Most Clicked SNA SmartBrief Stories

1. Okla. high school earns national recognition for school food

SNA SmartBrief | Mar 26, 2015

An Oklahoma high school has been ranked among the best in the nation for its cafeteria food by the 2015 Niche Rankings. Officials say the school cafeteria -- called The Caf -- is similar to that found at a college by featuring a cyber cafe, salad bar and traditional fare such as chicken pot pie. Tulsa World (Okla.) (03/25)

2. N.C. district gains waiver from 100% whole-grain requirements

SNA SmartBrief | Mar 24, 2015

A North Carolina district that showed a drop in participation in school meals has secured a waiver allowing it to serve 50% whole grains, rather than 100% whole-grain dishes. The temporary waiver -- in place through the end of next school year -- will be celebrated on April 1 with the serving of free biscuits and gravy to students and staff. WLOS-TV (Asheville, N.C.) (03/23)

3. Texas district encourages students to try unfamiliar foods

SNA SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

A Texas school district is working to encourage students to try unfamiliar foods through its "Chew Chew, I Tried Something New!" program, which offered students the chance to try Peruvian purple potatoes roasted with olive oil and savory spices. The district has hired a culinary trainer to work with staff to shift toward more nutritious, made-from-scratch meals. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) (03/23)

4. Iowa district prepares healthy meals within budget

SNA SmartBrief | Mar 27, 2015

An Iowa school district is working to prepare healthy meals that are aligned with federal regulations while also staying within budget. School nutrition professionals say planning is key, along with purchasing local fruits and vegetables and preparing whole grain chocolate chip cookies as occasional treats. KTVO-TV (Kirksville, Mo.) (03/26)

5. Study finds link between free breakfasts, school performance

SNA SmartBrief | Mar 30, 2015

Elementary-school students got better grades in math, science and reading when their schools offered free breakfasts compared with students whose schools didn't have free breakfast, a study on the website of Public Economics says. Study author David Frisvold said the results "suggest that the persistent exposure to the relatively more nutritious breakfast offered through the subsidized breakfast program throughout elementary school can yield important gains in achievement." HealthDay News (03/27)

6. Food sales down, costs up, Fla. district's officials say

SNA SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

Officials in a Florida school district report that a la carte cafeteria food sales have fallen by $1 million over the past 180 days under new, federal guidelines, while food costs have increased about $719,000. Lynn Geist, the district's foodservices director, said there have been "unintended consequences" to the federal standards that were meant to improve student health. WFLA-TV (Tampa, Fla.) (03/25)

7. Cooking method may reduce calories absorbed from rice, study says

SNA SmartBrief | Mar 24, 2015

A method of cooking rice that increases resistant starch concentrations may reduce the calories absorbed by the body by 50% to 60%, according to a study presented at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting. Researchers said resistant starch does not break down in the small intestine, where carbohydrates turn into glucose and sugars that go into the bloodstream. (03/23)

8. Dietitian lists spice swaps to boost meals' nutrition

SNA SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

Some spices may offer greater health benefits than others, registered dietitian and chef Sara Haas says. She recommends using sage instead of parsley, ginger in place of nutmeg and oregano rather than thyme. Choose rosemary instead of basil when cooking meat, and cayenne pepper over regular black pepper, Haas says. Huffington Post, The (03/24)

9. 2 Colo. districts take different approaches to feeding high-schoolers

SNA SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

KDVR-TV (Denver) (03/24)

10. Calif. could expand access to school breakfast

SNA SmartBrief | Mar 26, 2015

An elementary school in California has seen increased meal participation and other benefits with its in-class breakfast program. State lawmakers are considering expanding the program statewide. Sacramento Bee (Calif.) (free registration), The (03/26)

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