1995 Team Nutrition Training Grants
The Arkansas Team Nutrition Training Project was designed to build teams of effective leaders who can maximize the use of available resources to provide healthful school meals that an increasing number of Arkansas students will enjoy. The three objectives were: increase the number of managers, assistants, directors, and state agency staff who are prepared to accept this leadership role; expand the number of school-wide teams of leaders prepared to share this role; and build a technology support system to help sustain leadership learning.
Staff Development -- A mid-year conference of child nutrition directors that focused on the Healthy School Meals Initiative launched the training. The grant also provided funds for Healthy School Meals training accessible to all school level child nutrition personnel in every county of the state. These training sessions reinforced the more detailed training provided during the mid-year directors conference as well as provided motivation for managers to attend manager certification training and to request other 10-hour training courses offered by the state agency. It also stimulated requests by foodservice directors for technical assistance in the area of Healthy School Meals. Scholarships were provided to child nutrition managers which increased the number of managers attending the voluntary Manager Certification Course at the University of Central Arkansas.
Coalition Building - The coalition building area of the grant contributed to training and technical assistance not only through the training of Healthy Action Teams (HAT), but also through the promotion of 10-hour Healthy E.D.G.E. workshops that were a prerequisite for HAT grants. Parents, principals, nurses, counselors, teachers and other school staff participated in HAT training, along with child nutrition mangers and/or directors. In addition, child nutrition personnel participated in Healthy E.D.G.E. training. The involvement of child nutrition directors and managers in team training promoted the development of skills that are critical to the success of the Healthy School Meals Initiative.
Technology Support -- The grant resulted in an Arkansas Department of Education Child Nutrition web page that will provide on-going opportunities for training and technical assistance to school district and school level personnel. It also made it possible to provide basic training for directors and managers in the use of technology to advance the Healthy School Meals goals.
This project involved developing a curriculum to be used by a cadre of trainers who will conduct customized training based on the manager's choice of meal planning options. The project objectives were: to provide managers with customized training that incorporates the meal planning option they will utilize to implement the Dietary Guidelines in school meals; to provide managers implementing the food-based meal planning option with an easy-to-use training tool, an interactive compact disc, to teach consistent, reliable information on meal planning; and to compile up-to-date training materials that can be integrated into the required Training-in-Depth curriculum and other training.
Software Packages -- Each of the USDA approved Nutrient Standard Menu Planning software packages was procured and at least one state staff member had been trained in its use. An LCD projector was used to project images from the computer screen in training sessions. Additionally, all state staff members were trained on the principles of adult education.
CD-ROM Training Package -- A contract was negotiated with the Georgia Institute of Technology's Agricultural Research Institute to develop a CD-ROM training package on aspects of menu management. This training package includes lessons on portion control, nutrition facts, standardized recipes, menu planning, and marketing. The CD-ROM incorporates tape footage and slides shot from previous training projects in Georgia and the National Food Service Management Institute.
Train-the-Trainer Sessions -- Two three-day train-the-trainer sessions were conducted for school nutrition directors throughout the state. Approximately 250 people attended. The Healthy School Meals Training manuals, provided by USDA, served as the basis for this training. These materials were adapted for the directors to use to train school nutrition managers. They were compiled into a 30-hour course, Nutrition and Menu Management, that directors will be able to use as part of Georgia's required Training-in-Depth curriculum for managers.
This project developed a training infrastructure for the Western State Consortium for the delivery of training programs based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and to meet current regulatory requirements. A formalized tier training program was developed to bring schools into compliance with the School Meals Initiative. The training program utilized a state determined cadre of five to six trainers in each of the three states. These trainers were located regionally around the states to provide training and technical assistance to schools. Each trainer was given a laptop computer with the Nutrikids software program to use at their school consultations. The training program included the following three levels:
First Things First -- This is a 10 hour training program for managers and supervisors on standardizing recipes, menu modification, production techniques, and use of cycle menus. Resources that were used included the USDA Healthy School Meals Training Manual, A Tool Kit for Healthy School Meals, and California's Strategies for Success.
