Tag Archives: food hero

What Will the School Lunch of the Future Look Like?

Quinoa, kale, Brussels sprouts, tamales, green smoothies. These are all foods you might find in a trendy restaurant … or on a lunch tray in your local school cafeteria.

School lunches are fast overcoming their stereotypical reputation as bland and uninspired through some creativity and innovation by school nutrition professionals. On this National School Lunch Week, let’s take a look toward the future.

If you’ve ever tried to concentrate on something when you’re really hungry, you’ll understand that students don’t perform at their best without a nutritious lunch, which they won’t eat unless it tastes good. Schools are committed to providing great food in their cafeterias, and it can be challenging to be innovative when there are so many considerations, including:

• Making it tasty for a wide range of food preferences
• Making it easy to eat in a short period of time
• Cost and budgetary concerns
• Regulations and nutrition standards
• Allergies and dietary restrictions
• Sourcing and availability
• Food safety, storage and logistics
• Limiting food waste

Schools and school districts may operate differently, yet they share the common goal of providing meals their students actually want and will eat. These meals fuel students with the needed nutrients to grow and think. Improving menus can take some creativity, and that’s why culinary training events have proven so popular over the past nine years in Oregon.

Jessica Visinsky, a Registered Dietitian and trained chef, travels the state to teach child nutrition professionals about new recipes, knife skills, menu requirements and strategies to promote healthy eating. The trainings are sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs, and are offered at no cost to the schools.

As a result, school nutrition professionals are preparing more scratch recipes, often from the Oregon State University Food Hero program. Check out Food Hero for recipes that can be made at home and with kids. Students have responded positively. Many also explore farm to school opportunities to include seasonal fruits, vegetables and other local foods year-round.

The school lunch of the future will likely include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Some are taking a serious look at plant-based diets and some are looking at local, sustainably sourced center-of-the-plate proteins such as seafood and beef. These are all complemented well by the nutrition provided in dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Restrictions will continue for sodium, sugar and unhealthy fat, driven by science and recommendations from USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

You don’t have to gaze into a crystal ball to see the future of school lunches is looking bright. On this National School Lunch Week, we salute all of those who work so hard to put nutritious and delicious foods on our students’ trays. Thank you!

 

Home recipes of photos shown above … and more.

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How We Celebrated June Dairy Month

Since 1937, June has been designated as a special month to celebrate milk and all things dairy. National Dairy Month is an annual tradition that recognizes the contributions the dairy industry has made to health and happiness around the world.

Oregon has a lot to celebrate, and what better way to kick things off than World Milk Day? After all, milk is Oregon’s official state beverage. On every day of June, we served up some cheesy, dairy-themed jokes on social media. As an example, this was one of the crowd favorites: Why was the dairy farmer the slowest player on the baseball field? You’d be slow too if your jersey weighed 1,000 pounds!

Cloverdale dairy farmer Ron Hurliman served as Grand Marshal of the June Dairy Parade in Tillamook

June Dairy Parade Grand Marshal Ron Hurliman (right), with wife Vonnie. Courtesy of Tillamook Headlight Herald.

There were several dairy events and observances throughout the month as well. Cloverdale dairy farmer Ron Hurliman served as Grand Marshal of the June Dairy Parade in Tillamook. With more than 120 entries, the parade is a centerpiece of the June Dairy Festival alongside the Tillamook County YMCA Milk Run and the Tillamook County Rodeo. You can read all about the festivities in this special insert from the Tillamook Headlight Herald. Capital Press also had this special section for June Dairy Month with several great stories.

On Father’s Day, we shared a poetic tribute to dairy dads called “Until the Cows Come Home,” and on the first day of summer we shared a delicious recipe for Yogurt and Dill Smashed Potatoes. Our partner Food Hero made milk the featured food of the month and shared this great handout.

We sponsored the Milk Carton Boat Race in partnership with the Royal Rosarians, the Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassadors, Darigold and many others. A Rose Festival tradition since 1973, the family-friendly event features kids, adults and teams racing across a pond on boats that float atop empty milk cartons and milk jugs. KGW television’s Drew Carney highlighted the event on his Sunrise show and KATU’s Katherine Kisiel was an event announcer.

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At the national level, a running theme throughout the month involved dairy’s contributions to fighting food insecurity and child hunger. The “Real Love Convoy” brought Undeniably Dairy branded trucks to New York, Washington D.C., Detroit and Cleveland for media opportunities and public events featuring dairy. This included an appearance with spokeswoman Laila Ali and dairy farmer Katie Dotterer-Pyle on Good Morning America. Locally, we helped promote summer meals programs in Oregon with this special video featuring Oregon’s Fuel Up to Play 60 spokesperson Anthony Newman.

While National Dairy Month may be over, we’ll continue to celebrate dairy year round. Oh, and did we mention that July is National Ice Cream Month? Stay tuned for a fun announcement on National Ice Cream Day (July 21)!

Students Connect with School Nutrition Professionals (VIDEO)

When students from Armand Larive Middle School attended a Culinary Workshop in Umatilla, hosted by Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, they saw their school nutrition professionals in action. This post debuts a great new video they created to share their experience.

The Culinary Workshop is one of six regional workshops offered to school nutrition professionals throughout Oregon to help improve child nutrition programs. “I want to make sure we have a variety of foods represented, because these folks help make the menus for schools,” said Chef and Registered Dietitian Garrett Berdan.

Many of the recipes used for this workshop are from Food Hero (www.foodhero.org) , an online resource with shopping hints, cooking tips and videos, to help Oregonians improve their health with affordable and healthy recipes.

