Sea to School in Massachusetts

Did you know that seafood is the new Harvest of the Month for May? To kick off the month, SNA of Massachusetts’ Chapter 4 hosted a meeting for school nutrition directors, Directors Round Table: New Menu Ideas on Thursday, April 27th at Framingham High School.

The meeting included a presentation by Jamey Lionette, Director of Sustainable Seafood Program at Red’s Best in which he shared how Red’s Best is changing the system of acquiring seafood by offering a “Catch of the Day” package at a set price, all year long. He explained that a rigid demand for certain species of fish exists, but what is abundant and caught everyday is not always what’s in demand. In an effort to cut back on overfishing certain species, The “Catch of the Day” package provides foodservice operations with underutilized and abundant fish species, diverting the pressure away from heavily fished species such as cod. Since the species that are included in the Catch of the Day are all flakey, white fish, they all produce a similar result when used in recipes and can be interchanged without changing the flavor profile or texture of the dish.

School districts in Massachusetts are on-board with supporting local fishermen to get fresh, local, wild-caught, affordable seafood from Red’s Best. At the meeting Jenny Devivo, Chef and School Nutrition Director from Up Island Regional School District on Martha’s Vineyard, demonstrated preparation of two school nutrition recipes: Catch of the Day Fish Chowder and Catch of the Day Crispy Oven Baked Fish Bites. Chef Devivo explained that her students absolutely love the Catch of the Day recipes offered every Friday, even more than pizza day!

If you’re interested in bringing seafood to your school nutrition program, visit the Farm and Sea to School resource category in the JSI Resource Center to learn more.

May is Celiac Awareness Month! Educate Your Staff with a Gluten-Free at School Workshop to Go

Did you know that Celiac Disease affects 1% of the population and is the world’s most prevalent genetic autoimmune condition? As May marks the beginning of Celiac Awareness Month, consider scheduling the Gluten-Free at School Workshop to Go for your staff.

This interactive workshop uncovers the basics of gluten, identifies ingredients with gluten and helps attendees learn how find these items on food labels. Using practice scenarios and group dialogue, attendees discuss how to create a safe and nutritious gluten-free school environment for students with diet limitations.

The Gluten-Free at School Workshop to Go covers what to look for on a food nutrition label to avoid gluten for students.

Throughout the two-hour workshop, school staff will participate in hands-on activities like “Gluten or No Gluten” to reinforce their label-reading knowledge. The instructor will walk through specific activities that will prepare school staff for common scenarios they may face as they work to accommodate students with Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity. Additionally, the group will discuss possible gluten-free substitutions for school menus and ensure these ideas adhere to USDA guidelines.

The workshop will also share the latest food labeling laws to identify gluten. You can  learn more about how gluten-free products are labeled by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help inform how you label and package products at your school.

Gluten-Free at School resources on the JSI Resource Center

The JSI Resource Center is also full of great “Gluten-Free at School” resources which include links to resources actually shared in the Gluten-Free at School Workshop to Go and other external links that will help staff learn about Celiac Disease, new research and find more information about gluten-free diets.

Please visit the JSI website for more information or to schedule this Workshop to Go today!

Student-Approved Snack Recipes for Schools

Are you serving homemade parfaits, smoothies or dips as snacks at your school? JSI has the resource for you. The new Student-Approved Snack Recipes for Schools includes thirteen recipes created by JSI to provide schools with creative snack ideas that have been tested by K-12 students to ensure acceptability.

The Student-Approved Snack Recipes for Schools have been evaluated using the JSI Recipe Tool, an easy-to-use online tool designed by Registered Dietitians at The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition. It is intended for school nutrition programs in Massachusetts to: 1) Analyze recipes for compliance with both state and federal nutritional standards for snacks, whichever is stricter, 2.) Save and share recipes, and 3.) Print recipes, including a nutrition facts panel, ingredients list, and allergens. To learn more and get started using the JSI Recipe Tool, go to www.johnstalkerinstitute.org/rt.

Check out these snack recipes!

