Tag Archives: school breakfast

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.

 

Foodservice Industry Week in Brief: November 2

Looking for some of the week’s top information for the foodservice industry? Check out these 10 stories, plus this week’s promotion from Central, for the week of October 29- November 2.

Top 10 Foodservice Industry Stories

Eater: Where to Eat Out For Hurricane Relief Across the US

Bloomberg: Restaurants See Sales Jump as East Coast Looks for Food

Huffington Post: Restaurants, Chefs Attempt To Move Forward After Hurricane Sandy

NPR: More Tips for Feeding the Family: Hurricane Edition

CNN: Power Outages in the Wake of Sandy Threaten Business

Huffington Post: Hurricane Sandy Blackout Makes for Eerie Halloween in Devastated East Village

Huffington Post: Restaurants Open During Sandy Experience Surge of Business

Mobile Food News: New York’s Food Trucks to the Rescue

WV Gazette: New Expanded-Meal Effort Fuels Classroom Benefits

Huffington Post: Pepsi White, Orange-Flavored Clear Cola, To Get December 11 Release in Japan

This Week’s Promotion from Central

Save Big Through the End of the Year with the Lowest Prices on all Star Products!

Subscribe to Central’s email list and get subscriber-only benefits such as special discounts, new product alerts and even early access to our clearance list.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for other daily foodservice news throughout the week!

Also, be sure to check out our Pinterest boards and watch videos on our YouTube channel.

Complete Guide on New Standards for School Meals: July 1 Changes

In late January of 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsak introduced new standards for school meals.  These new guidelines will be implemented in phases all the way out to the 2022-2023 school year, with the first phase beginning on July 1 for the 2012-2013 school year.

Introduction and Links to Bookmark

With schools needing to implement changes on July 1, Central is ready to help in any way possible.  Below is an overview of the new guidelines and list of products that can help with new portion requirements. Don’t hesitate to call one of our Product Consultants at 800-215-9293 with any questions on your school foodservice needs.

Below is a recap of the new guidelines that are to be implemented on July 1.  See a complete overview slideshow in full detail, including upcoming school years, on the USDA website.

To make it easier to find information, each new requirement below includes the corresponding slides.  Other important items to bookmark are:

Lunch Requirements

The USDA has provided a Lunch Meal Pattern for all food items (slide 9). Below find details on each requirement for the July 1, 2012 implementation with links and slide page numbers to refer to for all information.

Fruit
Slides 10 to 11

  • Offer fruit daily
  • Minimum of ½ cup per day

Vegetables
Slides 12 to 14

  • Offer vegetables subgroups weekly
  • Minimum of ¾ cup per day
  • The weekly requirements are for: Dark green, red/orange, beans/peas (legumes), starchy or other (as defined in 2010 dietary guidelines)

Grains
Slides 15 to 18

  • Half of grains must be whole grain-rich and must offer weekly grains ranges.  Whole grain-rich is at least 50 percent whole grains.
  • The USDA says, “If the first ingredient is water, a whole grain may be listed as the second ingredient and still meet our whole grain-rich criteria.”
  • Serving Minimum Requirements:
    • Grades K-5: 1 ounce eq. per day or 8-9 ounces per week
    • Grades 6- 8: 1 ounce eq. per day or 8-10 ounces per week
    • Grades 9- 12: 2 ounce eq. per day or 10-12 ounces per week

Meat/Meat Alternatives
Slides 19 to 20

  • Offer weekly meats/meat alternatives ranges (daily minimum)
  • Serving Minimum Requirements:
    • Grades K-5: 1 ounce eq. per day or 8-10 ounces per week
    • Grades 6-8: 1 ounce eq. per day or 9-10 ounces per week
    • Grades 9-12: 2 ounce eq. per day or 10-12 ounces per week

Milk
Slides 21 to 22

  • Offer only fat-free (unflavored or flavored) and low-fat (unflavored) milk
  • Serving Minimum Requirements (same for grades K-12):
    • 1 cup per day or 5 cups per week

Dietary Specifications (to be met on average over a week)
Slides 34 to 39

  • Calorie ranges:
    • Grades K-5: Breakfast: 350-500, Lunch: 550-650
    • Grades 6-8: Breakfast 400-500, Lunch: 600-700
    • Grades 9-12: Breakfast: 450-600, Lunch: 750-850
    • Saturated fat limit
      • Less than 10 percent of total calories
      • Zero grams of trans fat per portion

More lunch requirements are going into effect on July 1 on menu planning, age-grade groups, offer vs. serve and monitoring.  Review the USDA’s Implementation Timeline for details.

Breakfast Requirements

The USDA has provided a Breakfast Meal Pattern for all food items (slide 25). Below find details on each requirement for the July 1, 2012 implementation with links and slide page numbers to refer to for all information.

