Blog
 Search
14, December 2017 11:20 AM


Dairy Council of CA staff were as busy as game show hosts making sure collaboration took center stage during the 2017 California School Nutrition Association Conference in Sacramento. In addition to sponsoring the SLM of CA Collaborative reception and awards, team members were on several panels, exhibited and even hosted Nutrition Activity Club (NAC) attendees. Here are some of the highlights:
 
Using the premise of a popular game show, Candice Sainz from Dairy Council of CA partnered with Heather Reed and Crystal Young of California Department of Education, Gail Gousha from Escondido Union School District, Barbara Lee from Livermore Valley Joint Unified, Robert Lewis from El Monte City School District and April Mackill of Plumas Lake Unified on a session designed to drive home the message that Smarter Lunchrooms Movement of CA strategies use low and no cost solutions to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Playing to a packed house, these passionate professionals shared examples and tips, demonstrating that with Smarter Lunchrooms Movement principles and practices, the "Price is Right" when promoting school meals. As a valuable parting gift, session attendees went home with a hand out of SLM of CA materials, resources, tools and sources they could contact/order to bring SLM to their cafeterias. 

Phoebe Copp of Dairy Council of CA co-presented “The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement: Engaging Students in Your Cafeteria” with April Mackill and Barbara Lee to share best practices for implementing Smarter Lunchrooms movement concepts. Read more about their experiences as recipients of the California Department of Education Team Nutrition SLM of CA Grants in case studies for Cobblestone Elementary and Marilyn Avenue.   

Facilitated by Copp, a Technical Advising Professional, both districts presented ways they center their Smarter Lunchrooms implementation on student engagement. Their approaches use both “old school” person to person nutrition outreach and “new school” approaches like electronic menu boards and videos. Participants learned real life strategies to make positive changes to the cafeteria environment that promote healthy food choices. 

Shannan Young, RDN, SNS, Director of Food Systems and Access presented Dairy Council of CA's Top 10 Nutrition Trends for 2017 and how they impact the school foodservice environment. Additionally, Young presented on the growing impact that Millennials are having in the school nutrition environment, both as the fastest growing segment of parents of school aged children, and as new professionals in school foodservice. 

Finally, in an effort to foster and inspire the next generation of school nutrition professionals, Dairy Council of CA also hosted conference attendance and a special gathering for California NAC members. Over two dozen upper elementary and middle school students were able to visit the exhibit floor of the California School Nutrition Association conference and sample different school menu items, new products and more. A fun graffiti board activity allowed the NAC students a chance to chronicle their favorite items, in the hopes of seeing them on a school lunch or breakfast menu soon. 
 

 

 

Sara Floor
Project Manager II
Communications and Food Access



Tags: Candice Sainz nutrition education nutrition trends Phoebe Copp school foodservice Shannan Young smarter lunchrooms movement of CA

08, December 2017 8:35 AM


Holiday giftsDuring this hectic holiday season, parents, pediatricians and even PTA staff can give the gift of good nutrition and health. Adding a healthy touch to a holiday shopping list can be easy, affordable and fun! Here are options to make this holiday season a healthy and happy one on any budget.

The Gift of Get Up and Go

Being physically active can be as important as making healthy eating choices. Electronic fitness and sleep trackers are very popular this holiday season. Effective in tracking physical activity and encouraging movement, these tools often come with a hefty price tag, but there are ways to bypass this cost. 

Simple pedometers can be purchased for just a few dollars and are sometimes offered as giveaways at health fairs. Most smartphones feature built-in wellness apps that also track steps. Make a pedometer or smartphone go the extra mile with USDA’s free online activity and nutrition tool, SuperTracker.

The Gift of Good Eats

From frozen steaks and fancy food towers to make-at-home meal delivery services, there’s no end to food options during the holiday season. Instead of a high-priced service, try free online meal planning tools and grocery list generators to make healthier food choices this season. 

