Tag Archives: K-12 schools

school food service

Latest School Food Service News and Pre-Holiday Checklist

As the holiday season inches closer and closer, catch up on the latest school food service news and create a pre-holiday checklist.

school food serviceLatest School Food Service News

President Signs Bill To Increase EpiPens in Schools

With life threatening allergies on the rise, President Obama signed a bill on Wednesday November 13 to increase EpiPens in schools.  Read more from The Wall Street Journal.

FAME Award Winners Announced

Winners have been announced for the 25th annual Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Awards program.   Sandra Ford, SNS, director, Food and Nutrition Services of the Manatee County School District in Bradenton, Fla. won Golden Food Service Director of the Year. Read about this award and learn about other award winners from the School Nutrition Association.

Data Now Available for National School Lunch Participation and More

The USDA has updated data for Child Nutrition Tables. Learn about National School Lunch and School Breakfast participation, program costs, meals served and more on from the USDA.

Changes to National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services has proposed a rule “to amend the eligibility regulations for free and reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program to codify the statutory provision that establishes the community eligibility provision, a reimbursement option for eligible local educational agencies and schools that wish to offer free school meals to all children in high poverty schools without collecting household applications.” Read the rule in it’s entirety or read a summarized version from the the School Nutrition Association.

Farm to School Month and School to Farm Census Results

October was the USDA’s Farm to School Month. During this year’s event, they released the first “Farm to School Census” from the 2011 to 2012 school year.  This study concluded there were over 38,000 schools with 21 million students serving over $350 million in local food.  Read more from the USDA and view the census results.

school food servicePre-Holiday Checklist

Replace Old Equipment

It is easy to ignore problems or or fail to keep up with routine maintenance when it comes to food service equipment–that is until something goes out completely.  Never wait until equipment is broken because in some cases it can take days for a service call to get resolved (which could be detrimental to your operation).  Take some time to review routine maintenance goals and replace equipment (or supplies) if necessary.

Review Food Safety Goals

Make sure school food service employees are following all food safety guidelines from proper handwashing techniques to cooking food thoroughly. Our Food Safety Resource Guide can help fill in any blanks and read articles about food safety on our blog.

Implement or Reassess Food Allergy Protocol

According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), one of every 13 children are affected by food allergies. Whether your school food service is very familiar with allergies, or is just learning how to implement procedures, it’s important to review your strategy.  In October, the CDC released “Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs” which is a great resource for schools of all levels.

school food serviceApply for Grants

Take advantage of potential free money to improve your school food service. Here are a  few grants currently available on a national level, be sure to search your area for local grants:

Analyze Food Buying Procedures

Take some time to review how much your school food service is buying and spending.  The National Food Service Management Institute of the University of Mississippi has created this helpful “Food Buying Guide” which is a calculator for the child nutrition programs.  It allows you to choose a type of food, serving size and number of servings then calculates how much should be purchased.  This is a free feature that doesn’t require (or even have) login information; simply print or email your list.


Chipotle Is Donating $100,000 For Your Junk Mail

QSR magazine recently reported on Chipotle’s “No Junk” campaign.

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it would double its donation to The Lunch Box if its new goal of 1 million junk e-mails is reached by August.

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s “No Junk” campaign encouraged Americans to forward their junk e-mails to nojunk@chipotlejunk.com.  The campaign’s original donation was $50,000, because of the campaign’s success Chipotle has increased the possible donation to $100,000 if its new goal was reached by August.

The “No Junk” campaign was set up so that each forwarded piece of junk e-mail will help provide nutritious cafeteria meals for school children around the country through the partnership with The Lunch Box.  For every 100,000 junk e-mails Chipotle receives, the company donates $10,000 to The Lunch Box.  This will help provide approximately 32 million school children at 100,000 schools nationwide access to 100 school-tested, junk-free recipes created by Chef Ann Cooper, The Renegade Lunch Lady.

This campaign was launched on June 25 and its goal of 1,000,000 junk emails has been reached, which raised its maximum contribution to The Lunch Box of $100,000.

