Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit – Highlights for May 22, 2019

Join school nutrition directors, managers and business managers from across the Commonwealth at the 2019 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit on May 21 and 22 aimed at promoting healthy students and healthy school nutrition programs. Check out the highlights for May 22nd!

Chef Dan Giusti, founder of Brigaid

The excitement from the first day of the summit continues with a morning keynote presentation Finding a Purpose in Cooking: A Chef’s Story by Chef Dan Giusti. In this keynote, Dan explains his journey of stepping out of his comfort zone to find his purpose in cooking and utilize his goal to empower schools to serve real, wholesome food, cooked with care and passion. With this goal in mind, he founded Brigaid in 2016 and uses his experience to share valuable lessons he has learned along the way about the challenge of cooking in schools and discuss what the future holds.

We look forward to celebrating the successes of Massachusetts school nutrition programs and professionals during our recognition ceremony on the morning of May 22nd. In the afternoon, Robert Leshin, Director of the Office for Food and Nutrition at DESE will share News You Can Use. As we wind down from this school year and transition to planning for next fall, Rob will take a look back on our collective successes over the past year and look forward to some new initiatives. Rob will provide an update on federal and state level changes and highlight areas of support from the department to help school nutrition programs reach their goals.

May 22nd Breakthrough Sessions

May 22nd Breakthrough Sessions

As in previous years, when you register, you will select from one of three learning tracks to target your professional development. The Boost Your Bottom Line track offers the opportunity to learn from other directors about their favorite products in USDA Foods – Director Tested, Kid Approved or learn where to find local foods and procurement methods in Local Procurement in Child Nutrition Programs. Ensure your communication skills are in top shape with the Communicate with Confidence track by learning how to diagnose misunderstanding and sharing your own perspectives with Wait. What? Or How to Get Curious When the Other Person is Clearly Wrong. Engagement and motivation also play a role in communication, so we’ve included Creating a Motivating Workplace, an ICN-developed session, where managers will explore factors that motivate staff to be engaged and productive. If your goal is to discover culinary resources and new inspirations to enhance your school menu, you won’t want to miss the Build Culinary Excitement track. Join Massachusetts Farm to School, Project Bread and Massachusetts school nutrition programs in a culinary battle highlighting local ingredients in The Power of Local – Culinary Throwdown. This track also offers tips, tricks and a food demo by Chef Samantha Gasbarro for utilizing USDA foods to create trendy, student-approved recipes on a budget with Modernizing USDA Food Recipes – Keeping Menus Trendy and Budget Friendly.

Register online by May 1st. We look forward to seeing you at the summit!

Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit – Highlights for May 21, 2019

Join school nutrition directors, managers and business managers from across the Commonwealth at the 2019 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit on May 21 and 22 aimed at promoting healthy students and healthy school nutrition programs. Check out the highlights for May 21st!

Jon Colby, morning keynote speaker.

We kick off the summit in high gear with Jon Colby’s morning improv keynote session Don’t Worry…Work Happy. Did you know that people who are happy at work are more successful in their jobs? This might seem obvious, but it’s actually backed by Harvard research. In fact, one study proves that managers can improve their customer satisfaction rating by 42% simply by having a positive mindset. In this keynote, Jon will offer helpful tips and exercises using positive psychology to promote a positive mindset. From building a supportive culture to having difficult conversations, you won’t want to miss this dynamic presentation which will give you a myriad of ideas to help you work happy.

 

Ervin Watson, afternoon keynote speaker.

We are thrilled to offer the Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace as the afternoon keynote session by Ervin Watson. Ervin will share insight on appreciation as a communication strategy that has the potential to accelerate every area of your operation. Discover how this approach can boost employee engagement, retention, team satisfaction and, ultimately, customer service.

New this year! A designated time for exhibits has been included on the schedule for May 21st. Be sure to take advantage of the wealth of resources from our exhibitors!