The free Healthy Eating Planner starts by comparing a baseline of food choices to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and then provides a step-by-step plan to make healthier choices. Couple this with a free meal planning service like MealPlannerPro.com or EatingWell magazine’s 7-day meal plans. Worried these menus may be missing important nutrients? Use the Calcium Calculator and wash down dinner with a glass of milk for good measure. 

The Gift of Gab

In an age when everyone seems tied to portable electronic devices, mealtime is a great time to unplug and reconnect with family and friends. Encourage mealtime discussions with conversation cards. Shop online for card sets ranging from $5 to $25 or start with free ideas available from The Family Dinner Project. Time spent at the table over a healthy, balanced meal will feed children’s bodies, minds and hearts. What better gift is there to give? 

The Gift That Gives Back 

Packed with nine essential nutrients, milk and dairy foods provide many health benefits, as confirmed by scientific research. However, milk is one of the most often requested but least donated food bank items. Help feed a childhood this holiday season and donate to the Great American Milk Drive. Online donations stay in the local community, where nearby food banks receive vouchers that clients redeem for a gallon of milk at the store. Visit MilkLife.com/Give to learn more and donate today.   

Off to a Good Start

One simple way to set a healthy tone his holiday season is with breakfast. Starting each and every day with a healthy breakfast is a simple strategy to improve overall nutrition and health. Children who eat breakfast regularly tend to have better overall nutrition and healthy body weight, fewer school absences, reduced tardiness and higher scores on achievement tests. 

Need some inspiration or guidance on making a healthy breakfast? Check out the Build a Balanced Breakfast video or play the Power Up Your Breakfast game. Even simple steps like adding fruit to cereal and milk or choosing whole-grain toast with peanut butter and orange slices can get the morning and the holiday season off to a healthy start.  
 

Lisa Larsen
Community Nutrition Adviser Supervisor



Tags: breakfast calcium calculator dietary guidelines family meals Great American Milk Drive Healthy eating healthy eating planner holiday eating Lisa Larsen milk physical activity Power Up Your Breakfast SuperTracker

21, November 2017 9:45 AM


Past and present members of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement of California (SLM of CA) Collaborative gathered in conjunction with the California School Nutrition Association conference in November to celebrate nutrition education and healthier eating patterns in California schools. 

Dairy Council of California sponsored an SLM of CA reception hosted by collaborative partners University of California CalFresh, California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division and California Department of Public Health. The reception was attended by school foodservice professionals from around California, as well as student nutrition activity committees.

A poster session allowed school foodservice professionals to share experiences learned from schools that have benefited from CDE Team Nutrition grants and SLM of CA interventions, while distinguished speakers recognized the collaborative and schools for their impactful efforts. 

Glen Price, Chief Deputy for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson at CDE, recognized the collaborative for working to ensure, as he shared via Twitter, that “all children, all schools, and all communities have access to healthy foods.” 

Presenter and distinguished guests. L to R, Heather Reed, CDE; Lisa Melhouse, CDE; Caroline Kurtz, California Department of Public Health; and Glen Price, CDE.Price was so impressed by the improvements achieved through implementation of the SLM of CA strategies that he and State Superintendent Tom Torlakson plan to add cafeteria visits as they tour California schools. 

(Presenter and distinguished guests. L to R, Heather Reed, CDE; Lisa Melhouse, CDE; Caroline Kurtz, California Department of Public Health; and Glen Price, CDE.)

Caroline Kurtz, PhD, Branch Chief of the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch at the California Department of Public Health, shared how the branch has been a contributing partner to the SLM of CA Collaborative and plans to continue the partnership with resources for materials development and professional training statewide. 

An as an example of a partnership in action, Kurtz also addressed continued support for obesity prevention efforts at the local level that will build upon the work being done in schools— extending the learning to parents to help them accept and value healthy changes at school. 

Lisa Melhouse, RDN, SNS, Nutrition Education Program Administrator at CDE’s Nutrition Services Division, is charged with oversight and development of nutrition education and training projects for nutrition professionals working in federal child nutrition programs. Melhouse played a critical role in bringing the CDE Team Nutrition SLM of CA grants to 48 school in California. 