Congratulations to Chipotle and The Lunch Box on reaching your goal and donating healthy meals to children across the country.

We’re Back From the School Nutrition Association Conference: Great Reviews!

This year Central Restaurant Products took some exclusive products to show at the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference and we received some great feedback! 

Customers loved our Central Exclusive trays, especially the Blue!

Not only did customers love the trays but they also complimented Central’s service levels, quick shipping and competitive pricing.

As far as attendance, there seemed to be less people at the conference this year but it was still fairly crowded.

The vendors had very few new products for this conference but most of them said they would be releasing new items during NAFEM. We will keep you posted on this.

Thanks to all who came out to visit the booth and support the School Nutrition Association.

Central Restaurant Products is Heading to Dallas!

The School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference (ANC) will be in Dallas this year. The conference will be home to more than 80 educational sessions that will provide new perspectives and best practices for your school’s nutrition program, and will play host to many vendors and distributors of foodservice equipment.

This conference could not come at a better time. In the current times of obesity in children and the Let’s Move! campaign school nutrition is under the microscope. Attend the seminars to learn how to provide healthier alternatives to children, how to prepare and produce food, plan menus, promote a positive image on your nutrition program and more.

Visit the exhibit hall to learn about the newest equipment available in the foodservice industry. Some of the vendors in attendance include; Cleveland Range, San Jamar, The Vollrath Company and of course, Central Restaurant Products.

Visit Don Hogan and Sarah Templeton at booth #1733 for your chance to win a CanPro. Also come see the Metro Holding and Transport Cabinet and samples of our exclusive compartment trays.

These trays are one of many products offered exclusively from Central.

Central has worked hard to bring you exceptional value on exclusive offerings you cannot get anywhere else! All Central Exclusive products have the following features:

  • Equal or better quality than the leading national brand
  • Value engineered by Central’s team of Product Experts
  • Offered only to Central Customers!

Enjoy the ANC, stop by our booth with any questions you may have and for your chance to WIN!

Childhood Obesity: How To avoid it.

Childhood obesity is becoming a very serious issue and health risk. 1/3 of American children are considered overweight or obese. There is speculation as to why this is happening and theories on how to fix it. Communities are coming together to create healthier eating environments, to teach children about healthy foods and to create healthier food options at schools. Baldwin Park, California is one example. A national group called Healthy Kids Healthy Communities has expanded to this town. They have been able to make salad bars a stable in local schools, 100 minutes of physical education every week a requirement and place labels at groceries to show healthy food choices. After doing this in 5 years over 135 children are no longer overweight.

Experts believe it is becoming a luxury to eat healthy foods. They are more expensive. We all know examples within our local grocery stores buy one example of this in the fast food industry is McDonald’s. It costs less to buy a large value meal including a drink than it does to buy a salad and bottle of water. Many people believe increasing taxes by 1 penny per ounce on sugary foods and drinks would cut the consumption by 10% and raise billions of dollars to fight obesity.

Experts have many opinions on what should be done to fight obesity, but not all are in agreement. The basics are as they always have been, modernized of course.

  • Expand the idea of exercise. Take up rollerblading, golfing, swimming, or karate. If you would prefer to stay inside invest in a Wii fit or other game that will raise your heartbeat.
  • Make it easy: Plan ahead. Children should exercise approximately 1 hour a day. If they aren’t in after school activities be ready to do some sort of exercise in the evening.
  • Make exercise a family affair. Parents are role models. Go outside and play with your kids, turn on your Wii fit and work out, go rollerblading. Do things together.

Watch the following video for more information on childhood obesity.


School Nutrition: An Important Issue in Changing Times

The world is changing. People are going green, health care is being reformed, and people all over the world are looking to get healthier. This can be seen in First Lady Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and Action for Healthy Kids among others. All of these initiatives focus on one thing, getting children healthier. The reason? This generation of children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents because of health issues caused by obesity. School nutrition is where these initiatives are starting.