Choosing Your Menu Planning System -- This is a training program on the new regulatory requirements with two optional breakout sessions. The first was on Nutrient Standard Menu Planning (NuMenus) and Assisted NuMenus, which included information on regulations and basic computer training on NuMenus. Participants gained skills and experience in working with one of the USDA approved software programs. Partnerships with universities and colleges were developed to use their computer training sites. Training materials used included the USDA Healthy School Meals Training Manual and Picture Perfect Menu Planning with Nutrikids guidebook. The second breakout session was on the Food Based System. This training included information on new Food Based Menu Planning regulations. Activities from the Trimming the Fat Workbook were used to supplement USDA's Healthy School Meals Manual.
Marketing and Merchandising -- Formalized training on marketing and merchandising of the nutrition integrity of the program for teachers, parents, other school food service personnel, and student customers was offered.
This project focused on the support and marketing of a new training delivery system to be offered through community colleges. The training focused on developing a train-the-trainer session for instructors on implementation of USDA's nutrition requirements and the Dietary Guidelines and also on developing and implementing a marketing initiative to inform school administrators and food service professionals of the training delivery system. In addition, the project focused on training peer consultants who will provide more advanced individualized training that food service managers will need to implement nutrition requirements. Also, a teleconference was planned to assist with menu planning issues in an effort to reach a large number of food service personnel.
The state was able to work with the 21 community college systems to provide training on a brief overview of the regulations and an introduction to nutrient analysis software. The primary benefit of the community colleges offering the course was to provide training for large numbers of people in locations close to the schools. In addition, there are now persons in the communities who are knowledgeable of Federal nutrition programs and can provide continuing support and training for local school food service personnel.
To supplement the community college course, an interactive teleconference was broadcast over three satellite bands and a conference was held for directors and managers. The teleconference was an overwhelming success. There were 19 viewing sites for food service personnel to attend with over 600 participants (this figure does not include those who viewed the telecast in their own facility). In addition, a directors and managers' conference was held in Normal, Illinois with over 225 participants. The topics of the conference included: Food Based Menu Planning Option, Trimming the Fat, NuMenus/Assisted NuMenus and a representative from the USDA pilot program to discuss NuMenus. Each participant was given a copy of Trimming the Fat.
Twenty-eight volunteers were selected to become peer consultants. Peer consultants acted in various roles, consulting on both onsite visits and phone calls, presenting at meetings, and convening meetings for schools in their area. Their leadership role and active participation helped other school food service directors in implementing the new regulations and improving the overall quality to the programs. Peer consultants were marketed through newsletters, visits, and workshops.
The Kansas State Board of Education developed a sustainable statewide infrastructure to support the Kansas Comprehensive Training System (KCTS) for School Nutrition Professional Development. The Team Nutrition Training Grant objectives involved developing key components of KCTS including: quality training resources; a computerized training resource catalog; a statewide training resource center; a system to deliver formal training, in-service training and independent study; and leadership development. KCTS is designed to efficiently and effectively equip a large number of personnel with the personal and professional skills needed to successfully implement USDA's Healthy School Meals Initiative, and integrate healthy school meals with education and comprehensive school health.
School Nutrition Needs Assessment -- Training needs of school nutrition directors and managers were assessed using written survey instruments developed by the National Food Service Management Institute through a multi-state consortium. The data was collected, interpreted, and the findings were applied to the KCTS plan.
School Nutrition Training Resources -- Comprehensive training resources were acquired for the KCTS content areas.
Kansas Nutrition Training Resource and Information Network (KN-TRAIN) -- Developed, disseminated, and evaluated both a computerized and hard-copy version of a comprehensive School Nutrition Training Resource Catalog.
Formal Training -- A cadre of well-qualified teachers has been developed to teach Applied Food Service Sanitation, Healthy EDGE, Target Your Market, and Healthy Cuisine for Kids. In addition to the Healthy Cuisine classes, an additional 51 formal classes were being offered at five locations across the state. Topics included Food Service Management, Parts 1 and 2, Applied Food Service Sanitation, Healthy EDGE, Target Your Market, People Skills, Orientation for New Directors/Managers, and Staff Development and Leadership Skills.
In-Service Training/Independent Study -- Two 2-day train-the-trainer workshops were conducted. The workshops focused on developing leadership capabilities and in-service training skills. A comprehensive independent study program for school nutrition personnel is available.
