Nutrition Advisory Council

18th Annual NAC Art Contest 

Are you looking for ways to encourage your NAC members’ creativity and talent? Participate in the 18th Annual NAC Art Contest. This year’s theme is “School Meals are a SMART Start to Good Health.”  

State associations are asked to promote, conduct and sponsor a state contest. Each state is to select three winners to be submitted for the national competition: one from grades K-4, one from grades 5-8 and one from grades 9-12.

Twelve national winners will be selected from the state entries, four from each category. Each of the twelve finalists will receive $75 from ASFSA.  The Grand Prize winner will receive an additional $100 from ASFSA, and the entry will be reproduced on a T-shirt.

Encourage your students to illustrate the theme in the most colorful and creative ways possible. Entries are due to states for judging by January 12, 2004. National winners will be announced in March 2004.

Right-Sized: School Meals are the Nutritious Choice on Campus

What’s on the menu today? Caesar salad, chicken teriyaki on a bun or cheese lasagna with marinara sauce & breadstick. And sides include fresh apple slices, jicama and baby carrots with dip or apricot applesauce. These are just a few of the options customers can choose from at over 99,000 locations nationwide. Welcome to the school lunch of 2004.

Every day over 36 million school breakfasts and lunches are served to America’s school children. Provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, these are nutritious, appealing, balanced meals, provided in age-appropriate serving sizes. A network of child nutrition professionals that oversee school nutrition programs on the local level – each of them members of the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA) – are available as expert sources to discuss the realities of school meals and the school nutrition business.

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President Releases FY 2004 Budget, Agriculture Appropriations

President Bush sent his fiscal year 2004 budget to Congress this week, asking for $2.23 trillion dollars in all. Funds for the Department of Agriculture remained close to FY2002 levels, when adjusted for inflation. Half of the Department’s budget supports federal nutrition programs including food stamps and the National School Lunch Program.

The President’s budget narrative includes analysis of the National School Lunch Program, with specific attention to the alleged over-certification of children in the Program. The narrative states,

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School Foodservice Directors’ Attitudes and Perceived Challenges to Implementing Food Safety and HACCP Programs

Food safety is an important part of providing school children with acceptable, safe, and nutritious meals. There is evidence that improvements are needed in the area of food safety in schools, and that few schools have implemented Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs. The purposes of this study were to determine the attitudes of school foodservice directors toward food safety and the use of HACCP programs in school foodservice and to identify the challenges to implementing food safety and HACCP programs.

A focus group was conducted to generate a list of challenges to implementing food safety and HACCP programs. As a result, a three-part written questionnaire was developed. For Part 1, school foodservice directors’ attitudes toward food safety and HACCP programs were determined. For Part 2, the challenges to implementing food safety and HACCP were investigated. For Part 3, demographic information about directors and their districts was collected. Questionnaires were mailed to a randomly selected national sample of 800 district school foodservice directors. A total of 461 questionnaires were returned for a response rate of 58%.

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Smith Becomes ASFSA President on Last Day of Conference

Are you looking for best practices to model your foodservice program after? Look to Polk County Schools and Marcia Smith for ideas. Do you need expert advice or comments on school foodservice and nutrition? Marcia Smith has plenty to say on the subject. Tell Marcia Smith you’ve popped a button and don’t be surprised that she has a sewing kit in her purse.

Is she Wonder Woman? Not as far as we know, but Marcia L. Smith, Ph.D., SFNS, isthe newly inaugurated President of the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA).

On July 18, during the Closing General Session of ASFSA’s 55th Annual National Conference, ASFSA Past President Marilyn Hurt, SFNS, handed over the Association’s leadership to Marcia Smith, SFNS. Over the next year, Smith will lead the Association under the theme, “Caring for Communities We Serve.”

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Cinco de Mayo

Introduction to Cinco De Mayo
Are you looking for creative ways to teach students about countries around the world? As teachers and school foodservice professionals, you can work together to make learning fun by combining food and history in the classroom. This is a sample lesson plan on how to bring Cinco De Mayo to life for your students.

Lesson Overview:
This lesson is designed to introduce students to the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo. Students will have the opportunity to learn about typical foods of Mexico and explore the history and origins of some authentic Mexican foods.At the end of the lesson, students can make their own healthy tortilla wraps.

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Children’s Books about Nutrition

Below are some recommended children’s books on food and good nutrition. Check one out at your local library today!

The Amazing Milk Book
by Paulette Bourgeois, Catherine Ross and Susan Wallace
This book describe milk’s chemistry, nutritional value, production and use as a component of cheese and other foods. It’s enriched with anecdotes and humor.

The Beastly Feast
by Bruce Goldstone
At the great animal feast, bears bring pears and mosquitoes bring burritos.

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Musical Chairs

Once upon a time, a high school principal in the Glendale (Calif.) Unified School District approached Rick DeBurgh, director of school foodservice. He said, “I want you to buy more study hall tables.” DeBurgh explained, “I don’t buy study hall tables.”

“Well, we need more places for students to eat,” argued the principal. Then, let the students eat on fastfood-type tables that feature school colors, countered DeBurgh. “But they also have to study there,” said the principal. And in a tale that ends happily ever after, DeBurgh showed the principal how students can study happily and productively on festive fastfood tables. “There was some initial concern, but after I met with the student group, the principal said, ‘OK, go for it,’ and the results have been wildly successful,” he says.

Not every school across the country boasts a separate space for its cafeteria, study hall, auditorium, gymnasium, school dance and meeting place. In fact, in many schools, one room must serve many functions. The result is the ubiquitous multi-purpose cafeteria, and its logistics can challenge even the most creative foodservice director. But with some innovative design or redesign, school foodservice professionals can find a wealth of solutions to maintain the cafeteria’s identity. The key is to get involved in the process early-before it’s too late and the music has stopped playing.

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Rediscover School Lunch

When was the last time you had a school lunch?

If you answered, “When I was in school, ” then it’s time for you to make a lunchtime visit to your child’s cafeteria. You’ll be surprised how much has changed!
Today’s school cafeterias provide much more variety and nutrition than lunchrooms of old. Here are just a few examples of what today’s school nutrition programs offer:

  • Salad, soup, potato, pizza and deli bars
  • Ethnic menus featuring Mexican, Italian, Greek and Chinese favorites
  • “Scramble system,” similar to the food courts you find at the local mall
  • “Offer vs. serve” plans where students may select from several choices in each food group

And today’s school cafeterias are much more fun to eat in, too! Many new and renovated school cafeterias are featuring:
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