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August 14, 2012
SNA SmartBrief Special Report
Daily news about school nutrition
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SNA Special Report
Part I: Back-to-School Healthy and Nutritious
This has been an especially busy summer for school nutrition professionals across the country. The summer has been spent getting ready for the formal launch of the new federal meal pattern.

In Part I of this two-part special report, SNA SmartBrief takes a look at the coming school year and the excitement and challenges presented by the new meal regulations, which include a wider variety of nutritious foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

In Part I, we look at a Wisconsin farm-to-school program, efforts in Georgia to encourage children to choose healthier foods and the debate over whether locally grown foods are better for you. We also look at nutritional approaches that do more than fill stomachs, but fill the minds of students with information about food and health.

In addition, we offer a list of valuable resources from the School Nutrition Association.

In Part II of this report, coming Thursday, SNA SmartBrief will take a look at innovative menu items coming to school lunch trays, including whole-grain pizza crusts and muffins, kale chips and the addition of the salad bar to the school cafeteria.

If you don't receive SNA SmartBrief daily, we urge you to sign up for our timely e-newsletter. SNA SmartBrief delivers the stories making news in your profession directly to your inbox -- for free.
Fresh to the Table 
  • Students are receptive to healthier fare
    Education writer Maureen Downey writes in this blog post about local efforts in Georgia to implement new school nutrition standards. Students seem to enjoy new, healthier offerings, such as salads made with watermelon, cucumber, orange and mint, Downey notes. While students are still snacking on junk food and drinking high-calorie beverages outside of school, she finds that the focus on nutrition in schools is making a difference. Her own children now choose water instead of soda because of lessons learned in school health classes, Downey writes. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription required)/Get Schooled blog (8/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Local, organic produce can be healthier than imports
    Homegrown produce or food picked up at the farmers market is generally going to be healthier than any foreign product, experts say. "Food that doesn't travel as far generally is going to have higher vitamins and minerals and micronutrients," nutritionist Michael Altman said. "And food grown organically, for example, or in a more sustainable environment, without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, tends to have higher amounts of antioxidants and nutrients that are plant based." KDRV-TV (Medford, Ore.) (7/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
 HARVESTLAND® all-natural* chicken is CN labeled!
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Nutrition in the Classroom 
  • Gardens teach students about whole foods
    An increasing number of schools in the U.K. have introduced school gardens to teach students about health and nutrition. Experts also say gardening provides lessons in horticulture and the environment, allowing students to understand where fruits and vegetables come from. "Gardening gives children an understanding of, and a connectedness with, the natural environment and the cycles of nature," said Paul Clarke, professor of education at St. Mary's University College in London. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (7/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Make healthy eating fun for children with MyPlate
    An advocate against childhood obesity recommends that students learn about health and nutrition through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate guidelines. Len Saunders, author of "Keeping Kids Fit," offers tips from a registered dietitian to make healthy eating fun. For instance, post a copy of the MyPlate graphic in the kitchen or use the guidelines as inspiration for craft projects. (7/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Universal meals enhance student achievement
    Participation in a universal school meal program helped disadvantaged students in England close the achievement gap with their wealthier peers, according to a recent study. Overall, the study found that offering free meals led to academic improvement, which researchers attribute to enhanced productivity among students. The report also found that school meals were healthier than those packed at home. BBC (7/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Internship gives students a lesson in nutrition
    Elementary- and middle-school students in Colorado participated in an internship program in which they grew vegetables and sold produce at a local farmers market. While learning about gardening, marketing and sales, interns with the Youth Farmers Market also researched the nutritional benefits and uses of the vegetables, including lettuce, spinach, chard, beets, summer squash and herbs. The Reporter-Herald (Loveland, Colo.) (7/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Get the all-natural* CN chicken that tastes GREAT!
Whether it's the bite-sized fun of chicken popcorn, juicy nuggets or chicken patties, the HARVESTLAND® brand offers kids delicious, antibiotic-free chicken raised on an all-vegetarian diet, plus the added nutrition of whole-grain breading. Click to bring these flavorful options to your school.
*Minimally processed. No artificial ingredients.
SNA Resources 

Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual SNA endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of SNA.
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