Leadership Connections -- There are 20 regional Leadership Connections groups, each of which is coordinated by a Kansas State Board of Education Nutrition Services Consultant. These regular group meetings provide a forum for interaction with Nutrition Service Consultants; training in leadership skills, staff development, and food service management; and networking.
The Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas (LOT) Team Nutrition Training Coalition used their Team Nutrition Training Grant to develop sustainable infrastructures to assist local school districts in serving healthful school meals that comply with the new Federal regulations. Three main objectives were achieved through this grant. First, a needs assessment was administered to all School Food Authorities in the three states. Second, training was developed based upon the results of the needs assessment and the USDA Healthy School Meals Training Manual. Finally, a pilot project increasing use of electronic communication for the implementation of the new Federal school food service regulations was instituted.
A teleconference to kick off the project was broadcast in the three states with more than 1,100 school food service professionals viewing the two-hour broadcast. Each state will use various parts of the tape in its training programs and will have copies of the teleconference tape in the state NET Program libraries for loan. state staff in all three states received training using the Healthy School Meals Training Manual developed by USDA. Workshops were held during the spring in all three states. Chef Kelly Patrick provided some culinary demonstrations on ways to decrease the amount of fat in recipes without decreasing flavor, while Dr. Catherine Champagne conducted computer labs.
The Louisiana training was delivered using the "NETPRO" style of resource sharing. Ten school food service supervisors, two from each of the five regions of the Louisiana School Food Service Association, attended a three-day Train-the-Trainer workshop to become NETPRO trainers for Louisiana. Local school food authorities, state staff, and NETPRO trainers conducted training at the local level during the summer.
In Texas, three Train-the-Trainer workshops were conducted with a total of 100 individuals participating. Healthy School Meals workshops for school food service professionals were conducted throughout Texas. Trainers attending the state workshops conducted the summer workshops. Food service staff from both private and public schools participated in the training.
In Oklahoma, 15 two-day workshops were conducted across the state. The workshops were attended by 1,237 participants. Phase Three of Oklahoma's School Meals Initiative training was comprised of 12 statewide workshops. The workshops provided food service directors/ managers and production staff with training specific to the menu planning option that schools anticipate implementing, in addition to the culinary skills to support the Dietary Guidelines.
The Team Nutrition Training Grant developed a Healthy School Meals Training Program that provided necessary knowledge and skills to school nutrition staff by effectively using USDA, the state's Technical College System, professional and voluntary organizations, and community programs. Partnerships were formed with the Educational Television Network, the Cooperative Extension Service and the Food Science and Nutrition Department of the University of Maine at Orono and the Southern Maine Technical College.
The program offered three levels of training. The first level included basic nutrition, sanitation, and safety. These courses were offered as interactive computer programs. The second level used technical college faculty, school nutrition directors, state agency staff, local chefs, and other appropriate individuals to train school nutrition staff on implementation of the Dietary Guidelines. This training was broadcast over the Interactive Television Network to assure reaching the maximum number of individuals statewide. A Maine School Nutrition Certificate was awarded at completion of this level. Level three is an update offered annually and will result in certificate renewal every three years. Also, grants were awarded to six school food authorities to become Team Nutrition Schools. Teams from these school food authorities received training and will serve as models for other schools statewide.
The Team Nutrition Training Grant provided school food and nutrition programs personnel with the education, training, and resources necessary to provide school meals that are consistent with the USDA nutrition requirements and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. An advisory group was formed to represent partnership and collaboration in the Minnesota Team Nutrition Training Grant project. Representatives from the education community, health organizations, school food service and nutrition programs, agriculture, chefs, and the cooperative extension service participated. Information materials promoting Healthy School Meals Menu Planning Options and the Dietary Guidelines were developed. The information was distributed via mailings and state agency newsletters. Presentations were made at various conferences with additional material displayed at a Team Nutrition Exhibit.
The Minnesota LunchPower Training Manual was revised to be consistent with the Food Based Menu System. The team contracted with a local chef to field test the recipes. The revised recipes will be included in the manual with sample cycle menus, nutritional analysis, and a marketing plan using Dietary Guidelines.
