Tag Archives: central point

Advancing Health, Wellness and Education in Rogue Valley

Improving student performance and advancing a culture of health and wellness were the primary themes discussed at the Learning Connection Summit at Central Point Elementary School on October 26.

Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council staff took a lead role in bringing together a broad spectrum of community leaders from the private and public sectors to come together and strengthen local networks, stimulate action and support the link between health and education. Discussions included school and worksite wellness, community nutrition, physical activity and school nutrition innovations.

“Advancing a culture of wellness in the Rogue Valley will help improve student achievement and contribute to the vitality and health of our region,” said Cheryl Kirk, Nutrition Instructor for Family and Community Health/SNAP-Ed, Oregon State University Extension. “This will help get our community thinking about what we can all do as individuals and collectively to make a positive difference.”

Summit participants came from both Jackson and Josephine counties and included elected officials, superintendents, school nutrition directors, county staff, health system administrators, business leaders and local farmers. All committed to advance school and community wellness with time and resources over the next year and beyond.

This effort was originally prompted by registered dietitian nutritionists from the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. Two years ago, the Council organized a similar gathering in Tillamook. This led to the Tillamook County Commission declaring a “Year of Wellness,” yielding positive changes in individuals, businesses, schools and organizations. Following on that success, Umatilla followed suit with a summit of their own.

In addition to the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, the Rogue Valley Learning Connection Summit was supported by Central Point School District, Oregon State University Extension, AllCare Health, Rogue Creamery, and Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs.

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Cooking Up New and Nutritious Recipes for School Kids

“What’s for lunch?” It’s a common refrain in school cafeterias across the state, and some tasty plans are in the works to provide exciting new and nutritious menu items. Thanks to a special series of events called “Oregon Cooks for Kids,” school cooks are learning new recipes featuring dairy ingredients that they can take back to their schools.

Sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services, seven statewide culinary trainings are being offered for school nutrition directors and cooks in 2016. This year’s schedule includes trainings in Albany, Hermiston, McMinnville, Central Point, Salem, La Grande and Klamath Falls.

Chef Garrett Berdan, RDN, coaches participants on cooking-from-scratch culinary skills, while preparing and taste testing 15 actual recipes. The preparation of healthy meals for students emphasizes nutrient-rich foods, because studies show that well-nourished kids perform better at school. Participants practice menu planning, weights and measures, knife skills and other culinary techniques.

The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council has supported culinary training events for seven years. Oregon’s 228 dairy farm families and 31 dairy processors are involved with schools across the state — providing nutritious foods to kitchens and cafeterias and leading health and wellness initiatives.

Cafeteria cooks have new tricks up their sleevesCafeteria cooks have new tricks up their sleeves

Statewide culinary trainings are improving the quality and variety of meals served in Oregon schools. Learn more about what happens at these special events with this fun story from KGW TV’s Portland Today.   VIDEO

Healthy Meals for Healthy StudentsHealthy Meals for Healthy Students Trainings

Trainings are presented in partnership with the Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs and the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. We train school nutrition and frontline staff, giving them ideas and skills to improve their school meal programs with nutrient-rich recipes, featuring ingredients like low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.   VIDEO