Study Examines Millennials’ Dining Choices IN AN EFFORT TO DIG INTO WHAT DRIVES CONSUMERS to certain food experiences outside the home, Y-Pulse performed a study of the dining trends of Millennials (defined in this study as 18- to 34-year-olds). While this demographic isn’t your student customer base in K-12, trends tend to trickle down—so learning more about what Millennials prefer could help in marketing your own menus. Here’s what the Y-Pulse study, The Modern Consumer: Understanding Tomorrow’s Tastemakers Today 2017, found: • Millennials love to attend food-focused events, such as festivals, and to explore new cultures through food. According to Y-Pulse, foodservice operators will continue to see this trend rise alongside innovation in global flavors. • It’s all about making food memorable to Millennials— 48% say they seek out establishments run by famous chefs and 69% say they enjoy a chef’s tasting menu. • Convenience is of utmost importance, however, as 48% of Millennials say that they eat many meals on the go. Additionally, 44% rank convenience as more important than cuisine. • Local still means something to Millennials; 68% surveyed say they prefer local sourcing of ingredients and some two-thirds are even willing to pay more for it. • Don’t neglect the nutritional aspect of food! Roughly two-thirds of surveyed Millennials enjoy ordering a healthy option at a restaurant. Read More: Y-Pulse, www.ypulse.org ADD A BOOST WITH BLUEBERRIES Who doesn’t love a good blueberry muffin or a sprinkling of blueberries on a bowl of cereal? Those flavonoid-rich berries just might be perking up the moods of those consuming the fruit, according to a British study that looked at the impact of wild blueberries on the mood of young adults (18-21) and children (7-10). “We have known for some time that flavonoids promote healthy brain function in adults,” noted lead researcher Claire Williams in a news release. “However, to our knowledge, this is the first, fully controlled, double-blind research study to examine the effects of flavonoids on mood in young people.” In the study, participants drank either a wild blueberry juice or a placebo version and were asked to rate their mood before drinking and two hours after. Those who drank the blueberry beverage noted a significant increase in experiencing a good mood. Of course, this is a preliminary trial, and further research must be done. “Sustained low mood is a common problem at all ages and is a core feature of depression,” said Shirley Reynolds, study co-author, director of the Charlie Waller Institute at the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading. “This research is important because it suggests that including flavonoids as part of a healthy, mixed diet might help prevent low mood and depression. Because flavonoids are found in many fruits and vegetables, this is a simple way that we might be able to improve health and well-being.” Read More: “Effects of Acute Blueberry Flavonoids on Mood in Children and Young Adults,” Nutrients, http://tinyurl.com/blueberries-SN Pssst...Did You Hear? Sometimes, it feels nearly impossible to avoid the rumor mill in the workplace, particularly when coworkers are clustered in close quarters, such as a school kitchen. However, gossip can create productivity, morale, engagement and turnover issues— and it could even become a liability problem if it’s deemed “malicious harassment.” As a manager or Pssst...Did You Hear? supervisor, there’s only so much you can do to stem gossip—but it’s critical that your employees understand not only that negative gossip won’t be tolerated, but also why it can be a problem for the team. First things first—if you know who’s actively participating in the rumor mill, stop it at its roots, by addressing the perpetrators one-on-one. Do this in a closed room, so the conversation can’t be overheard by others. Make sure the individuals know what further consequences will be, whether it’s a written warning or even job termination. Next, meet in person with the entire team to discuss the ramifications of this particular gossip chain. Avoid singling anyone out, whether it’s the gossipers or the subject of the rumors. Finally, model the behavior you expect from your employees. You’re human, so as a manager, it’s possible that you sometimes slip and engage in a little gossip of your own; however, if you find yourself spreading rumors in the break-room—or encouraging them from others—it’s time to keep your lips zipped. Read More: “Workplace Gossip: What Crosses the Line?” Society for Human Resource Management, https://tinyurl.com/workplacegossip-sn May: The Month of “Star Wars” “May the fourth be with you.” As Star Wars mania began to ramp up in the years leading up to the 2015 release of Episode VIII, “The Force Awakens,” and, a year later, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” May 4 became a national day for celebrating the Star Wars EU (or, to newbies, “expanded universe”). You might even do a little celebrating in your cafeteria with renamed menu items. (Vader Roasted Veggies, anyone? How about Millennium Falcon Fries?) However, it was actually 40 years ago, on May 25, 1977, that Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Darth Vader began their journeys as pop culture icons with the release of “Star Wars” (rebranded years later as “Episode IV–A New Hope”). How much do you know about this blockbuster series? Take this short quiz to find out! 1.) Before Darth Vader turned to the dark side, what was his name? A. Rogue Skywalker B. Anakin Skywalker C. General Grievous D. Palpatine 2.) In the original “Star Wars,” released in 1977, what is R2D2 carrying that’s so important? A. Death Star blueprints B. The identity of Darth Vader C. Darth Vader’s location D. Location of the rebels 3.) How many suns are in the sky on Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine? A. Four B. Six C. Two D. One 4.) In the opening sequence of 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back,” what type of animal is Luke Skywalker riding? A. An at-at B. An ewok C. A wampa D. A tauntaun 5.) How many languages is protocol droid C3PO fluent in? A. 12 B. 100,000 C. 6+ million D. An infinite amount ANSWERS: 1: B; 2: A; 3: C; 4: D; 5: C Ways to … Make Meals Easier 1 MARINATE OR COOK PROTEINS IN ADVANCE. You might not want to prep 100% of your meals in advance, but just having proteins marinated or precooked can make weekday meal prep a lot easier. Brown some ground beef, cube and sauté chicken or douse those pork chops in your favorite marinade— and then stick these in the freezer until you’re ready to add them to your meal. 2 STOCK UP ON SHELFSTABLE INGREDIENTS. Stock up on pasta, rice, canned beans, chicken broth and other shelf-stable ingredients that you can grab when you need them. Combined with those prepped proteins in the freezer, you have dinner. 