Focus groups were conducted for elementary and secondary students and parents for the development of promotional nutrition messages and materials. Posters and point of service displays were developed to spread nutrition messages. Additionally, a newsletter to students and teachers and a brochure for parents were also developed.
A train-the-trainer workshop was developed using material from Healthy Cuisine for Kids and from USDA. A contract was brokered with the National Food Service Management Institute and a local chef to provide training on Healthy Cuisine for Kids. state agency staff and a local school food service director from a NuMenus pilot site provided additional training on menu planning options. The team coordinated the scheduling and promotion of state-wide training sessions. Team Nutrition trainers and state agency staff were paired to provide workshops on food based menu planning requirements.
Culinary Techniques for Healthy School Meals began as a USDA Team Nutrition Training Grant for Healthy School Meals. Three state Departments of Education (Florida, Kentucky and Mississippi) represented the Southeast Region to apply for a grant to further develop the state network of trainers for school nutrition personnel, and provide effective training in food production principles for healthy school meals for school nutrition managers and food service assistants.
In addition to the training grant from USDA, the three grantee states and six additional state agencies (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) contributed funds for the project. The National Food Service Management Institute served as the contracting agency for the project. A project task force consisting of representatives from each of the state agencies and school districts from each of the states provided guidance and feedback to the subcontractors during the developmental phase of the project. The group provided input on the food and nutrition content of the lessons and helped to insure that the lessons were practical for use in schools with many different food production systems.
Materials developed for Culinary Techniques for Healthy School Meals include a Master Trainer Workbook, A Coaching Guide for School Nutrition Managers and 13 lessons. The 13 lessons are in the following areas: Introduction; Preparing Fruits; Preparing Salads; Preparing Cooked Vegetables; Preparing Pasta, Rice and Grains; Preparing Quick Breads; Preparing Yeast Breads; Preparing Cakes; Preparing Meats/Poultry; Preparing Meat Alternates; Preparing Processed Meats; Preparing Sauces; and Seasonings.
Each lesson is unitized and consists of written and video materials. Materials were designed for delivery by the manager/coach at each site. The school nutrition manager is in the perfect position to present new information on culinary techniques during the lesson, show the video lesson as a demonstration of the culinary techniques, and then provide continuous coaching and feedback to food service assistants as they practice using their new skills in the school kitchen.
Each of the nine participating state agencies has selected a group of Master Trainers who have demonstrated training expertise for school nutrition personnel. Training sessions prepared the Master Trainers to deliver a series of six-hour workshops for school nutrition managers throughout each state. The school nutrition managers will then present the series of 13 lessons to the food service assistants in their own school. School district directors will also be trained within their state. The project training will be tailored for the state's training delivery system.
The Missouri Team Nutrition Training Grant provided in-depth training for state staff on school lunch computer software and expanded training programs for school food service personnel to a year-round effort at multiple sites throughout the state, providing more technical and hands-on training in addition to basic training such as Healthy E.D.G.E.
Four teleconferences on the Healthy School Meals Initiative was broadcasted to school districts. In addition, four Healthy E.D.G.E. training sessions have been completed which provided food service personnel with the skills to meet the Dietary Guidelines. The training and teleconferences covered computers, healthy food production, introduction to Nutrient Standard Menu Planning and Healthy Cuisine for Kids.
In addition to the training, four videos were produced which provided information on the School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children. The videos topics were Overview, Nutrient Standard Menu Planning, Enhanced Food Based Menu Planning and Questions and Answers. Also, "Strategies for Success" was developed with the cooperation of University Extension, the Missouri School Food Service Association, the Department of Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This resource is useful in schools to guide them in developing nutrition policy in schools.
This Team Nutrition Training Grant addressed specific interrelated components in achieving the implementation of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in schools located in Montana and Wyoming. Montana's main components of the proposal addressed strengthening the state's infrastructure involved with: (a) school food service training needs to achieve healthy school meals through the implementation of the Dietary Guidelines; (b) teacher training in areas of nutrition and comprehensive school health at the pre-service and in-service levels; and (c) laying the foundation for Team Nutrition Schools in a rural state. In Wyoming, the Team Nutrition Training Grant included providing initial and continued training to all school food authorities in Wyoming in the following areas: (a) Recommended Dietary Allowances; (b) Dietary Guidelines for Americans; (c) The Food Guide Pyramid; (d) Meal Planning consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans - NuMenus (Nutrient Standard Menu Planning), Assisted NuMenus, and Food Based Menus.