Parfaits:

Greek Berry Parfait, Peach Blueberry Parfait, The Grape Escape Parfait

Smoothies:

Curious Monkey Smoothie, Grandma’s Apple Pie Smoothie, Greek Strawberry Banana Smoothie, Green Monstah Smoothie, Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Dips:

Arctic Bean Dip w/ Veggie Sticks, Buffalo Dip w/ Veggie Sticks, Hummus with Carrots and Grapes, Sunbutter Dippers, Yogurt Dip w/ Fresh Fruit

This smoothie is packed with super foods that are sure to satisfy! It is perfect for Red Sox Opening Day menu. With a simple name change, it can also be a great marketing product for holidays and events like ‘Shamrock Smoothie’ for St. Patrick’s Day.

The Greek yogurt in this parfait has almost twice as much protein as regular yogurt, with less sugar. The granola and berries add fiber and flavor. This makes the perfect mix for satisfied students!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For even more recipe resources, check out the Recipe and Menu category of the JSI Resource Center!

Host a Two-Day Interactive Culinary and Nutrition Workshop at Your School

This summer, Andover Public Schools in conjunction with The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition, is hosting a Healthy Cuisine for Kids two-day interactive culinary and nutrition workshop from the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN). If you aren’t familiar with this professional development opportunity, it’s designed to help school nutrition staff work as a team to prepare, evaluate and present healthy and student-friendly recipes.

If your school is thinking about offering professional development to your staff over summer break or a future school vacation this fall, you may wish to collaborate with JSI to host a Healthy Cuisine for Kids workshop at your school.  This workshop also helps attendees satisfy the USDA’s annual continuing education and training requirements for school nutrition staff.

Through 16 hours of training, participants learn new and healthy cooking methods, refresh on important kitchen skills and apply the nutrition principles of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The training is hands-on as attendees take part in these four culinary labs:

  1. Culinary basics, including the essential concept of mis en place
  2. Fruits and vegetables
  3. Whole-grain rich foods
  4. Meat/meat alternatives

After the workshop, participants will be able to identify quality food standards and understand nutrition principles for the foods discussed in each lab. Ultimately, participants leave the workshop feeling empowered with the tools and techniques to create meals that stand out to students and also provide nutritional value.

Vegetable pizza recipe demonstrated and prepared during a Healthy Cuisine for Kids workshop

This workshop requires the full use of your school kitchen during the two-day workshop as well as a prep day prior to the workshop. Healthy Cuisine for Kids requires a minimum of 20-25 participants and maximum of 30 participants, so it may be helpful to join with school staff from other districts in your area.

There is no cost for the Healthy Cuisine for Kids workshop and The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition can help arrange this workshop for Massachusetts schools.

If you’re interested in learning more about hosting Healthy Cuisine for Kids at your school, please e-mail us at johnstalker@framingham.edu with potential dates to host the workshop.

The Nuts & Bolts of Production Records, CN Labels and More…

On March 22, 2017 the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) presented the Nuts and Bolts Continuation Session Production Records, Recipes, CN Labels, & Product Formulation Statements at Framingham State University. During this in-person session, participants discovered effective ways to make use of production records, standardized recipes, CN labels, and Product Formulation Statements. Participants left the training with the necessary strategies and information to incorporate these topics into their operation. For your convenience, the presentation files for this session and others are available on the JSI website.

The Nuts and Bolts of School Nutrition Programs Continuation Series provides Massachusetts school nutrition professionals with a chance to increase their knowledge about, and ability to implement the USDA National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The training series provides vital information and skills to improve program operations. The flexible online and in-person sessions allows you to select the topic and format that meets your training needs!

Mark you calendar for August 1, 2, and 3, 2017 and kick off the 2017-2018 school year with the 3-day Nuts and Bolts of School Nutrition Programs at Framingham State University. This three day event provides essential training on meal benefit issuance, resource, management and food service operations. Registration will be open soon.

 

Highlights for Day Two of the 2017 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit

Day two of the 2017 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit is full of insightful learning sessions, networking opportunities and a recognition ceremony for school nutrition professionals and programs from across Massachusetts.

Schedule at a Glance for 2017 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit.

The Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Mitchell D. Chester EdD will offer words of welcome and address the general session as we return for day two of the Summit. Following this, all Summit attendees will learn about the highly acclaimed Team Up for School Nutrition Success Initiative from ESE Educational Specialists Linda Fischer, MEd, RD, LDN and Sally Teixeira, BA in the general session entitled “Better Together with Team Up: Expanding Your Professional Network”. The Team Up for School Nutrition Success Initiative offered this past fall was such a huge success that we thought, what better place to share this than at the Summit. The session will highlight the initiative which uses a peer-to-peer mentorship model and you will also hear about the experiences and achievements from your colleagues who participated last fall. All learning tracks for the Summit will include a Team Up for School Nutrition morning breakout session that will be specifically designed for each track: Growing, Leading and Maximizing Your Business.

