Hot Topics and Cool Connections: School Nutrition Association Annual Conference


Hot Topics and Cool Connections: School Nutrition Association Annual Conference

29, August 2017 9:00 AM

SNA exhibit floorWhere do school nutrition professionals from across the country come together to network, learn about relevant topics in school nutrition and stay up to date on trends affecting the school nutrition environment? The School Nutrition Association National Conference!  

Being part of this year's event in Atlanta, GA was a fantastic experience. Not only is the conference a gigantic school nutrition classroom, but the exhibit hall is full of innovative products and resources and the best opportunity to learn from school nutrition experts. (Special thanks to South Panola School District for this excellent photo of the exhibit floor. Follow them on Instagram at southpanola_foodservice)

As Dairy Council of California advances our cause of elevating the health of children and parents in California through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits, working with school nutrition professionals is an important strategy for success.

Over the past 4 years we have been supporting school nutrition professionals by helping schools across the state implement the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement (SLM) principles and practices. Through the SLM, schools can increase meal participation, decrease food waste and help develop a positive image for school meals.  

This year, I had the opportunity to showcase our involvement with the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement of CA by presenting an educational session in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), titled “Smarter Lunchrooms = A Positive Image.”

Dawn Soto, my co presenter, highlighted the many positive results they have accomplished through the environmental changes they implemented following SLM strategies. These results include a decrease in food waste, an increase in fruit (75 percent for oranges and apples) and milk consumption, plus an overall increase in school meals participation (11 percent at one school). The efforts underway at LAUSD mean healthier students, with the goal of supporting gains in student test scores and academic achievement.

While the conference as a whole offered a unique chance to network with school nutrition professionals, one of the best places for networking was in the exhibit hall. Learning from each other and sharing ideas to support school cafeterias is the essence of ANC, and seeing this in person was nothing short of inspiring. 

CSNA Conference logoIf you work in or with school nutrition, I highly recommend attending this national conference. If you can't bear to wait a whole year to attend the national conference, the California School Nutrition Association conference is November 9-12 in Sacramento, California. Register today and I'll see you there!

Phoebe Copp
Community Nutrition Adviser Supervisor 

Tags: conferences healthy eating for kids Phoebe Copp school foodservice school nutrition smarter lunchrooms movement of CA

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