Preparing healthy school meals,
promoting good nutrition habits, and offering a friendly greeting are all in a
day’s work for the school nutrition employees in Garden County Schools. The School
Nutrition Association celebrates this professional commitment with School
Nutrition Employee Week, May 7-11, 2012. The week is
an opportunity for parents, students, school staff and communities to thank
those who provide healthy meals to 32 million of America’s students each school
School nutrition employees must balance many
roles and follow numerous federal, state and local regulations to ensure safe
and healthy meals are available in schools. They are trained sanitation and food
safety experts and must manage financially self-sufficient programs despite
limited funds to prepare and serve each meal. School nutrition professionals
also provide nutrition education to students and use their creativity to make
the cafeteria a fun and welcoming place.
This year, school nutrition employees take on a
new responsibility. In January, the federal government finalized new nutrition
standards for school meals, requiring schools to serve more fruits and
vegetables (including weekly servings of legumes, dark green and orange
vegetables), switch to whole grains and limit the sodium and calories in each
Schools meals must meet these new requirements
starting in the 2012-2013 school year, but school nutrition professionals have
already been working toward these goals by mixing up the menu, offering a wider
variety of fresh produce and getting students excited about trying new,
healthier meals in the cafeteria.
The importance and nutritional value of school
meals are well documented. For many children, school meals are the most
important and nutrient-rich meals of their day.
in Garden County Schools and in communities across the nation will be in the
spotlight on National Teacher Day this Tuesday, May 8th!
other professionals touch as many people as teachers do. National Teacher Day
is a good time to learn about the contributions educators make to our community
every day. We recognize teachers are role models. We all have to work together
to make our schools even better. That means everyone in the community. Parents,
business owners, retirees, other workers, local government, and yes students.
Public schools are at the heart of any community. When there are problems, we
address them. When there are kudos, we share them.
involvement brings learning to life. This is an opportunity for all of us to
reach out to each other. Better than an apple or a thank you card, a community’s
active support of the work we mutually do to teach and care for the community’s
students would be ample reward for all educators!
-Dr. Paula Sissel,