During the afternoon general session, Robert Leshin, Director for the Office for Food and Nutrition Programs will share program updates and essential news for Massachusetts school nutrition programs. This session will be followed by a recognition ceremony honoring individuals and school nutrition programs that have participated in a variety of programs offered during the 2016-17 school year. Whether attendees are receiving an award or supporting these monumental programs and school nutrition professionals, this is a ceremony you can’t miss.

The afternoon learning tracks, scheduled from 2:00-3:30p.m. on May 24, offer a variety of session topics that cater to each track allowing attendees to meet their learning needs and take their professional development to the next level. Check out the sessions in the slide show below:

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Register for the 2017 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit by May 5th. To learn more about both days of the Summit, download the Summit brochure here.

Highlights for Day One of the 2017 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit

May is right around the corner and we hope that you will join us for the 2017 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit on May 23rd and 24th at the Four Points at Sheraton in Norwood, MA. The first day of the Summit is full of educational and networking opportunities for school nutrition directors and managers, two keynotes speakers and impactful breakout sessions throughout the morning and afternoon.

Schedule at a Glance for May 23rd of the 2017 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit

The first day of the Summit will kick off at 8:00 a.m. with a warm welcome from Robert Leshin, MPA Director of the Office for Food and Nutrition Programs and Karen McGrail, MEd, RDN, LDN, Director of The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition.

Keynote on “The Four Voices of Change,” will be presented by David Hulings, Motivational Transition Coach at Hulings and Associates, L.L.C. on May 23rd.

The morning keynote “The Four Voices of Change,” will be presented by David Hulings, Motivational Transition Coach at Hulings and Associates, L.L.C. , who brings over thirty years of motivational training experience to the Summit.

As an experienced one-on-one executive coach for K-12 school nutrition professionals and administrators, we were thrilled when Hulings agreed to not only present the keynote address, but to also spend the entire day at the Summit. You will not want to miss his two breakout sessions in the Leading Your Business  learning track to help you cultivate your leadership skills and strengthen your workforce.

Keynote on “How to be Resilient in Times of Stress,” by Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli, EdD, PhD, Author of The Stress Solution on May 23rd.

 

 

The lunch keynote address “How to be Resilient in Times of Stress,” will be presented by Dr. Arthur Ciaramicoli, EdD, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Author of The Stress Solution. Described by his audiences as an engaging and articulate speaker, Dr. Ciaramicoli will help you discover how perception and empathy can be used to reduce stress and create a happier life.

School nutrition directors are encouraged to register managers for the Growing your Business learning track on day one of the Summit to attend the “Utilizing the Cafeteria as a Classroom,” breakout session offered by the Institute of Child Nutrition. This session provides the tools and resources that will help managers develop and enhance a program that will be recognized as an integral part of the education system.  Utilize your cafeteria as a classroom and help students turn nutrition knowledge into action!

Interested in enhancing your program’s purchasing and procurement process? The Maximizing Your Business learning track is for you! Get in the driver’s seat and take control of your program’s purchasing and procurement with tried and true financial management strategies.  This track will also cover what to expect and how to prepare for a procurement review.

Be sure to register for the SNA of MA Reception immediately following the Summit on May 23rd from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Relax with your peers and vendors while enjoying light snacks in the ballroom of the Four Points by Sheraton. Participate in a scavenger hunt designed to help you learn about available products and services. Get fun facts about your vendors and school nutrition. This is networking at its best!

Each day of the Summit provides 5½ continuing education hours to meet USDA Professional Standards training needs. Don’t forget to register by May 5th.  We hope to see you there!

The two-day conference is sponsored by the Office for Food and Nutrition Programs at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition.

 

A Sneak Peek into the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition

On Saturday March 4, 2017, the students in the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program gathered at Framingham State University to take their Food Service Systems in School Nutrition Programs course. Through projects and planned case studies, this course is designed to expose students to current trends and practices in school food service to better prepare them to run their own school nutrition programs. During this hands-on Saturday class, students created a week-long sample menu using NutriKids as part of one of their course projects. Other topics in the course include food safety, procurement, marketing, and customer service.

