On Thursday, November 9th, 2017, Keefe Technical High School hosted the SNA of MA Chapter Meeting which featured the newly updated JSI workshop Professional Communications presented by Lynnea Gleason.
Professional communications was designed to strengthen existing skills, navigate through difficult topics, and discover ways to strengthen the communication lines of school nutrition programs.
Key learning objectives include:
- Identifying effective communication skills for adults and children
- Practice handling sensitive situations in the work setting
- Discuss ways to overcome communication barriers
This workshop features many activities to get participants out of their seats and reflecting on these objectives to promote success within their daily operations. Most of our days are spent at work, so having enjoyable relationships and a mutual understanding of one another creates a positive environment and can make the day fly by! Such synergistic productivity not only benefits your fellow employees, but also the children who are getting fed.
Consistency is a key component in school meal programs to control food costs and meet meal requirements. One of the fun and interactive activities, the PB & J sandwich activity, that took place during the workshop showed how messages can be interpreted in many different ways. Even the instructions for making a simple PB & J sandwich require good written communication to properly convey the message the way you want it to be understood. The PB & J activity effectively reinforced the key learning objective and was a hit with the audience!
JSI instructor leads the PB & J activity.
To learn more about about professional communications, visit SNP: Effective Communication for a compilation of links provided in the JSI Resource Center.
On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, JSI instructor and registered dietitian Alison Doak presented the Food Allergies Workshop to Go at the Webster Public Schools. The workshop provided an in-depth, interactive lesson for school nutrition staff about food allergies, including life-threatening allergies. Participants learned important warning signs of an allergic reaction, how to identify allergens on a food label, how to make appropriate substitutions, and many other vital pieces of information to integrate into their daily operations.
Shown above is Alison Doak, MS, RDN, LDN, during the Food Allergy workshop.
Key objectives from the workshop include:
- List the top 8 food allergens
- Recognize food allergy symptoms
- Read food labels to identify food allergens
- Identify allergen-free menu substitutions
- Differentiate between a food allergy and food intolerance
- Describe ways to avoid cross contact at school
- Discuss strategies to create an allergy safe environment at school
- Identify the steps of an Emergency Response Plan
Find those food allergens!
If you would like to schedule a Food Allergy workshop at your school, visit our website to request a JSI Workshops to Go. While there, you can find out about our 12 other workshops, too!
To learn more about food allergies, check out the JSI Resource Center. Additionally, the Managing Life-Threatening Allergies in Schools manual contains a wealth of information regarding food allergies and guidelines to create a multidisciplinary approach for allergies in your schools. In addition, the USDA has just released in 2017 the latest guidance on Accommodating Children with Disabilities in the School Meal Programs.
The Nuts & Bolts of School Nutrition Programs Continuation Series is back for the 2017-2018 school year! This training series will provide you with the vital information and skills to improve program operations. Upcoming sessions include both in-person and online trainings covering important topics like Special Dietary Needs, USDA Foods and Inventory Management, Procurement, Afterschool Snack, At-Risk Snack, & Extended Day Snack, Farm to School, Production Records, Recipes, CN Labels, & Product Formulation Statements and Local Wellness Policies.
Don’t miss out on the upcoming October 26, 2017 in-person session on Special Dietary Needs which will provide an overview of both the newly updated (2017) USDA Accommodating Children with Disabilities in the School Meal Programs and the (2016) Managing Life-Threatening Allergies in Schools manuals. Participants will receive a copy of the Managing Life-Threatening Allergies in Schools manual during the session. Register online by October 12, 2017 to join this session.
Join us on November 15, 2017 for the in-person session on USDA Foods & Inventory Management. This session will provide an in-depth understanding of USDA foods such as DoD Fresh, monthly offer sheets, diversion survey, and making the most of your entitlement dollars. Register online by 11/1/2017 to join this session.
All in-person trainings will be held at Framingham State University from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All online sessions will take place from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm. The cost is $40 for in-person trainings. Online trainings are FREE. Those who complete seven or more sessions in the series will be recognized at the Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit in May 2018.
Sign-up today for an upcoming session!
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Introducing vegetables and fruits to students at an early age will help them to make healthier food choices for a lifetime. Using culinary techniques to make fruits and vegetables more appealing can be an effective way to increase student consumption. With the JSI Workshop to Go: Back to Basics Fresh Vegetables and Fruits training, school nutrition staff learn more about how to use produce from local farms and give canned, frozen, and fresh vegetables a flavor boost. Staff will create new, appealing ways of presenting vegetables and fruits to students, sharpen cutting and peeling skills, and discover the best practices to purchase, prepare, store and freeze produce in this hands-on cooking class.
On February 2, 2017, Medfield Public Schools invited JSI to present the Workshop to Go: Back to Basics Fresh Vegetables and Fruits. Chef Brendan Gallagher began the workshop by asking the staff to taste and compare vegetables prepped in a traditional way to those prepared using an alternative method, such as sautéing, roasting and blanching. It was no surprise that the new culinary techniques were preferred.
Medfield school nutrition staff learn from Chef Brenden during food demo
Chef Brenden Gallagher sautéing kale
Scratch and speed scratch recipes that incorporate USDA foods as well as local fresh produce result in lower food costs for the school nutrition program. During this workshop, the school nutrition staff put their knowledge to work with a hands-on cooking activity where each small group worked as a team to prepare a recipe from scratch.
Cooking teams create Lemon Zest Broccoli & Colorful Marinated Veggies
Cooking the Harvest Delight recipe
Interested in more information? Check out the resources used in the Back to Basics: Fresh Vegetables and Fruits Workshops to Go in the JSI Resource Center. Please visit the JSI website for more information. Take a step towards improving your school’s nutrition, and request a Workshop to Go today!
Approximately six million children in the U.S have one or more food allergies, and among this population, 16-18% have experienced a reaction in school (National Education Association’s Food Allergy Book). JSI provides the Workshops to Go: Food Allergies to support the food allergy training needs of Massachusetts school staff. This workshop is based upon the newly updated Managing Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Schools that provides staff with strategies to prevent allergic reactions and respond appropriately if an issue was to arise.
On January 31, 2017 JSI hosted the Workshop to Go: Food Allergies for Needham Public Schools. This workshop provided school staff members with training on the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance, the top 8 food allergens, in addition to provided tips on how to search food labels for potential allergens. During the workshop, participants also discussed strategies to manage food allergies in their schools. Some of the workshop activities included:
- Tips For Avoiding Hidden Food Allergens
- Identifying Food Allergens
- Practice Scenarios
Needham Public School Staff Members at Food Allergies Workshop to Go
Find more resources used in the Workshops to Go: Food Allergies in the JSI Resource Center. The Food Allergy Book can be downloaded from the National Education Assciation (NEA) website. Unable to attend a workshop? No problem! JSI offers an online 2-hour training on Food Allergies that you can schedule on your own time! Please visit the JSI website for more information or to schedule a Workshop to Go today!