While attending the workshop, Armand Larive Middle School students interviewed, taste-tested and even gave their feedback on the finished recipes to re-cap the day. This is one of many video projects they have done with video equipment provided through a Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is a school nutrition and exercise program launched by the National Dairy Council and the NFL to improve health and encourage today’s youth to live healthier lives. Grants are available to qualified K-12 schools to jump start healthy changes in the school environment.

“The students worked really hard on editing this,” said Angie Treadwell, SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator. “There was lots of footage to sort through, and I think it was a really good experience for them in many ways, especially in gaining a deeper understanding of school food service.”

As one of the many examples showing how the experience is paying off, Armand Larive Middle School’s Ashley Treadwell received Honorable Mention in the National Scholastic Press Association Individual Award Contest for her video story titled “Cooking Class.”

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White Chicken Chili

Try this delicious, hearty chili on a cold, wintery day or any day.

Serves 8

dash-recipehealthy-recipeentree-recipe

 

 

Dietitian’s Tip: To help you meet your DASH daily goals, here are suggestions for foods to eat with this hearty chili:

  • Whole grain crackers or a slice of whole grain bread
  • Salad with leafy greens, carrots, cucumbers, and a sprinkle of nuts and a drizzle of olive oil
  • For a simple dessert or snack later on, choose fruit.

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder or 6 cloves garlic
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) white beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped mild green chilies
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) nonfat sour cream
½ cup nonfat or 1% milk

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Sauté chicken, onion and garlic powder until chicken is no longer pink inside.

Add the beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Stir in sour cream and milk.

Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

 

NUTRITIONAL FACTS
Per serving: 260 calories, 4.5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 40 g carbohydrate, 23 g protein, 6 g fiber, 220 mg sodium, 855 mg potassium, 86 mg magnesium, 175 mg calcium

 

Recipe courtesy of Food Hero


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Grant Helps Hermiston School Connect Technology, Nutrition

Armand-Larive-Middle-School_students

Fuel Up to Play 60 grant funding provided by local dairy farmers is making a difference in Oregon schools.

Armand Larive Middle School in Hermiston received a grant of $3,555 to purchase a computer, accessories and software for video production. The new computer equipment enables students to make Food Hero time lapse recipe videos to help educate students on healthy recipes.

For the application, the school teamed with Angie Treadwell, Family and Community Health Umatilla-Morrow SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator for Oregon State University Extension Center. “We are excited for the opportunity to help Armand Larive students gain additional experience in video production while educating and promoting healthy behaviors among their peers and perhaps, the community at large,” said Treadwell.

Additionally, with the new computer equipment purchased, students were able to compete at the Student Television Network Conference in Anaheim, California in March. Under the category of Middle School Anchor Team, Armand Larive took 2nd honorable mention.

At a special school assembly in April, the Food Hero videos were shown to the student body while they enjoyed tasting the ever-popular“Popeye Power Smoothie.” All of the videos created by the students are now on www.FoodHero.org.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives. To learn more about the grant visit www.fueluptoplay60.com.

School Culinary Trainings Spice Up the Menu

Culinary Trainings with Garrett Berdan

Sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs, a new series of five popular culinary training events are underway to help improve school cafeteria menus for Oregon students.

For the past seven years, Chef Garrett Berdan, RDN, has been coaching child nutrition program professionals at regional trainings on cooking innovative, healthy meals using nutrient-rich, local foods. At the training events, participants prepare and taste test 15 actual recipes they can bring back to their students.

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.

This year’s series includes stops in Klamath Falls, Ontario, Lincoln City, Central Point and Aurora, Oregon. Trainings were held last year in Albany, Hermiston, McMinnville, Central Point, Salem and La Grande. Schools and childcare programs in each region are invited to participate in the two day training free of charge.

“Using quick, tasty and healthy Food Hero recipes and a little creativity, schools can really spice up their menus without breaking the bank,” said Crista Hawkins, RDN, LD, Director of School Programs for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “We’ve invited a lot of guests to come and try the good food at these events, and they’re consistently impressed.”

As part of an ongoing commitment to youth wellness and education, Oregon’s 228 dairy farm families and 29 dairy processors are involved with schools across the state, supporting programs such as this training.

RELATED STORIES:

Ontario Culinary Workshop FUTP60 Yogurt Station
Ontario Argus Observer, April 9

Nutritious cooking: Child nutrition programs get healthy refresher course
Herald and News, March 21

Cooking Up New and Nutritious Recipes for School Kids

Grants Support Strengthening Oregon Schools and Students

Schools across Oregon have innovative projects underway focused on youth engagement, nutrition and physical activity, thanks to Fuel Up to Play 60 grants funded by Oregon dairy farmers. Fuel Up to Play 60 is the largest in-school health and wellness program in the country.

The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, in partnership with the National Football League, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Dairy Council, awarded grants to eight schools throughout the state last fall.

With grant funding, schools are purchasing blenders for yogurt smoothie classroom celebrations and carts for grab-and-go breakfast options. Brand new pans and salad bar inserts will be featuring fruits and vegetables from school gardens in cafeterias. Noise cancelling blankets are going up in one cafeteria to reduce noise and bring Smarter Lunch Room concepts to students. One school is using funding to create time lapse videos featuring Food Hero recipes highlighting whole grains, fruit and low fat dairy.

Physical activity goes hand in hand with nutrition for Oregon students. Students will be energized and ready to focus on learning throughout the day by participating in brain breaks in class. Students will be stretching out in yoga poses, checking their heart rates with monitors and counting steps with pedometers.

For more information on how you and your school can get in on the action contact the schools team:

Crista Hawkins, RDN, LD
Director of School Programs
chawkins@odncouncil.org
Direct: 971-673-2725

Erin Hirte, RDN, LD
Manager of School Programs
ehirte@odncouncil.org
Direct: 971-673-2729