The Scoop on Servings: Andover School Nutrition

The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition hosted a Get the Right Scoop Workshop to Go at Andover High School on Friday, January 28th, 2022. The workshop was presented by JSI instructor, Lynnea Spencer, MEd, RD, LDN, SNS. This presentation helped participants strengthen their skills of proper portioning. It helped with identifying school lunch program requirements and their components and served as a reminder of why proper portions are so important in the school kitchen.

Woman holds serving scoop during workshop presentation
“Tools of the Trade” demo

The session started with an overview of the five food components required by the National School Lunch Program, including the specifics for each grade and age group. Vegetable groups and their subgroups were shown with appropriate example foods.

In a fun-filled activity, the staff tossed a garden hero stuffed toy veggie to one another as they named vegetables and the corresponding subgroup before passing to someone else. The room was full of laughter with engaged learning and an opportunity to discuss real life applications related to portioning and program requirements.

Participants gained confidence and accuracy in measuring by selecting the right “Tools of the Trade” for portioning with scoops, ladles, and spoodles found in their kitchen. The group explored the difference between volume and weight. Volume being how big of a space ingredients take up and weight being the density of food. The differences in weighing and measuring dry versus liquid products was also discussed.

Woman demonstrates portion activity
Lynnea shows participants the difference between “eyeballing” 2 ounces
versus measuring it out on a food scale for accuracy.

Why is portion control so important? For one, controlling costs. Portion control is an important aspect of meeting federal school nutrition program requirements. Also important is assuring appropriate ordering and inventory of the amounts needed.

On the serving line, too much, too little or lack of consistency can impact the overall customer satisfaction in the cafeteria. The right portion and consistency in school meals can lead to both happy students and sound finances.

If you are interested in requesting Get the Right Scoop or another JSI Workshop to Go, visit the JSI website for more information. For additional resources, check out the JSI Online Learning web page where you will find the link to the “Making it Count” resource for school program requirements.

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The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition is a partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Framingham State University.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.

© The John C. Stalker Institute, 2022
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The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition is a partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Framingham State University.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.

© The John C. Stalker Institute, 2022