Melhouse shared that, on average, schools awarded the grants implemented 20 additional smarter lunchroom practices. Schools added murals, signage and student art to eating spaces. Meal participation increased, less fresh fruit and milk ended up in the trash, and schools across the state engaged students themselves in revitalizing the cafeteria and promoting nutrition education— truly a combined effort to make a difference in the lives of students by helping them make healthier choices. 

Banning Unified School District Student Nutrition Advisory Council members presented on their activities and were honored for their campuswide student empowerment and engagement efforts. Students conducted research and menu testing to improve meal selection and reduce food waste. 

(Above, Banning Unified School District Student Nutrition Advisory Council members present on their projects and, below, are awarded a certificate of recognition by Tammy Anderson-Wise, Dairy Council of CA CEO.)

Many of the Student Nutrition Advisory Council activities addressed no-cost or low-cost strategies like improving the cafeteria environment, creating attractive food labels and positioning plain milk. The students are finding value in peer-to-peer education and are already planning future strategies and actions to improve nutrition education and food access in a Riverside County food desert where affordable, healthy food options are limited. 

Barbara Lee, Director of Campus Catering at Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, was honored for her efforts in adopting innovative, technology-based nutrition education via a smart screen TV in the cafeteria setting. Piloted as part of the CDE Team Nutrition SLM of CA grant, the digital TV offered dual benefits by promoting meal options and providing nutrition education. 

“Through this project,” said Lee, “I’ve learned nutrition messages that are brief, focused and repetitive can be an effective and powerful way to provide nutrition information to students.” Learn more about Lee's pilot and results here.

(Presenters and awardees. L to R, Heather Reed, CDE; April Mackill, Plumas Lake Elementary School District; Barbara Lee, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District; and Crystal Young, CDE.)    

The final awardee of the night was April Mackill, Food Service Manager for Plumas Lake Elementary School District. Honored for her efforts in student empowerment and partnership development to support the CDE Team Nutrition SLM of CA grant, Mackill recruited fifth-grade nutrition ambassadors to share daily nutrition messages, highlight locally sourced menu items and even hold taste tests for current and new entrees. A partnership with Principal Marcie Nichols to promote “Wonderful White Milk” resulted in increased selection of plain (versus flavored) milk and a significant decrease in the overall amount of milk being thrown away. Learn more about Mackill's efforts here.

Finally, this reception was an opportunity to recognize SLM of CA technical advising professionals for their services. These individuals, located across the state, work hand–in-hand with school nutrition professionals like Lee and Mackill to initiate the simple, four-step assessment and implementation process that makes the healthy choice the easy choice in the school cafeteria to improve the health of students. 

(SLM of CA technical advising professionals. L to R, Candice Sainz, Dairy Council of CA; Alyson Foote, Dairy Council of CA; Karina Macias, UC CalFresh; Evelyn Morales, UC CalFresh; Krystal Shelden, Dairy Council of CA; and Phoebe Copp, Dairy Council of CA.)

 

Shannan Young, RDN, SNS
Program Director, Food Systems and Access



Tags: balanced eating patterns behavioral economics California CDE CDPH child nutrition CSNA Healthy eating healthy eating for kids milk school foodservice school meals school nutrition Shannan Young smarter lunchrooms smarter lunchrooms movement of CA team nutrition technical advising professionals

01, November 2017 8:54 AM


In September, our Silicon Valley Dietetic Book Club reviewed Meathooked: The History and Science of the 2.5-Million-Years Obsession with Meat by science journalist Marta Zaraska.

The author delves into evolution, culture, taste, marketing, biochemistry and anthropology of eating meat. She begins when single cell organisms started to consume one another, and then to the cut marks that began to appear in prehistoric bones, suggesting that humans began hunting meat about 2.5 million years ago.

Scientists speculate the reason why diets of humans shifted from a plant based eating pattern to animals was related to climate change where plants became less plentiful. Once humans started hunting for meat, a chain of evolutionary events were set in motion. Eating meat, which is more nutrient dense than plants, is thought to be at least partially responsible for the reduction in human gut size. The additional nutrients and increased social interaction that resulted from hunting and sharing meals is linked with increased brain volume. 