Twelve schools were selected to pilot the NuMenus system or the Food Based system for a three month period. The managers from these schools were trained as trainers for the summer workshops for other school food service personnel around the state. Also a state-wide meeting was held for all school food authorities', managers, and administration on the three menu planning systems via a compressed video. A 6-week menu cycle for NuMenus has been developed for use, and a marketing packet, Marketing Your School Food Service Program: A Montana Perspective, has been developed to assist schools with marketing healthy meals and promotion of nutrition education.
Worked closely with the Office of Public Instruction's Health Enhancement Division, Nutrition Education and Training Program, Montana State University, Department of Health and Human Development, and Montana State University Extension Service. Through these partners, training was provided to school staff (teachers, administrators, coaches) on nutrition education and comprehensive school health. Regional Nutrition Training Teams were established around the state to help provide a grassroots approach to promoting Team Nutrition and nutrition education, and to provide support to school staff in implementing the Dietary Guidelines.
Two important marketing tools were created to promote Team Nutrition Schools throughout Montana: a 7-minute video, What is a Team Nutrition School?; and a marketing packet, Marketing Your Food Service Program: A Montana Perspective. The materials were shared with Montana school food service programs through summer training and the Nutrition Training Team members. These materials were also shared with the Wyoming School Food Service Authorities at their summer conference.
Five Wyoming regional workshops were held. Each two and one half day workshop was organized to allow school food service personnel eight hours of hands-on computer training on Nutrikids after sessions on the background and rational for the School Meals Initiative (SMI) had been presented. The workshop mission was "to provide adequate information to the participants to make an educated decision for selecting the best USDA menu option for their school". The workshops also generated television reporting at two locations and several newspaper articles. Also, recipe modification (via Healthy Edge) and two Produce Purchasing and Handling sessions were offered at the annual Wyoming Food Service Conference. A SMI presentation was made at the annual Wyoming Dietetic Association meeting to approximately 50 Registered Dietitians from across the state. A poster session showed the resources available to Team Nutrition Schools as well as the Healthy School Meals Training Manual and The Tool Kit for Healthy School Meals. Exhibited at the Wyoming School Board annual meeting demonstrating Nutrikids and introducing SMI to school administrations. An article about SMI was written for the Wyoming WIC monthly newsletters that is sent to all Wyoming WIC participants. Coordinated with Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service to train five area extension agents with the Montana SMI training session. A brief article defining SMI appeared in the Wyoming Dietetic Association newsletter.
The purpose of Nebraska's Team Nutrition Training Grant was to provide food service managers and directors with the knowledge, skills, and encouragement necessary to provide healthy meals that appeal to their students and at the same time comply with USDA's Healthy School Meals Initiative for Children.
Mini-Meetings -- The Nebraska Department of Education sponsored 21 mini-meetings across the state to educate and update managers on the health needs of children and USDA's new regulations. The meetings were know as Check It Out: Nebraska School Lunch. These mini-meetings gave participants the opportunity to taste-test a variety of food items, gain a better understanding of the various nutrients that will be analyzed, comprehend the need for standardized recipes, and receive a set of standardized recipes. An agenda and a slide presentation was developed for use at the meetings and pre- and post-tests were administered at each meeting site. Upon completion of the meeting, a follow-up mailing was sent out to all program participants. Included in this mailing was a listing of "healthy ideas" the schools had shared at the various meetings. Also included were recipe updates and the nutrient analysis for a 10-day set of menus.
Recipe Modification -- The Project Director and her staff tested and modified a variety of recipes. Food samples were prepared for each meeting site. Workshop participants had the opportunity to sample the following: double pork fajita, blueberry muffin, peanut butter cookie, frozen fruit slush, and a trail mix. These particular items were chosen because they utilized USDA commodities and were examples of ways to increase the fruit/vegetable and grain/bread requirements.
Resource Materials -- A folder of resource materials for each program participant was developed. Materials included basic nutrition information, new meal pattern requirements, and a variety of recipes that included nutrient analysis.