As in previous years, when you register, you will select from one of three learning tracks to target your professional development. Our afternoon keynote speaker, Ervin Watson, will spend the day with us leading both of the Communicate with Confidence breakout sessions where you will learn the Four Essential Habits of a Game Changer and take a deeper dive into the Five Languages of Appreciation with a self-evaluation to determine the “language” of your staff – leading you to an action plan you can implement in your program. The Boost Your Bottom Line learning track offers hot topics in school nutrition you won’t want to miss, including Solutions to Recovering Unpaid Meal Charges and Thinking Outside the Lunch Tray – Strategies to Increase Revenue. If you are looking for innovative ways to integrate chefs into your school nutrition program, the Build Culinary Excitement learning track is for you! Setting the Globally-Inspired Lunchroom Table showcases cultural dishes and flavors from Eastern Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean region with a culinary demo and school recipes to match Gen Z food trends. Explore how school nutrition programs across the Commonwealth are Adding Chefs into the Mix during this panel discussion of a variety different ways schools are utilizing chefs.

Looking for the perfect way to wrap up the day? Unwind after a full day of professional development at the SNA of MA Reception and Exhibits! Relax with your peers and vendors while enjoying snacks and a free beverage (included in your $10 ticket price). This is networking at its best!

Register online by May 1st. We look forward to seeing you at the summit!

Team Up for School Breakfast

On May 31st the Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit featured a session titled “Team Up: Breaking Breakfast Barriers.” Similar to other Team Up sessions sponsored by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and hosted by The John C. Stalker Institute, this mini-session focused on barriers and solutions from school nutrition professionals to promote the School Breakfast Program.

During this session, school nutrition professionals shared their experiences of how they increased the success of their school breakfast programs. The panel of speakers included: Food Service Director, Kristen Gentili, RD, LDN, from Natick Public Schools, West Bridgewater Public Schools’ Food Service Director, Ann Marie Grinder, Mashpee Public Schools’ Nutrition Coordinator,Gus Stickley Needham Public Schools’ Nutrition Outreach Coordinator, Jen Tuttelman, RD, and the Director of Food Service at Greenfield Public Schools, Madison Walker. Nutrition Education and School Wellness Training Coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Denise Courtney, MS, RD, was the facilitator of this panel session.

As panelists discussed their experiences with increasing participation in school breakfast programs, the barriers they encountered and their approaches to break down these barriers were overall similar.

Challenge: Students may be unwilling to go the cafeteria for breakfast.

  • According to panelists Kristen Gentile and Ann Marie Grinder, breakfast was offered in the cafeteria at their schools, but students did not take advantage of the breakfast service. They found that students congregated in the school hallways in the morning or those waiting in the cafeteria did not get out of their seats to buy breakfast.

Solution: Provide a food cart or snack rack placed near the cafeteria for students take breakfast to go.

  • The Natick High School has the breakfast cart open until late morning (10:00am) to give students an opportunity to purchase food in between classes.
  • Breakfast cart used at Natick Public Schools. Photo credit to Kristen Gentili.

    Any school districts that wish to have breakfast carts that are used for school breakfast programs, such as those in Natick, can apply for a grant through New England Dairy and Food Council. The carts allow both cold and warm items to be served and can be placed at convenient locations in the school or school cafeteria.

  • The Nutrition Coordinator of the Mashpee Public Schools Gus Stickley, shared with the attendees that they created a bagged, grab-and-go breakfast program that consisted of mostly pre-made items such as cereal, milk, and fruit. Students take these breakfasts to go as they enter the school in the morning.

    A sample Grab-and-Go breakfast from Mashpee Public Schools. Photo provided by Gus Stickley.

Challenge: Schools may not allow food in the classroom. This creates issues with students having the time to buy food and eat it before class begins.

Solution: Allow breakfast in the classroom.

  • It was found among panel members that there is a higher participation rate in breakfast programs in schools that allow food in the classroom. In these cases, students are able to purchase the breakfast (or get free or reduced breakfast) and eat it in the classroom.
  • Madison Walker shared with the audience that in the Greenfield school district, over 60 percent of students qualify for free or reduced breakfast, and it is encouraged that students eat in the classroom. In doing this, it was found that there was a reduced stigma around getting free or reduced breakfast, since all students are eating in the classroom.

The take away message from the panel about increasing the success of school breakfast programs… bring breakfast to the students and when possible, have students eat breakfast in the classroom.

Please visit the Healthy Kids, Healthy Summit web page at JSI to view this and all presentations. For additional resources, check out the School Breakfast web page of the JSI Resource Center.