Sneak Peek into Day One of the 2018 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit

What are you doing May 30th and May 31st? Mark your calendars and spend both days with us at the 2018 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit. Register by May 11th for the two-day summit and join school nutrition professionals from across the Commonwealth at the Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood, MA to promote healthy students and healthy school nutrition programs. The schedule for Day One includes a keynote speaker you won’t want to miss, an insightful panel about enhancing or starting a School Breakfast Program moderated by the President of Project Bread, networking and educational opportunities and impactful breakout sessions throughout the morning and afternoon.

Schedule at a glance for Day One of the 2018 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit

Be sure to register for the SNA of MA Reception immediately following the Summit on May 30th from 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Relax with your peers and vendors while enjoying light snacks and a free beverage (included with your $10 registration cost) 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!

Day One begins at 8:00a.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.

We’re honored to have Dr. Marlene Schwartz, Director for the Rudd Center for Obesity & Food Policy from the University of Connecticut as the morning keynote speaker. With almost three decades of experience researching nutrition and physical activity policies in schools and preschools throughout Connecticut, Dr. Schwartz will present on, “School Wellness: National Trends, Local Solutions.” Dr. Schwartz will review what actually gets implemented in School Wellness programs, share the effect of food marketing on children, and detail the relationship between school breakfast consumption and obesity. Walk away with the evidence to promote wellness initiatives in your district.

In the afternoon, gather for a panel with school community members and moderator Erin McAleer, President at Project Bread to discuss “Building a Strong Breakfast Coalition.” Uncover how to champion district and local support to grow a successful School Breakfast Program. Each panel member will highlight the impact of their School Breakfast programs on students and share what has worked well for their schools.

School nutrition directors are encouraged to register managers for the “Engaging Your Customers” Learning Track. In the morning, managers can participate in the “Exceptional Customer Service” session to improve customer service skills using concepts from The Guest: Everything You Already Knew About Great Customer Service.  In the afternoon, managers can join the “Empowering Staff to Improve the Customer Experience” session to explore the difference between customer service and customer experience along with the potential issues that may be impacting your program.

Cover of the 2018 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit brochure.

Each day of the Summit provides 5½ continuing education hours to meet USDA Professional Standards training needs. Don’t forget to register by May 11th.  Today is the perfect day to sign-up and cross that off your to-do list!

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.

Exploring the Culinary Versatility of Beans in Schools

Chef Janyl from JSI leading the Bean-a-licious Culinary Demo

Across the country, beans are taking center of the plate on menus, including school menus. To support this popularity, JSI created the Bean-a-licious Culinary Demo conducted by Chef Janyl at SNA of Massachusetts Chapter Meetings. In March, Chef Janyl led the culinary demo at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, MA, where school nutrition professionals tasted several delicious bean recipes and discovered first-hand the versatility of beans. Participants also learned how beans can add nutritional value, great flavors and texture to reimbursable school lunches.                                                                            During her presentation, Chef Janyl shared more about the nutritional and environmental benefits of cooking with beans. They are not only packed with nutrients such as fiber but beans are easy to incorporate in a variety of dishes, including recipes from different ethnic cuisines. Beans can serve as either a vegetable or meat alternate for reimbursable school lunches, are inexpensive and a sustainable food. Beans are beneficial to the environment because they can lower greenhouse gases and do not require a ton of water to grow.

Bean dips that were sampled at the March SNA of MA Chapter Meeting at King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham after the Bean-a-licious Culinary Demo hosted by JSI.

Chef Janyl demonstrated how to make different bean recipes like a Green Goddess Hummus and shared several tips on how to maximize this ingredient in a school kitchen. Some tips included:

  • Enhancing the vibrancy of bean dishes with color and different garnishes will make these dishes more eye appealing and exciting for students.
  • You can turn one bean dip dish into another one later in the week by adding additional ingredients like spinach to change up the look and feel of the dish without wasting food.

After the Culinary Demo, attendees sampled six different bean recipes including Barbecue Bean Dip and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Participants walked away with all the recipes and a newfound appreciation for this versatile ingredient. JSI also hosted its first Facebook Live event during the chapter meeting so all JSI Facebook fans could view the demo at home or at school. The video is on the JSI Facebook page, so if you missed it live you can watch the whole demo here.

To find the recipes that were sampled during the Bean-a-licious Culinary Demo, please visit the JSI Resource Center. 

Preview of the JSI Facebook Live video capturing Chef Janyl presenting the Bean-a-licious Culinary Demo.

Enroll in the 2018 Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program

Take the next step in your school nutrition career today and sign-up for the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition Program this fall. To give you an insider’s perspective, we are sharing how current program participants perceive the program and how the coursework has impacted their careers as school nutrition professionals. Thirty-seven school nutrition professionals have already completed the highly acclaimed program to date. Our graduates give the program high marks, not only for the impactful coursework, but for the expertise and flexibility provided by the faculty, the networking opportunities with fellow students and the skills that are acquired and easily applied in their current school nutrition role.

When considering your career succession, you will be interested to know that this program is the state-recognized certification identified in the hiring standards for school nutrition directors as outlined in section 306 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The certificate includes five undergraduate courses offered through Framingham State University over five semesters in topics designed to increase the competencies, knowledge and skills and advance careers for directors and senior management in school nutrition programs. Classes focus on important topics for school nutrition professionals which include:

See what individuals currently enrolled in the Certificate in Excellence in School Nutrition program have to say about their experience:

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If you’re interested in applying for the 2018 Certificate of Excellence in School Nutrition program, please complete the no-cost online application no later than August 1st.  What are you waiting for? Take YOUR school nutrition career to the next level!