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Team Nutrition Workshops co-sponsored by ISU Families Extension and Department of Education

Chef Cyndie Story demonstrates proper knife skills for workshop participants.

Two workshops funded through a Team Nutrition Grant to the Department of Education Bureau of Nutrition, Health and Transportation and co-sponsored with Families Extension Specialists Catherine Strohbehn and Ruth Litchfield were held in the Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom this summer.


A one-day workshop for 30 participants in Child and Adult Care Feeding Programs (CACFP) was held on June 6, 2008.  The focus on this workshop was increased inclusion of whole grains and fruits and vegetables, lower fat and sodium food items into menus at child care and other facilities. Participants listened to presentations by Dept of Education Consultant Robin Searles, and worked with Team Nutrition Coordinator Patti Delger, HRIM Extension Specialist Catherine Strohbehn, and Foodservice and Lodging Management doctoral student Paola Paez in producing lunch and snacks that met criteria for the HealthierUS School Challenge.   


A two-day workshop for Child Nutrition Program representatives from school districts across Iowa and ISU Nutrition and Health Field Specialists was held on June 26 and 27th. The title of the workshop was “The Role of the Meals Program in a Healthy School Environment.


Participants rotated through three stations:  production of lower fat and sodium, and increased whole grains and fruits and vegetable menu items; marketing of school meals programs; and merchandising of healthy options. Chef Cyndie Story (FLM Doctoral Student and Chef Instructor), assisted by Patti Delger and Paola Paez,  provided demonstrations and guided participants through preparation of healthy lunch and a la carte menu items. Technical and managerial skills were the focus of this session.  Catherine Strohbehn worked with participants on development of an internal and external communications plan to share how school meals programs contribute to a healthy school environment, while Janell Meyer facilitated a hands-on merchandising station. In this session, participants effectively displayed healthy options and identified action steps to improve the service and dining environments.


Participants dined at the Union Drive Marketplace, an ISU Dining Services’ display cooking center, and observed additional techniques on how to market and merchandise healthy food options. Extension Nutrition and Health Specialists will continue to work over the next two years with school district foodservice staff in their areas who attended the workshop and expressed a commitment to having their school meals program meet Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 and requirements for HealthierUS School Challenge. Action steps for change were identified. Comments from workshop participants were very positive.