Promotions -- A logo and artwork were developed. Posters were made available for school cafeterias. The Project Director exhibited at the Nebraska Dietetic Association spring meeting. She visited with a number of registered dietitians about the new program regulations and the involvement of registered dietitians in the future.
In New Hampshire, the Team Nutrition Training Grant allowed for the development of a peer networking among school food service personnel as they learned about the School Meals Initiative. The goals were to: provide an inexpensive, effective method for planning and providing children's meals that meet the Dietary Guidelines; provide the resources and expertise needed in order to help children gain the nutrition knowledge and skills necessary to make decisions for healthy life styles; and train personnel to provide training beyond the grant period and set up a network for them to share solutions and to solve problems.
Computer Workshop -- An activity that was especially well received by the school food service personnel was a computer workshop showcasing the approved nutrient analysis programs. Nutrikids, SNAP, and PCS were helpful participants. From the initial group of trainees, there emerged seven who volunteered to serve as mentors to those starting a computer program.
Resource Library -- A resource library of recipes and menus was developed and the materials were discussed and distributed at the monthly nutrition seminars.
Low-Tech I -- The Low-Tech 1 procedure for implementing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has been widely received at both state meetings and chapter meetings of the New Hampshire School Food Service Association. This method has also been reviewed and taught on an individual basis.
Nutrition Seminars -- Two-hour nutrition seminars were designed to provide information on the Dietary Guidelines, the Food Guide Pyramid, sanitation, and basic nutrition so that school food service professionals would have a foundation for planning healthy school meals that meet the School Meals Initiative requirements.
NET Resource Library -- The NET Resource Library was reviewed and found to be lacking in elementary level materials and in need of an update of reference materials. Materials were ordered and received. The resource list was updated and distributed.
Public Relations -- There has been tremendous need for public relations and outreach of the Team Nutrition concept. The Nutrition Education and Training Program Coordinator who is also the Co-director of the Team Nutrition Training Grant, as well as both of the Program Reviewers (one being the other Co-director of the Team Nutrition Training Grant) have been asked to do presentations on the Team Nutrition concept and what it means in New Hampshire.
There are many things about the State of New Mexico that makes it unique. Among them are the diverse cultural/ethnic population, a unique combination of foods from Hispanic and American Indian origin, the small number of large cities in the state, and the large land area of the state. All of these things were considered in implementing the grant awarded to New Mexico for the purpose of doing Team Nutrition training. Partnerships -- Partnerships were established with 13 organizations who agreed to provide assistance with identification of resources, supply resource persons for training in various locations throughout the state, produce a video and educational materials which support the message of healthy eating and exercise for school youngsters, and assist with training of school food authorities.
Training Resources -- The most current resources available have been ordered and are listed in a resource catalog. The catalog was printed and distributed at training sessions. Resources include employee training materials, nutrition education materials for several different grade levels, addresses and telephone numbers for sources of other materials and lists of individuals and agencies which are available to provide assistance in different locations throughout the state.
Menu Development -- Assisted NuMenus were developed using a survey to determine the ten favorite meals of children throughout the state as the basis for the New Mexico Menus. A major consideration was the multi-cultural food preferences of New Mexico's ethnically diverse population and food items could be easily obtained by school food authorities statewide. A New Mexico Menu Manual, which includes menus, recipes, nutrient analysis, and other pertinent information was completed and distributed at five statewide training sessions.
Video Production -- A video production in the format of a nightly news report targets middle school youngsters with a healthy eating and exercise message. Quick, up-beat segments feature the "Chile Dude" in sports, weather, special health, and other reports. The New Mexico County Extension Service, the New Mexico Beef Council, and other food producers assisted in funding the video.
Training Sessions -- Summer training at five locations throughout New Mexico were completed. Sessions included menu planning and menu modification, computer nutrient analysis, hands-on low-fat food preparation, and marketing.
The goal of the Team Nutrition Training Grant project was for school nutrition personnel and administrators to receive adequate and effective training on nutrition principles and techniques to provide school meals consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This goal was reached utilizing three approaches: (1) conduct two satellite training seminars on the implementation of the Dietary Guidelines in school meals; (2) organize a cadre of training professionals and conduct initial training of cadre members; and (3) produce and distribute a video to enhance efforts to train school administrators and local nutrition personnel on the use of the team approach to implementing the Dietary Guidelines in school meals.
