP), a standardized math and reading test that’s given every other year. The actual results aren’t significant when compared to the 2013 test; what does matter, however, is that it shows that only 40% of students scored at college- and career-ready levels. Compare that to the national high school graduation rate of 82%, and it seems that there are potentially a number of students who have a diploma but aren’t ready for college-level school work. NEAP tends to carry a bit more weight than other types of standardized tests because it’s a research project conducted by the U.S. Department of Education rather than a state accountability test. That means teachers and schools aren’t punished for poor results (so teachers aren’t, as standardized test opponents parrot, “teaching to the test”), and it’s easier to compare results across the nation. If you’re interested in seeing if you could get high marks on the NEAP, visit www.nationsreportcard.gov/testyourself.aspx. You can try out sample questions in math, economics, reading and more. Read more: http://www.nationsreportcard.gov 15.3 Million The number of children who live in food-insecure households, as of 2014. Source: USDA’s Household Food Security in the U.S. 3 Ways to Treat Your Feet 1 INVEST. Invest in two pairs of work shoes, and alternate the days you wear them. Giving shoes a day to air out will help you avoid foot odor and infections. Stinky feet? Soak them in a mixture of vinegar and water. 2 SOAK ‘EM. Sore feet? Another reason to give ‘em a soak! But forget the Epsom salts—they’ll dry out the skin. Instead, fill the tub or a large dishpan with warm water and a little liquid soap and soak your feet for just 10 minutes. This ritual will soften and clean both skin and nails. 3 RUB ’EM. Give those tootsies a good rub with a rich lotion. Also, try rolling your feet back and forth over a rolling pin or a tennis ball for a deep massage. Reflexogists claim that the ball of the foot is connected to the lungs, the heel to the lower back and the big toe to the head; pinpointing these areas allegedly helps to reduce pain in those parts of the body. PROMO PLANNER AUGUST National Water Quality Month National Golf Month Rio 2016 Olympics (Aug. 5-21) Farmers Market Week (Aug 7-13) National Watermelon Day (Aug. 3) National Mustard Day (Aug. 9) International Left-Handers’ Day (Aug. 13) Julia Child’s Birthday (Aug. 15) National Senior Citizens Day (Aug. 21) National Parks’ 100th Birthday (Aug. 25) SEPTEMBER National Food Safety Education Month National Mushroom Month Whole Grains Month National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) Labor Day (Sept. 7) National Teddy Bear Day (Sept. 9) National Grandparents’ Day (Sept. 11) First Day of Fall (Sept. 22) Johnny Appleseed’s Birthday (Sept. 26) World School Milk Day (Sept. 28) OCTOBER Celiac Disease Awareness Month National Stop Bullying Month Vegetarian Month Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 9-15) National School Lunch Week (Oct. 10-14) National Food Bank Week (Oct. 16-22) National Custodial Workers Day (Oct. 2) National Taco Day (Oct. 4) National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day (Oct. 12) National Pumpkin Day (Oct. 26) “TUESDAY” TIDBITS House Bill Includes Block Grant Pilot Last month, the House Education and the Workforce Committee approved H.R. 5003, the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, which contains a three-state school meal block grant pilot project, as well as a provision to limit school eligibility for CEP. The bill now awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives. SNA strongly opposes the legislation. To learn more, see page 12. USDA Extends Whole Grain-Rich Exemptions for SY 2016-17 USDA released a new memo to regional and state agency directors that extends the ability for school food authorities (SFAs) to request exemptions from the whole grain-rich requirements of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs through SY 2016-17. Exemptions continue to be approved at the discretion of the state agency, which also may choose to require school food authorities to reapply for the exemption. Hardships that may be considered by the state agency include, but are not limited to, financial hardship, limited product availability, unacceptable product quality and poor student acceptability. Contact your state agency for details. Final Rule Issued on CACFP Standards In late April, USDA released a final rule regarding updated nutrition standards for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The final rule contains some notable differences from the proposed rule, including stricter limits on sugar in sweetened yogurt and cereal and limits on the service of juice and flavored milk. CACFP programs must be in compliance with the new rule by October 1, 2017. State Legislative Trends In the first quarter of 2016, bills relating to competitive foods and school breakfast were the top school nutrition legislative trend in state legislatures. Six bills on competitive foods were introduced in California (still active), New York, Rhode Island (still active) and West Virginia. Four bills on school breakfast were introduced in Illinois (still active), Maryland (still active) and New Mexico (signed into law). Tuesday Morning is SNA’s free weekly policy e-newsletter. Subscribe at http://schoolnutrition.org/Newsletters/TuesdayMorning. INGREDIENTS FOR HEALTH: COLLARD GREENS Don’t be tempted to cook these fresh leafy greens down to a pulp with a ham bone—instead, know that collard greens can be used just like spinach or kale, either raw or lightly cooked. HOW TO EAT Strip the leaves from any thick stems, and give them a light sauté with garlic and olive oil. For a healthier sandwich, substitute bread with a large collard leaf acting as a wrap for sandwich fillings—stuff it, roll it and enjoy it. TRY THIS Destem the collard green leaves, and then thinly slice them. Add the slices to a quick-cooking stir-fry, along with other vegetables, a protein of your choice and a sauce made with soy sauce, sesame oil, chicken broth, cornstarch and fresh grated ginger. Collard greens are part of the traditional southern New Year’s Day meal, along with black-eyed peas. Collards are meant to represent “money,” with the leaves symbolizing folded paper bills. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/collard-greens-SN NUTRITIONAL PROFILE Containing a mere 46 calories per cup, collard greens are a rich source of soluble fiber, vitamins C, K and A, plus folate, manganese and calcium. Summer Travel Trends ‘Tis the season for summer vacations! Where will Americans go, and what will they do during the Summer of ‘16? • 75% of Americans plan to travel this summer, a 7% increase from Summer 2015. • Of this, 80% will vacation somewhere in the U.S. • Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles are the top three domestic destinations for Summer 2016. • Mexico and the Dominican Republic are the top international vacation spots. • The average American will spend $1,500 or less on their summer vacation. • The second week of July is the most popular time to go on vacation. • Top 5 Activities on Domestic Vacations • Visiting relatives • Shopping • Visiting friends • Fine dining • Beaches • Top 5 Activities on International Vacations • Shopping • Sightseeing • Fine dining • National parks/monuments • Amusement/theme parks Source: U.S. Travel Association, Orbitz
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