Children eat at least one meal, sometimes two, a day at school. Do you know how the food is prepared or where it is coming from? Are your children getting all the nutrition they need from school lunches? How can you make sure they do? These are all very good questions. These initiatives give you an insight into school nutrition, what it is, what it’s lacking and more.

Check out Game On! the Ultimate Wellness Challenge to find out how to start on the road to healthier children. Register to begin the challenge with your children to a healthier lifestyle. Students Taking Charge gives students the opportunity to create a healthier environment in their schools.

There are many ways to get involved in your child’s nutrition at home and at school. Get more information about your child’s health here and begin making the changes for healthier lifestyles.

Making Moves For Healthier Eating In School

Ever wonder what adults think about the lunches served in school? According to Mrs. Q, an elementary school teacher who blogs about what she eats from her school’s cafeteria everyday for a year, there is a huge need for students to be served better, healthier lunches.

In a previous post I wrote about the new Let’s Move campaign First Lady Obama has started and as well as the plans President Obama has for schools across the country. Although these are great steps forward, the President and First Lady can only do so much; schools need to make some moves towards serving healthier food.

Mrs. Q is right, children need healthy food, it is vital to their growth process. Teachers, administrators, parents and anyone else that ever serves food to children need to realize now is the time to teach them healthy eating habits.

So what is the problem? According to this article some schools refuse to serve anything with less than 80% approval rating of students. The article also talks about a “brunch for lunch” menu. This is an extremely popular option but not very healthy. Schools should invest not only in healthier food but also in health promoting foodservice equipment. Instead of using a fryer to make fries consider using a steamer. This will cut down on fat among other  advantages cooking with steam provides. Another way to make lunches healthier is to clean fruits and vegetables with a Saf-T-Wash System. This system helps kill bacteria, viruses and more without using chemicals.

The government is beginning to  take steps to promote and provide healthier eating in schools but it can’t be done alone. Step up and make a move to provide your students and children with healthier foods.

National School Breakfast Week starts March 8

School Breakfast - Ready, Set, Go!

Source: schoolnutrition.org

The 22nd annual National School Breakfast Week will be March 8-12, 2010.   Sponsored in part by the School Nutrition Association, the program helps to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program to all children by celebrating a fun theme. For 2010, the theme is “School Breakfast…Ready, Set, Go!”

The SNA offers a variety of free tools and resources that school foodservice staff can use and distribute to communicate the importance of eating a healthy, balanced breakfast. The free materials teach students that eating a school breakfast makes them ready for a day of learning and achievement, and meets dietary guidelines.

Other free resources from the SNA include Menu Ideas, Activity Sheets, Downloadable Presentations and more.

Celebrate National School Breakfast Week at your school by trying a few new breakfast options:

Fresh Fruit Bowls: Use fruit choppers/wedgers to quickly prep apples, melons, citrus and more for a bright, healthy menu choice.

Bran or Whole Wheat Baked Goods: Add in some seasonal fresh fruit for increased flavor, color and nutritional value.  Try different formats for the finished product, such as muffins, breads or cakes.

Flavored Milks: In addition to the standard varieties of white milk, offer your students options like strawberry-, chocolate- or banana-flavored milks.  The additional options may appeal to students that “don’t like milk.”  Use a milk cooler that can hold milk crates–you won’t have to spend time sorting the different varieties you offer.

Scrambled Egg Whites: A healthier option than traditional scrambled eggs, you can add extra flavor and color by throwing in some shredded cheese, diced vegetables or cooked meats.  Quickly make up a large batch using a tilt skillet.

French Toast Sticks: Serving full slices of French toast can easily result in students eating more than recommended serving sizes, or large amounts of uneaten foods that get thrown away.  Before cooking, cut full slices of bread into 3 equal parts to easily control proper serving sizes and reduce food waste.  Use syrup dispensers to let students serve their own syrup to save your foodservice staff time.

Have any breakfast ideas you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear them!