Milk
Slides 30 to 31

  • Serving Minimum Requirements (same for grades K-12):
    • 1 cup per day or 5 cups per week

Dietary Specifications (to be met on average over a week)
Slides 34 to 29

  • Zero grams of trans fat per portion

Central’s Product Suggestions

Need new equipment? Below are suggestions by Product Consultant Dan Merriman. Again, don’t hesitate to contact a Central Product Consultant at 800-215-9293 with help on the new guidelines and purchasing equipment.

Food Portioners

Spoodles

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Dishers

Compartment Trays

Milk Coolers

Cold Food Pans

Hot Food Pans

A Deeper Look At New USDA Guidelines for Schools

In last Tuesday’s blog, Central looked into schools serving meals three times a day—and it really shows just how times have changed.  Thanks to a rough economy, many children eat over half to all of their meals at school during the week.

In general, “the school meal” has been a hot topic, perhaps really kicking off in 2010 when the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was signed and First Lady Michelle Obama started the Let’s Move! campaign.

It’s been a few years since those initiatives have been put in place and with anything, there are always changes and revisions.

On January 26, the USDA released new guidelines to improve nutritional quality.

To summarize, schools will have to offer more fruit, vegetables and whole grains, provide fat-free or low-fat milk, limit calories based on age and reduce saturated fat, trans fat and sodium.  Also, every three years school lunches will be reviewed to ensure they are consistent with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.  (Further detail of changes reviewed later on in this blog).

Schools will have to start to implement these changes on July 1, 2012—which kicks off a three year phase for all of the changes included in the document, “Nutritional Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.”

At a whopping 80 pages, this document is no quick read and is a lot of information to sift through. Because there are so many revisions, the USDA isn’t leaving schools in the dark.

On March 1, the USDA released a very informative (and shorter) document, “Questions & Answers to the Final Rule, “Nutrition Standards in the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs,” which focuses on specific changes piece by piece.

It’s not surprising the very first question is, “Why is USDA setting new meal patterns and dietary specifications for school meals?”

Well, the signing of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was a huge step in school nutrition because it was the first change in the last 15 years.  So, going back to the concept that “times have changed,” they really have.

In this chart by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the rise in childhood obesity is clear.  From 1963 to 1970, four percent of six to 11-year-olds were overweight, and 5 percent of 12 to 19- year-olds.  There were subtle changes from 1971 through 1980, and then there was a big jump from 1988 to 1994 when the rate jumped to 11 percent for children between the ages of six and 19.

Today? Almost every one out of three children is overweight.

With many children getting many if not all of their nutritious meals at school, the USDA knew it was time for some changes to be made.

To go into further detail, the USDA lists the following as the main differences to the old rules and the new ones:

  • Food planning based on age and grade group
  • Fruits and vegetables now two separate food components
  • “Offer vs. Serve” approach, to have students choose at least a half a cup of fruits or vegetables
  • Weekly grains ranges along with a daily minimum requirement—and by the third year, all grains served must be whole grain-rich
  • Only serve unflavored or flavored fat-free milk or unflavored low-fat milk
  • Minimum and maximum calorie levels
  • Two intermediate sodium target reductions, then a final one
  • Limit trans fat and saturated fat
  • Three year administrative review cycle

Currently, the new guidelines do not affect meals for children with disabilities or children in pre-kindergarten.

The three year administrative review cycle will start during the 2013-2014 school year.

The new changes and guidelines are extensive. But documents like the “Questions & Answers on the Final Rule” help to simplify. 

Here is a list of some helpful resources from the USDA, be sure to find all of them here:

Also, don’t forget to check out our blog from Tuesday March 19 about schools serving three meals per day.

Schools to Celebrate National School Breakfast Week

During the week of March 5-9, schools and organizations across the United States will celebrate National School Breakfast Week to highlight the importance and availability of the School Breakfast Program.  Each year, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) creates a theme that starts in January and runs through National School Breakfast Week.  This year’s theme is “School Breakfast—Go for Gold.”

SNA’s goal with this campaign is to help students learn the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. They also mention it lines up with the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge and Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign.

SNA has put together several resources on their website to get schools back on track and ensure they have all the tools they need for a successful breakfast program.

The also want to make sure students, parents and the media know:

  • The School Breakfast Program is available for schools
  • There is an established link between breakfast and academic success
  • Eating a nutritious breakfast is important as it helps children keep at a healthy weigh

It’s extremely important for children to maintain a healthy weight.  According to the Let’s Move! website, every one in three children is overweight.

“Thirty years ago, most people led lives that kept them at a height weight,” Let’s Move! said. “Today, children experience a very different lifestyle.  Walks to and from school have been replaced by car and bus rides.  Gym class and after-school sports have been cut; afternoons are now spent with TV, video games and the internet.  Parents are busier than ever and families eat fewer home-cooked meals.  Snacking between meals is not commonplace.”

The good news is, as Let’s Move! went into its second year this February, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said they didn’t see a rise in childhood obesity.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, MyPlate and the new standards for school meals are a few of the many factors that have helped in the fight against childhood obesity.  Now the goal is to give children the tools they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

For all information about this year’s National School Breakfast Week, including tools and resources for schools, visit SNA’s website.

Will your school be celebrating National School Breakfast Week?