Two NEW! Culinary Workshops Add Mediterranean Flavors to Your School’s Menu

Looking for a new culinary workshop or to add a Mediterranean flare to your school menu? Look no further. JSI is excited to offer two NEW! culinary workshops this school year: Back to Basics: Mediterranean Flavors Workshops to Go and an innovative Live-Setting Culinary Training.

The Back to Basics:  Mediterranean Flavors is a 3-hour hands-on Workshop to Go designed to advance the culinary skills of school nutrition staff while they prepare popular Mediterranean recipes your students will love, such as shawarma pita wraps, hummus, tzatziki sauce, and more! School nutrition staff will enhance their culinary skills while exploring how to incorporate Mediterranean flavors into several different meal components designed to be served in the school lunchroom.

We are also pleased to offer Live-Setting Culinary Training to five schools this school year. This innovative training is an option for schools once they have completed the Back to Basic: Mediterranean Flavors workshop, since these same Mediterranean recipes will be prepared and served in the lunchroom in real-time alongside the JSI chef. The Live-Setting concept was successfully piloted at Milton High School in June 2017 and we are thrilled to expand this opportunity to more schools this year.

JSI Chef Brendan Gallagher works alongside Milton High School’s nutrition staff in a Live-Setting Culinary Training in June 2017

This innovative training was created by Chef Kent Getzin to train school foodservice teams in their live working environment during regular food production. With this new training approach, your school nutrition team can produce meals for the day while simultaneously learning valuable new culinary skills.

If you are interested, please make your online request for the Back to Basics: Mediterranean Flavors Workshop to Go. Email us at johnstalker@framingham.edu for more information about the Live-Setting Culinary Training.

“Live-Setting” Culinary Training at Milton High School

On Wednesday, June 14, 2017, JSI Chef Brendan Gallagher led Milton High School’s nutrition staff in a “Live-Setting” Culinary Training. Milton High School was a pilot school for this concept and is the first school to receive a training of this kind from JSI. “Live-Setting” is a training approach created by Chef Kent Getzin in which foodservice teams train in their live working environment during regular production. This approach allows your nutrition program to still produce meals for the day while simultaneously learning skills they can use everyday.

Chef Brendan worked with the staff to prepare a customizable Vietnamese noodle dish called pho and it was a huge hit! The pho contained homemade broth, lo mein noodles, and chicken or pork. Students could further customize their bowls by adding shredded carrots, bok choy, bean sprouts, Thai basil, mint, lime, hoisen sauce, siracha, soy sauce, or fish sauce. All 186 servings were sold over 3 lunches and the students loved it! One student reported, “it was really good and I think they should make it more often.”

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Milton Public Schools’ School Nutrition Director Jackie Morgan was excited about the “Live-Setting” training! She explained that in the past some of her staff have taken JSI’s Knife Skills workshop to go and not everyone was able to attend but “the “Live-Setting” training gives all employees access to skills.” Some of the skills the staff learned during this pilot training include knife skills, how to make a homemade broth including charring onions over an open flame, washing produce after chopping and using a salad spinner to dry it, and seasoning and roasting chicken and pork.

Stay tuned for more information and opportunities to bring a JSI “Live-Setting” Culinary Training to your school in the 2017-2018 school year!

Smarter Lunchrooms in Massachusetts 2016-2017

School nutrition professionals recognized at the Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit.

On Wednesday, May 24th The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition held the second day of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit. In the morning a Recognition Ceremony was held to recognize the schools who participated in the Massachusetts Smarter Lunchrooms Movement and Wellness Initiatives for Student Success as well as other professional development programs offered in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Christanne Harrison discusses the successes of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement in Massachusetts.

In an afternoon breakout session Smarter Lunchrooms Movement: Nudging Students to Eat Healthy Christanne Harrison, MPH, RD, Kristen Morello, SNS, School Nutrition Director (Reading, MA) and Kim Purcell, School Nutrition Manager (Central Elementary School, East Bridgewater, MA) discussed the successes of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement in Massachusetts.

During this session the presenters discussed new Smarter Lunchrooms resources as well as steps Massachusetts School Nutrition Programs have implemented to make the healthy choice the easy choice. The Massachusetts Smarter Lunchrooms initiative was extended for a second year in 2016-2017 and like the first year, it was very successful! Twenty-five schools in Massachusetts applied for and were chosen to receive technical assistance in implementing Smarter Lunchrooms strategies throughout the 2016-2017 school year. Schools were assigned a Smarter Lunchrooms coach who provided technical assistance including completion of the Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard, identification of goals and an implementation plan, as well as ongoing communication and access to resources throughout the school year. The Massachusetts Smarter Lunchrooms Movement is unique when compared to other states because of the individualized support and communication between the coach and the school.

Kristin Morello (left) speaks about her experience participating in the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement.

Kristin Morello shared some tips with the audience:

  • Involve the staff in completing your school’s Smarter Lunchrooms goals.
  • Complete the cheapest and easiest goals first.
  • Identify one challenging goal that will take planning and collaboration and use that as a school goal.

Kim Purcell discusses Smarter Lunchrooms from a manager’s perspective.

Kim Purcell explained how collaborations within the school can lead to better outcomes with Smarter Lunchrooms goals. In her school, the principal sometimes describes a fruit or a vegetable over the loud speaker and the students are charged with guessing what it is. Engaging all school staff and students is a wonderful and creative way to get students thinking about fruits and vegetables throughout the school day.

The Massachusetts Smarter Lunchrooms Movement was shared nationally at Cornell University at the 2017 Smarter Lunchrooms Annual Symposium on May 12-13th.

Smarter Lunchrooms summary sheets for each of the participating schools:

To learn more about the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement visit the Smarter Lunchrooms category in the JSI Resource Center and consider becoming a Smarter Lunchrooms school in SY17-18.

Improve Leadership and Management Skills through The Management Institute

The summer is a great time to get a jumpstart on 2017-2018 professional development for you and your team. The Management Institute is a three-day program designed specifically for the professional development needs of school nutrition managers to strengthen their leadership and management skills.

This three-day program focuses on topics highly relevant for school nutrition managers including leadership, financial management, personnel management, communication, merchandising and nutrition. Participants learn about creating a positive culture in the lunchroom, how to effectively market food to students and develop strong communication skills to enhance relationships both inside and outside your team.

Leadership presentation from The Management Institute

The program provides 21 hours of interactive learning over the three days from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood, MA. The cost is $250 per person which covers all workshops, materials along with continental breakfast and lunch each day.

An interactive activity aimed at identifying cost control strategies to save food costs in school food programs.

If you’re interested in attending The Management Institute, please register online by August 1st. For additional information or questions, please contact JSI at johnstalker@framingham.edu.

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.