Satellite Training Seminars -- The Prairie Satellite Network is another infrastructure that was established for training statewide. The Team Nutrition Training Grant provided the opportunity to conduct the first state developed satellite seminar training for school administrators and school nutrition personnel. The second satellite seminar was offered as a "community gathering" and included parents and others from the community in addition to the school personnel.
Cadre Training -- The Team Nutrition Training Grant trained 20 nutrition professionals who are located in all eight regions of the state. These trainers were selected for their experience in food service and interest and commitment to school food service training. They received training in techniques to train adults, school nutrition program operations, and planning for healthy school meals. They were also trained to deliver all courses in the school food service training series "Pathways to a Quality School Food Service".
Training Video Development -- A video titled "Make the Team - Implementing the Dietary Guidelines in School Meals" was distributed to 281 local agencies. The video produced was used initially to introduce all school administrators and local nutrition personnel to the team approach to Dietary Guidelines implementation and to promote the training series for school nutrition personnel. It continues to be used to promote and present a model for a school nutrition team for implementing Dietary Guidelines in school meals.
The Team Nutrition Training Grant Project collaboration established a statewide training system that provided the means to convey information that is relevant to the time, consistent with the goals, and practical to implement. The State of Rhode Island had three goals in this project: (1) to provide school nutrition and food service personnel with the education, motivation, training, and skills necessary to provide healthy meals that appeal to the children served and meet the USDA nutrition requirements; (2) to transform the cafeteria environment into a learning laboratory that encourages healthful eating habits through the marketing of healthful choices; and (3) to establish a collaboration between school food services and Johnson & Wales University to enhance the image of the school food service profession.
This Grant provided comprehensive training programs for three food service target groups. The first target group was school district food service directors and managers. Their first training session, using the train-the-trainer approach, focused on training that provided nutrition information, skills, and techniques that resulted in preparing healthy meals that appeal to children while meeting USDA nutrition requirements. The second training, refresher training, focused on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, on using commodities to achieve healthy meals, on balancing a variety of foods that appeal to students while meeting the Dietary Guidelines, and on how to establish a working relationship with the media.
Training sessions were held for chefs (second target group) that have joined Rhode Island Team Nutrition. The training was to familiarize chefs with USDA nutrition requirements, to highlight the use of government commodities, to recognize reimbursable meals, and to explore ways to establish links in schools between nutrition education and school meals. Chefs not only provided training to food service staffs but also conducted nutrition activities for students.
The third target group trained was on-line food service workers. These sessions provided the on-line food service worker with basic food service preparation techniques and information on the Healthy School Meals Initiative with a major focus on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and how they impact menu selection systems and food items offered in the school lunch program.
There was another added activity that extended the Team Nutrition Training System and that was for a Johnson & Wales multi-disciplinary instructor to make visits to on-site locations (preparation kitchen) for individualized district training. Also, the Team Nutrition Training Grant provided a foundation for Rhode Island Department of Education to form partnerships.
The Team Nutrition Training Grant for the State of Utah was used to create a cadre of 14 trainers from the various geographic regions of the state. These trainers were trained in four focus topics that would then be taught to school district and child care personnel in their region. The focus topics were: School Meals Initiative, Healthy Cuisine for Kids, Target your Market, and the Healthy Lifestyles Nutrition Education. The first training, Target your Market, was held in January 1996. Training on the Healthy Lifestyles Nutrition Education Curricula (Pre K, K-6, and 8-12) took place the following month. Training on the School Meals Initiative was conducted in March and in April the National Food Service Management Institute presented "Healthy Cuisine for Kids".
After each training session the trainers were encouraged to train in that focus topic, adding topics to their training options after each additional training session. The cadre was trained on dietary analysis so that they were available to train the school districts within their region as they moved into implementation of the new regulations.
Since the initial training, the school districts and child care sponsors have been excited about their additional training resource. The training cadre has been in every district in the state at least once. They have presented the new preschool curriculum to many of the child care personnel across the state. The training cadre has been so well received that they will continue to provide training after the grant period. Topics are being identified for training sessions and training will continue in the four original focus areas with additional topics added as needed.
