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Team Nutrition Workshop: Role of Nutrition Program in a Healthy School Environment

Thirty school nutrition program directors and staff from 16 districts representing over 68,000 Iowa students participated in a Team Nutrition Workshop on the Iowa State University campus in the Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom June 11 and 12, 2009.

The workshop, with a theme of “The Role of Nutrition Programs in a Healthy School Environment” was sponsored by the Department of Education Bureau of Nutrition, Health and Transportation Services and ISU Extension through a Team Nutrition Grant from the USDA. ISU Extension Nutrition and Health field specialists also participated in the workshop and strategized with districts in their respective areas on action steps to improve the school health environment.

Each participant rotated through three break-out sessions: hands-on production experience with menu items that meet Dietary Guidelines for Americans; merchandising healthy menu options; and communication about child nutrition programs to school district stakeholders. Donna Becker, RD, School Foodservice Director in Perry School District shared her experiences in a successful application in meeting the Healthier US School Challenge and Jane Heikenen, Bureau Consultant, presented ways to incorporate USDA Commodity foods into healthy school menus.

Consultant and ISU graduate Chef Cyndie Story, PhD, RD; ISU Extension Specialist Catherine Strohbehn, PhD, RD; ISU research project coordinator Janell Meyer, and the Bureau Team Nutrition Coordinator Patti Delger and Carrie Scheidel facilitated each of these sessions. Foodservice and Lodging Management graduate students Amy Casselman and Allan Ortiz assisted with the production station.

Chef Cyndie shows how to “culinize” healthy school choices
Chef Cyndie shows how to “culinize” healthy school choices