Swansea Keeps Lunch Fresh and Exciting

bakedpotatoes2On Friday April 11th I visited Gail Oliveira, RD, LDN, SNS, school nutrition director of Swansea Public Schools to observe their school nutrition program as part of the lab experience for my Framingham State University Foodservice Systems class. Swansea Public Schools is an account of Chartwells.

During my visit Gail expressed the simplicity of menu planning with the menu development program Webtrition2, which is approved by the USDA to meet the school nutrition guidelines. The efficiency of the program allows Gail more creative freedom as she able to easily make changes and incorporate new concepts. She often collaborates with the Kitchen Manager, Chef Karen for new and exciting menu ideas such as baked stuffed broccoli and cheese potatoes (shown on the right).

The serving line at the district’s high school was recently updated to accommodate several new serving stations including a very popular deli counter where students can request customized wraps and paninis for lunch. Other popular lunches include fruit and yogurt parfaits, sweet and sour chicken with brown rice and stir-fry veggies, and homemade pizza.

Visit JSI’s Resource Center for recipe and menu ideas! JSI’s workshop Infusing Flavor and Flair into School Meals is being offered at the SNA of Mass Chapter Meetings. In this workshop K-12 culinary trends, food presentation techniques and flavor profiles with student appeal are explored to encourage increased participation. Contact your chapter delegate for locations and dates for this workshop.

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Colorful fruits and veggies on the serving line

Grilled turkey and cheese panini with spinach and tomato

Grilled turkey and cheese panini with spinach and tomato

Sweet and sour chicken with brown rice and stir-fry vegetables

Sweet and sour chicken with brown rice and stir-fry vegetables

Fruit and yogurt parfait

Fruit and yogurt parfait

Homemade pizza

Homemade pizza

Stepping Up to the Plate

SteppingUp1On Wednesday April 6, 2016 the Boston Globe in collaboration with Let’s Talk about Food hosted a two-hour session, Stepping Up to the Plate: Creating Tasty, Healthy and Affordable School Lunches, at the Boston Public Market.

The evening featured demonstrations and discussions around local successes as seen at Fenway High School in Boston. Earlier this school year Fenway High, in collaboration with Project Bread, transformed their kitchen into a test kitchen where Chef Guy Koppe and Chef Gaitskell Cleghorn Jr. have been whipping up budget-friendly, exciting and healthy recipes that students have been extremely receptive to.

Culinary demonstrations from Project Bread’s Chef Guy Koppe, and owner of local restaurants Rialto and TRADE Chef Jody Adams showcased the simplicity with which tasty, healthy and affordable lunches can be made. During the demos Chef Jody Adams noted the importance of incorporating umami flavor into dishes to give consumers a satisfied feeling. Two ways to add umami flavor to school lunches is to start by browning garlic, or to add tomatoes to the dish. Students from Fenway High’s Culinary Club served as a taste test panel and confirmed that both chefs’ creations were a hit.
IMG_1637Later in the evening Brendan Ryan, the school nutrition director of Framingham Public Schools closed out the session with a discussion of Framingham High School’s extensive courtyard garden that produces fresh produce for the school nutrition program and gets students involved. Brendan mentioned that in his experience, K-12 students are more likely to enjoy dishes that are made with five ingredients or less.

Visit JSI’s Resource Center to get information on how you can bring a chef or garden to your school nutrition program!

Highlights from the Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit – May 25

Join school nutrition directors and business managers from across the Commonwealth at the 2016 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit on May 24th and 25th! On May 25, 2016, keynote speakers will present General Sessions in the morning and afternoon. In the morning, learn about strategies to increase selection and consumption with Juliana Cohen, ScM, ScD, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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During the afternoon keynote session, learn about news you can use with Rob Leshin, Acting Director of the Office for Nutrition, Health and Safety of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This session will open with greetings from Aleshia Hall-Campbell, Acting Executive Director of the Institute of Child Nutrition.

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The 2016 Summit will be held at Four Points by Sheraton, Norwood. Attendees can earn up to 6 hours of professional development each day of the Summit, don’t forget to register by May 6th!

Highlights from the Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit – May 24

Join school nutrition directors and business managers from across the Commonwealth at the 2016 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit on May 24th and 25th! The conference, sponsored by the Office for Nutrition, Health and Safety at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition, promotes healthy students and healthy school nutrition programs.

On May 24, 2016, keynote speakers will present General Sessions in the morning and afternoon. Learn about employee engagement and how to capitalize on your employees’ potential! Lori Coakley, PhD, a professor in the Department of Management at Bryant University, will speak about leading engagement in the morning keynote session. Dive deeper into employee engagement with Dr. Coakley as she builds off of her morning presentation with a breakout session Building Employee Engagement and Fostering Effective Communication.

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Discover how to develop your team and move your school nutrition program toward a culture of ongoing learning later in the day! Gloria A. Santa Anna, Sonia Lindop, Sarah Kahando and Jacob Carter will speak on behalf of Massachusetts Training, Education and Research Initiative (MassTERI) of the Labor/Management Workplace Education Program (L/MWEP) during the afternoon keynote presentation Leadership in the Kitchen: Moving Towards a Culture of Ongoing Learning.

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The 2016 Summit will be held at Four Points by Sheraton, Norwood. Attendees can earn up to 6 hours of professional development each day of the Summit, forget to register by May 6th!