Tag Archives: school nutrition

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.

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Nutritious cooking: Child nutrition programs get healthy refresher course
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Cooking Up New and Nutritious Recipes for School Kids

New Elk Meadow Students’ Video Highlights Healthy Habits

School milkStudents at Elk Meadow Elementary School in Bend have premiered a new video about integrating healthy habits into the school day. Complete with a catchy tune and local dairy products from Eberhard’s Dairy, the video was created for a national contest for Fuel Up to Play 60 – the largest in-school nutrition and physical activity program in the U.S.

“During a recent series of art workshops at Elk Meadow, where students sampled from a variety of different art forms, some took a peak into the art of movie making with retired Bend/La Pine music teacher, Peggy Frede,” said Grant Mattox, FUTP60 Program Advisor at Elk Meadow Elementary School in Bend. “Over the course of a few weeks, they put together this video which they have also entered into a little competition through Fuel Up to Play 60.

”Inspired and led by youth, Fuel Up to Play 60 was created by the National Dairy Council and the NFL, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives. Funded by Oregon’s dairy farm families and managed by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, Fuel Up to Play 60 is active in more than 73,000 schools nationwide and hundreds of public schools in Oregon.

Having reached Touchdown Status as a school and with back-to-back student ambassadors representing Oregon at the last two national summits, Elk Meadow Elementary School has been a star performer in Oregon’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program. This is attributable in large part to their program advisor Grant Mattox and his student team of “Wellness Warriors.”

Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall Reaps Positive Results

Families gathered at a local elementary school in Umatilla last month to learn how to cook healthy recipes that they could make together at home. It was a free class offered by Umatilla School District, Umatilla-Morrow Head Start and Oregon State University Extension Service; and it was precisely the kind of community collaboration that the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council had in mind when it organized the Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall.

At the town hall meeting last October, local community leaders from education, school nutrition, extension, public health, health care and agriculture joined together to discuss how nutrition, physical activity, health and education impact student success. Together, the participants are strengthening local networks in Umatilla and Morrow counties and engaging a broad range of stakeholders in supporting the proven link between child health and wellness and education.

“The support for our students from teachers, child nutrition, after school and community programs has a clear and direct impact on their success,” said Heidi Sipe, Superintendent, Umatilla School District.

The town hall highlighted best practices in nutrition and physical activity and put the spotlight on Umatilla School District for their outstanding commitment to child health and success with innovative approaches to ensuring all kids are nourished for learning. Participants walked the new fitness trail at Umatilla High School, which was partially funded by the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and built by committed community members.

Town hall participants were asked to commit to school and community wellness with time and resources in the next school year and beyond. They each identified 90-day goals to keep the connections active and further their shared goal of advancing community health.  Participants will reconvene in one year to share their successes and continue their commitment.

“We need to do everything we can to stay connected and ensure the success of our students, families and community,” said Kevin Campbell, CEO, Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization.

In addition to the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, the Umatilla Learning Connection Town Hall was supported by: Umatilla School District, Umatilla County, OSU Extension SNAP-Ed, Intermountain ESD, Good Shepherd Health Care System, Umatilla-Morrow Head Start, Oregon Department of Education (ODE) Child Nutrition Program and ODE Office of Teaching and Learning.

Summit Connects Agriculture, Healthy Eating and Learning

It’s a bird, it’s a plane! No, it’s a teacher flying through the air on a zip line.

The Northwest Regional Fuel Up to Play 60 Summit went to new heights on Monday, June 27, at Tree to Tree Aerial Adventure Park. On the first day of a two day summit, a unique mix of educational and agricultural leaders learned firsthand about the learning connection between physical activity and brain function while testing their own physical abilities.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program created by the National Dairy Council and the NFL, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Inspired and led by youth, it empowers students to eat healthy, be active and make positive changes in their schools and communities.

The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and Idaho Dairy Council invited leaders from schools and farms in both states who are committed to bettering the lives of students and learning ways of leveraging the proven benefits of improved learning through better diet and exercise. During the summit, they shared their Fuel Up to Play 60 experiences aimed at engaging and empowering youth to eat healthy and to be physically active at school, at home and in the community.

“This regional summit brought together school administrators, nutrition service directors, teachers, state partners and dairy farmers to increase everyone’s understanding of the connection between agriculture, healthy eating, physical activity and learning,” said Crista Hawkins, Manager of School Programs for Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “We have so much to learn from one another.”

Cliff Garbett reflects on the regional Summit and Fuel Up to Play 60.

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