Training from the State Office of Education is reaching managers, cooks, and all food service workers, rather than just the supervisory level as it has in the past. The districts supervisory levels receive training and know that they can call on the cadre of trainers for assistance in training their personnel. The districts also have local people working as mentors as they start implementation of the School Meals Initiative.
There were six major components to the Team Nutrition Training Project in Vermont. Because it is a small state with a relatively large number of independent school districts, and few food service directors with the training and expertise to provide much training to their staff, Vermont felt it was important for this Team Nutrition Training Project to offer an array of activities to reach people at all levels of understanding and readiness to implement the Dietary Guidelines. The goal was to: (1) prepare schools to consistently offer meals that conform to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans; (2) increase students participation in school meal programs; and (3) develop a sustainable body of material for future training activities and establish an on-going network of support for food service managers.
The first component was Challenge '96. This provided several classes for managers and directors to provide them with skills and knowledge to help them implement the Dietary Guidelines. Classes included nutrition information, management techniques, and specific information about the School Meals Initiative. Component two, Staff Too, was aimed at staff to give an overview of the nutrition principles that underlie the School Meals Initiative. Collaboration with allied organizations also resulted in training sessions for staff workers in Trim The Fat and LunchPower. Train-the-trainer, component three, included a conference where managers were provided information about training techniques and developed workshops on several topics to offer at local in-service sessions. An on-going mentor network has begun to provide one-on-one support for new managers in several parts of the state. Building public support through information to the general public, as well as, school community groups was the fourth component of the project. This included a press release which generated several newspaper articles about the Vermont Summer Institute and the development of an exhibit which provides information about the Team Nutrition concept. An Implementation Guide was sent to food service managers, principals, superintendents and health program coordinators to provide an overview of the School Meals Initiative, as well as resources available from USDA and the Vermont Department of Education. Nutrition education was the focus of the fifth component. Activities targeted to food service managers included camera-ready copy for nutrition messages for menu backs and a workshop on marketing the school meals program using the Dietary Guidelines as a theme. Setting the Standard: Vermont's Model School Nutrition Project was the final component. Although the model school project had started the previous year, several themes from the School Meals Initiative were incorporated into this two-year intensive manager training class.
The Healthy School Meals Project provided a comprehensive integrated approach to accomplishing nutrition integrity in West Virginia schools. Training and education opportunities addressed issues directly related to planning and preparing healthy meals. Equally important, the project focused on creating school environments that foster healthful eating and lifestyle for students. This approach demanded close school-level collaboration. Project initiatives built and strengthened linkages through school team workshops, train-the-trainer delivery models, minigrants to schools, and resources directed to diverse players-food service staffs, educators, students and parents.
Reflections and Recipes -- This food service training resource focused on site-level responsibilities related to maintaining nutrition quality of meals. These included portion control, measuring, using standardized recipes, adjusting yields, and controlling food quality. The workshop featured new USDA recipes, A Tool Kit for Healthy Meals: Recipes and Training Materials, and included trainer directions and script, student activities and slides. The manual was distributed to all State Nutrition Education and Training Coordinators and to the National Agricultural Library. Forty-three members of the West Virginia Nutrition Education and Training Cadre attended a two-day train-the-trainer workshop to prepare for their role as Reflections and Recipes presenters. District workshops for school cooks took place throughout the state.
Body By Choice-My Choice -- This point-of-choice nutrition education/promotion program empowered high school students to create school environments that encourage healthful eating and lifestyles. School teams consisting of a school cook, administrator, teacher, comprehensive school health coordinator, and district food service director attended training and implemented this school-wide program for a minimum of six weeks.
School Nutrition Program Management -- A grant was awarded to Fairmont State College to teach a one-week summer residential workshop to food service managers and head cooks. This training provided experiences in: (1) preparing meals that meet healthy meal standards using new USDA recipes; (2) planning and nutrient analyzing menus; and (3) developing management skills that enhance healthy meal initiatives.
Let's Celebrate! -- This resource suggests opportunities for educators, food service staff, and parents to celebrate cultural diversity and teach healthy eating habits. In addition to party and classroom ideas, the booklet contains menus, recipes, and promotions for the school cafeteria.