Students in the program work full time, as either directors or managers aspiring to be directors in school nutrition programs across MA and the USDA New England Region, while taking one course per semester in the program. Courses in the program utilize a blended learning environment with online conferencing classes scheduled on most Wednesdays during after school hours and one to three on-campus Saturday classes. Students love many aspects of this program- check out what some of the students in our current program have to say!

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Advance your career with the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition, the state- recognized certification for school nutrition directors and senior management in school nutrition programs. The next course in the program starts Fall 2017. Apply at no cost TODAY! Click HERE to apply and discover if the program is right for you!

2017 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit

Registration is now open for the 2017 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit on May 23-24th. This two-day Summit will take place at the Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood, MA and gather school nutrition directors and managers from across the Commonwealth to promote healthy students and healthy school nutrition programs.

Each day of the Summit provides 5½ continuing education hours to meet USDA Professional Standards training needs. School nutrition directors are encouraged to register their managers for May 23rd which includes a breakout session specifically for school nutrition managers.

Download the 2017 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit.

The Summit will begin on May 23rd at 8 am and on both days, you can select breakout sessions from one of these three learning tracks:

  • Growing your Business – Explore marketing techniques and strategies to increase student participation.
  • Leading your Business – Learn new marketing techniques and strategies to increase student participation.
  • Maximizing Your Business – Discover financial management strategies to enhance your program’s purchasing and procurement process.

Register for the Summit by May 5th.  The cost is $60 per day or $100 for both days. You can view the full schedule for both days in the brochure here.

The two-day conference is sponsored by the Office for Food and Nutrition Programs at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition.

 

 

Westport Explores Food Allergies and Ways to Add Flavor and Flair to School Meals

Written by Guest Blogger Katelyn Castro, Dietetic Intern at Tufts Medical Center

In the United States, eight foods or food groups account for 90% of all serious allergic reactions: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean, shellfish, wheat, soy, peanut, and tree nuts. Identifying foods containing these major allergens, developing appropriate substitutions, and avoiding cross-contact during food preparation in schools can be life-saving for children with severe food allergies. School nutrition employees play an essential role in providing a safe and inclusive cafeteria environment for children with food allergies.

On March 17, 2017 JSI hosted a Workshop to Go: Food Allergies for Westport Community Schools, which gave school staff members an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how to manage food allergies in their school systems. Registered Dietitian, Christanne Harrison, provided training on food allergies versus food intolerances, the top 8 allergens, common food allergy symptoms, and suggestions for allergen-free menu substitutions. With activities on label reading, staff members learned to recognize hidden food allergens. With practice scenarios and groups discussions, staff also identified strategies to ensure a allergy safe school environment and a concrete emergency response plan. All content of the workshop was based upon the newly updated Managing Life-Threatening Allergies in Schools guidance.

In addition to the 2-hour food allergy workshop, the Westport school nutrition staff also participated in JSI’s Infusing Flavor and Flair into School Meals Workshop presented by Janyl Finnerty, a chef and registered dietitian. Throughout the workshop, Westport school nutrition staff explored K-12 food trends, taste and flavor preferences, food presentation techniques, and simple ways to enhance the flavor and appeal of school meals. Did you know taste testing was found to be the number one trend to promote healthier choices in schools, based on a 2015 survey by the School Nutrition Association? Taste testing is one of many strategies discussed in this workshop that school nutrition staff can utilize to increase interest in healthy school foods.

With multiple activities incorporated into the Infusing Flavor and Flair into School Meals Workshop, staff members learned how to enhance the flavor of vegetables by creating and tasting four spice blends. Recipe demonstrations of a Broccoli Salad and Tunisian Chickpea Salad also introduced ways to make quick and easy recipes that are also flavorful, healthy, and appealing to children.

Delicious Broccoli Salad

Workshop resources for Food Allergies and for Infusing Flavor and Flair into School Meals can be found in the JSI Resource Center. Visit the JSI webpage to learn more about the professional development opportunities to help you improve your school’s nutrition with engaging, interactive and practical workshops tailored to your school’s needs.