3 SKIP RECIPES WITH A LONG INGREDIENTS LIST. That ethnic dish with 19 ingredients sounded good when you ripped it out of the magazine, but it’s unlikely that you’ll actually get around to making it when you’re exhausted from a hard day’s work. Do a Google or Pinterest search for “five-ingredient dinners”—or more or fewer, based on whatever you think you can handle—and try out the simple recipes that turn up. PROMO PLANNER JUNE National Dairy Month National Rose Month National Safety Month Sun Safety Week (June 4-10) U.S. Open Golf Tournament Begins (June 15-18) National Running Day (June 7) World Oceans Day (June 8) Flag Day (June 14) Father’s Day (June 18) First Day of Summer (June 20) JULY National Blueberries Month National Grilling Month National Parks and Recreation Month National Watermelon Month Tour de France Begins (July 1) E.B. White’s Birthday (July 11) Shark Awareness Day (July 14) Anniversary of the First Moon Landing (July 20) Beatrix Potter’s Birthday (July 28) Lasagna Day (July 29) AUGUST National Back-to-School Month National Coffee Month National Golf Month National Farmers Market Week (Aug. 6-12) Elvis Week (Aug. 11-19) National Watermelon Day (Aug. 3) National Mustard Day (Aug. 5) International Left-Handers Day (Aug. 13) National Dog Day (Aug. 26) Women’s Equality Day and Anniversary of the 19th Amendment (Aug. 26) For more holiday and promo ideas, visit the 2016-17 Promotional Calendar at www.schoolnutrition.org/promocalendar. “TUESDAY” TIDBITS Easy Confirmation Hearing for Perdue Sonny Perdue had his Senate confirmation hearing for his appointment as Secretary of Agriculture on March 23. Perdue’s lasted just two hours, with most questions centered around trade, the Administration’s proposed budget and the plight of American dairy farmers. On March 30, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved his nomination by voice vote. Confirmation by the full Senate was scheduled for April 24. Roberts Requests Flexibility On April 6, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, sent a letter to USDA, urging regulatory relief from rigid school meal standards, specifically sodium limits and whole grain and dairy requirements. Roberts requested both immediate relief and long-term flexibility, noting “the current waiver system does not provide schools and those involved in planning and preparing school meals with the necessary flexibility and certainty.” To read the text of the letter, visit http://tinyurl.com/SNMag-RobertsLetter. CEP on the Grow A report from the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) finds that the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) has experienced significant growth in the current 2016-17 school year. More than 20,000 schools now participate in some 3,500 districts across the country. This is an increase of 2,500 schools over SY 2015-16. This year, CEP schools serve more than 9.7 million children. View the full report at http://tinyurl.com/SNMag-FRAConCEP. Two Federal CN Bills Introduced On February 28, Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) introduced H.R. 1241, the American Food for American Schools Act of 2017, which is intended to strengthen the Buy American provision for school meal programs. Among the stipulations in the bill, waiver requests for products grown, made and packaged outside the United States must be made public, so American farmers and other food providers can seek out districts that need affordable items. On March 2, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) introduced H.R. 1332, the Early Child Nutrition Improvement act, which aims to increase participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) by reducing paperwork, streamlining eligibility requirements and promoting clearer guidelines for providers. It would also authorize reimbursements for a third meal in the day. Tuesday Morning is SNA’s free weekly policy e-newsletter. Subscribe at www.schoolnutrition.org/Newsletters/TuesdayMorning. INGREDIENTS FOR HEALTH: SORGHUM The United States, particularly Kansas, is the top producer of sorghum, a cereal grain, typically used as livestock feed—until now. Because of its nutritional bounty, sorghum (which hails from Northeastern Africa) is now taking the food industry by storm. HOW TO EAT. Sorghum is a smart option for those who have gluten intolerance, as it’s a gluten-free grain. It’s often ground into flour, so you could substitute it for all-purpose in your favorite recipes—it has a light color and neutral flavor—but you might need to experience it a bit. Sorghum can also be boiled and eaten like other grains or even popped, just like popcorn! TRY THIS. Combine cooked sorghum (boil it in chicken stock for extra flavor) with roasted asparagus, cherry tomatoes and corn kernels. Top the salad with a vinaigrette made of olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper. NUTRITIONAL PROFILE. Like other grains, sorghum is high in carbohydrates; however, it also offers plenty of vitamins, such as niacin, riboflavin and thiamin. Sorghum is also rich in dietary fiber. If you grew up in the South, you might be familiar with sorghum molasses. For many years, this staple sweetener was cheaper than other options. It reportedly gives a deep, richer-than-honey flavor to end products. Read More: “An Ancient, Healthy, Versatile Grain,” Sorghum Checkoff, www.sorghumcheckoff.com/market-opportunities/consumer-food
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