While protein has been overhyped in some scientific and lay press over the years, the need for protein and the specific yearning for animal protein is a worldwide phenomenon. When people have enough money to buy meat, they buy it. Eating meat is desirable for status, taste and the protein that it provides. Zaraska recounts her personal story growing up in Poland in the early 1980s standing in line at the butchers shop for at least two hours with the hopes of buying a few sausages. This was despite the fact that in the 1980s, Poles were far from malnourished and typically consumed more than 3,000 calories and 100 grams of protein per person per day. Perhaps this experience, combined with being a vegetarian inspired Zaraska to write this book.

Just like our early ancestors probably started eating meat because the planet was changing, our meat eating habits will likely need to change again as our population grows and the climate changes. The portions recommended from the protein group in the USDA ChooseMyPlate are actually quite small. For reference, the amount recommended for an adult on a 2,000 calorie diet is only 5-1/2 ounces of protein per day. 

As you can see from the graph, 60 percent of Americans overconsume from the protein food group, the only food group that is consistently overconsumed. Americans also tend to not consume protein in ways that optimize utilization – eating a large portion at night and not enough protein throughout the day.

Areas of Agreement

Sustainability and nutrition are interdependent. As a global community, we need to both provide for the nutritional needs of all people while sustaining the environment. Agriculture policies need to consider the needs of the planet, the consumers and the financial health of the farmer. We are all interdependent on one another. 

Banning meat to “save the planet” will only increase the demand for meat. Small changes made by many people– like eating plant-based diet that includes some animal proteins, and minimizing food waste– are small changes that can make a big difference over time.

Where We Differed

Though the author claimed to not be biased, a plant-based, vegetarian agenda became increasingly apparent after the first few chapters. While the book is heavily cited, a high percentage of the references were sympathetic to a vegetarian eating pattern, including Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Vegetarian American. While a vegetarian diet is one of the three recommended eating patterns recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the other two recommended dietary patterns include meat and are supported by scientific evidence.

The Bottom-line

This book may be too dense and academic for the average reader, so overall we do not recommend it. Although the book is biased toward a vegetarian eating pattern and perspective, some of the information about culture, anthropology, taste and evolution is quite interesting. 

Maureen Bligh, MA, RDN and Kristal Shelden, MPH, RDN



Tags: animal protein climate change consensus science Dietary Guidelines for Americans food waste Healthy eating healthy eating patterns Kristal Shelden Maureen Bligh meat plant-based protein registered dietitian book club scientific research sustainability vegetarian

16, October 2017 9:48 AM


Tammy Anderson-Wise addresses attendees at Farm to Foodbank DayTo close out Hunger Action Month in September, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County hosted Farm to Food Bank Day to recognize the many partners who helped achieve the goal of doubling the amount of fresh produce and protein, including milk, donated to food insecure Californians.

Dairy Council of California CEO Tammy Anderson-Wise joined California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, California Association of Food Banks Executive Director Sue Sigler, Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Nicole Suydam and other special guests to celebrate this milestone.

One in eight Californians, including two million children, struggle with food insecurity1. This year the Farm to Family Program provided 214 million pounds of fresh produce to people in need. Dairy Council of CA is a proud Farm to Food Bank partner, providing fresh milk and dairy products through programs like the Great American Milk Drive and Milk2MyPlate

Along with eight grams of protein, milk and dairy foods provide important nutrients that are often missing in the American diet, including calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Yet milk is one of the most requested, but least donated food bank items2. By partnering with dairy processors and producers, Dairy Council of CA is committed to bringing more milk and dairy foods to food banks, helping Californians elevate their health and access the nutrition they need.

 

Sara Floor
Project Manager II, Communication and Food Access

 

Reference

1. Hunger Fact Sheet, California Association of Food Banks. Accessed online 10/13/2017
2. Great American Milk Drive. Accessed online 10/13/2017

 



Tags: balanced eating families food access Food banks GAMD Health Healthy eating milk nutrition Sara Floor Tammy Anderson-Wise

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 33