MAINE SCHOOL NUTRITION NEWSLETTER IN PDF FORMAT
USDA NEWSLWETTERS IN PDF
School Lunch Week Information
OCTOBER 2012 NEWSLETTER
Beginning School Year information. This information contains great and very important information. All should read this at least once. It is in both Word and pdf format for your viewing pleasure.
School year 2013 Information in WORD
School Year 2013 Information in pdf
Have you been having problems promoting the new meal pattern? Are parents, students, teachers not on board with the changes?
USDA has developed web pages with lots of useful information to help you make the changes.
The School Day Just Got Healthier has a toolkit with items that can help promote the changes to School Administrators, School Employees, Parents, Students, Community Members and Media.
Each toolkit includes talking points for the various groups, posters to help promote the program, games to help young students learn about healthy eating and even things about being active.
There is also a “Best Practices” sharing section to see what others are doing. For instance Oak Ridge Elementary School (not sure where this is) developed a recipe using Sweet Potato Fries. Bake freshly sliced sweet potato sticks and after they have cooked sprinkle them with a no-salt seasoning and cinnamon. The cinnamon aroma and taste might entice the students to eat the sweet potato fries. They call them “Hippie Stix”. This recipe was submitted to the “Healthy Kids Competition”.
There are various topics and subject areas to search for information on Best Practices and a way for you to share your success stories. Topics include Planning Tools, Monitoring Tools, and Promotional Materials, as wells the various food components.
Check it out, lots of useful information is available to help make things easier.
FFVP as a Stepping Stone Towards Fruit & Vegetable Acceptance
The new school lunch standards are aimed at changing the eating habits of younger children who do not have a preconception of what “school food” is. It is much harder to break eating habits and the perception of school food for those high school students who typically would not choose a fruit or vegetable at lunch time. But this means that a much larger impact can be made in those younger students eating habits.
For those of you who have operated the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for many years you have seen how beneficial it is in a student’s acceptance of fruits and vegetables. It introduces them to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that they normally would not get at home. More importantly kids are in fact going home and educating their parents. Here are some tips to use FFVP as a stepping stone to greater acceptance of fruits and vegetables:
- Introduce different dark green and red/orange vegetables in FFVP before adding them to the lunch program. Kale chips and red peppers are well accepted under these subgroups.
- Promote a fruit or vegetable of the month on your menu. Serve it in creative ways in FFVP first, and then gradually introduce to the lunch program.
- Send recipes home with students on fruits and vegetables they have tried. This way the parent is more likely to purchase the foods their child is raving about!
- Even if you are not a participating school this year, use these tips to get students excited about fruits and vegetables.
HUSSC-This is the best way to communicate to parents, students, teachers, and the community a commitment to children’s health and well-being.
There is still funding for schools to receive a monetary award for an approved HUSSC application(s). Unfortunately, the funding may not always be there. Remember, this monetary award goes into the food service account; this could be used for new equipment or to help with account debt.
More Importantly, your school will receive national recognition by being listed on the USDA Team Nutrition Web site, an award plaque, signed by a USDA official, as well as an award banner to display at your school, publicizing your accomplishment to the community.
Most importunately, you will be providing your students a healthier school environment, which will support their health and academic achievement.
I encourage you to take the Challenge today! Reach out to us at the Child Nutrition Services Office, if you are ready to move forward and submit a winning application for the HealthierUS School Challenge.
Or visit, www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthierus/index.html
These new guidelines may have you feeling like you are in over your head, but please reach out to us for help. We can offer trainings in your area at your request, locate resources for menu planning, provide information on food service management, and share creative nutrition promotion materials. We will also be holding trainings, here in Augusta, at least once per month that will alternate between the new meal pattern and performance based certification.
Tips and resources for the new meal pattern:
Gripes with grains?
- Be vigilant about your grain ounce equivalents and plan carefully. Talk to your bread supplier and other districts throughout the state about products that are working. Refer to the new grain memo on crediting http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Policy-Memos/2012/SP30-2012os.pdf
- If you are struggling to fit in higher grain ounce items at your high school, try serving them all on the same days. For example, if you serve a 3 oz maximum meal on Tuesday and Thursday you should plan to serve other 3 oz items those days as well and 2 oz grain maximums on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This would add up to a total maximum grain oz equivalent of 12.
- If you are struggling to serve your habitual peanut butter or sun butter and jelly eaters in K-5 or K-8 everyday, try changing one of those days to a half sandwich and a yogurt to stay within the 9 oz eq of grain maximum.
What can and cannot be on my salad bar?
- If your school offers the salad bar to all students as part of the reimbursable meal and you do not have a sure-proof way to regulate grains and meats on the salad bar, it would be in your best interest to remove these items.
- If you offer the salad bar to everyone and also serve it as a reimbursable meal you may want to have separate salad bars OR have the student interested in the salad bar meal obtain their pre-portioned meat/meat alternate and grain on the service line. This is to ensure that students do not exceed the grain or meat maximums per week.
- Cottage cheese, yogurt, croutons, shredded cheese, Chinese noodles, cubed deli meats—all should be removed or pre-portioned because they are either a grain or meat alternate and count toward the maximums.
- Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables that cover the vegetable subgroups. The more choices students have the more likely they will be to choose a fruit or vegetable.
Offer vs. Serve
- Three out of five components, with one of those three components being ½ cup fruits and/or vegetables, are necessary to count as a reimbursable meal.
- Train those who are responsible for identifying a reimbursable meal on how to identify ½ cup of fruits and/or vegetables on a student’s tray.
- Offer vs. Serve is ONLY mandatory for high schools.
TRAININGS IN THE WORKS:
It is a new school year and with it comes new challenges, opportunities and yes…lots of trainings. We are putting together a wide variety of meetings for your leisure to brush up on old skills, learn new ones and stay informed. You should receive this year’s calendar in your mail sometime in September which includes all of our opportunities planned so far. In the meantime, we have listed our most current upcoming events below. More information will be posted as it becomes available and emailed to our listserve. Please remain current. Are you on our listserve or has your email changed? If so, this needs to be corrected to receive all of our important updates, meetings and information. See you at our next training!
Meal Pattern Training Covering the New Requirements for School Nutrition Programs:
This training covers information on the USDA meal patterns for school nutrition programs in order to assist schools in understanding the new meal pattern requirements. We have the following Meal Pattern Trainings scheduled at this time: (Contact Jessica McGovern via email at: Jessica.McGovern@maine.gov or call 624-6726 to register for one or both of these events).
Fall Informational Meeting:
New this year we will be coordinating our Fall Informational Meeting with MSNA’s Fall Conference back to back at the same location. This year’s meeting will continue to provide updates on new regulations, policy changes and general issues. *Fee charged (Event registration will be sent out as it becomes available).
- Fall Informational Meeting: TBA
Then after the Fall Informational Meeting is the Maine School Nutrition Association Annual Conference TBA.
The test will be administered at the State Office Building in Augusta, ME. The test will begin promptly at 2 PM each date. Participates will need to bring pencils and photo ID's. To register email David Hartley
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