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To kick off the 2014-15 school year, the school nutrition staff at Westport Public Schools participated in a popular JSI Workshop to Go Called Fill it Up the Right Way! In this workshop, participants learned proven portion control strategies to apply to their school nutrition program. This included activities using weighing, measuring, and proper use of kitchen equipment to deliver consistent and accurate portions. The workshop started with an activity that emphasized the importance of portioning the amount of food served to each student. The activity was simple and effective. Participants rolled play-dough into what they visually estimated to be a 2 ounce ball and placed it on a tray. From this it was easy to see the variability of the size of the balls which ranged from the size of a marble to the size of a golf ball. This activity reinforced the idea that use of standardized measuring methods, such as the use of a scale or scoop, are superior to visual estimation.
The instructor went on to show how small differences of just 1 extra ounce per student can amount to over one thousand dollars in extra food ordered and potential unnecessary weight gain (beyond normal growth) for the student over the school year. An NFSMI video presentation of proper technique for scooping, measuring, and weighing was also shown to help school nutrition staff effectively portion menu items.
Learn about More Workshops to Go to help improve your school’s nutrition programs.
For more information on recipes, menus, and school nutrition standards, visit the JSI Resource Center.