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A Day in the Life of School Nutrition Heroes

Have you seen school meals in action?

Boise School District FUTP60

I had the opportunity to spend two days in school kitchens to deepen my understanding of a day in the life of school nutrition heroes. Yes, you heard me right, heroes! Wow! I had respect for these professional before, but my level of respect has elevated to a whole new level!

You prep, you serve, you clean up; you prep, you serve, you clean up. Repeat this twice per day (sometimes more) for 180 days a year and you have a glimpse of what it may be like in school kitchens across this country! Amazing! And, all for the love and commitment to America’s students and achieving youth wellness. School Nutrition professionals are truly heroes!

Did you know milk is the only beverage required to be served with school meals? That is not a coincidence. Milk provides nine essential nutrients that are difficult to obtain from other foods in an equivalent serving. As a colleague would say, “It’s only nutrition, if they consume it.”

I am fortunate to work for an industry that has devoted over a 100 years to partnering with school nutrition professionals and providing additional opportunities to enhance their programs. Working on behalf of Idaho’s dairy farm families, who provide nutrient-rich products, that are components on the school meal tray, and provide students essential nutrients in every serving to learn, grow, and thrive is truly remarkable!

I encourage you to enjoy a school meal with the little ones in your life! You won’t be disappointed!

 

Jaclyn St. John MS, RDN, LD

Health & Wellness Manager

Jaclyn St. John, Health and Wellness ManagerJaclyn is a registered dietitian. She oversees the curriculum and materials provided to all health and school professionals. She coordinates health fairs and works with our partners to help enhance their programs, efforts, and events in turn to promote dairy consumption and the nutritional benefit the dairy industry works to achieve.Jaclyn lives with her husband and two dogs in Meridian, Idaho. She enjoys running, playing volleyball, and shopping.Favorite Dairy Product: Raspberry Chobani YogurtFavorite Dairy Fact: Research published builds on evidence that dairy foods are associated with bone health, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and with lower blood pressure in adults.

Jaclyn St. John, Health and Wellness Manager
Jaclyn is a registered dietitian. She oversees the curriculum and materials provided to all health and school professionals. She coordinates health fairs and works with our partners to help enhance their programs, efforts, and events in turn to promote dairy consumption and the nutritional benefit the dairy industry works to achieve.

Jaclyn lives with her husband and two dogs in Meridian, Idaho. She enjoys running, playing volleyball, and shopping.

Favorite Dairy Product: Raspberry Chobani Yogurt
Favorite Dairy Fact: Research published builds on evidence that dairy foods are associated with bone health, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and with lower blood pressure in adults.

 

 

Idaho Dairy Council is proud to support School Nutrition Heroes in Idaho! Hear what some of these heroes have to say:

FUTP blog 4

“New this year, we are offering yogurt fruit smoothies at second chance breakfast, also referred to as, mid-morning break, in all our secondary sites. We have smoothie machines that blend and freeze a combination of fruit juice and yogurt. Each smoothie counts as a meat equivalent and a fruit. We offer smoothies in a clear cup to maximize their beautiful color, and offer this cup with a lid and a straw to resemble a smoothie our students may get from a restaurant. Students really love these yogurt smoothies! This is one of the only items we have found that actually increases participation in breakfast. On smoothie days we have found our breakfast participation increases by about 20% (average participation is 328 on smoothie days vs 273 on all other days) in one of our secondary schools. The students have 10 minutes to get to the cafeteria, get their meal, and eat before heading to class. Thank you to Idaho Dairy Council who granted us a Multipurpose Cart to increase the number of serving lines, and serve more students by adding a kiosk in the hall way to meet the students where they already are.” – Peggy Bodnar, Boise School District Child Nutrition Director

School Lunch Hero Day

“Thank you to the Idaho Dairy Council for granting 30 insulated cooler bags to transport Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab N Go Breakfast and Summer Food Program for Twin Falls Youth.” – Lori Rieth, Twin Falls School District Child Nutrition Director

“Bonneville Schools were granted 4 milk barrels thanks to the Foodservice Strategy grants from the Idaho Dairy Council. Currently we have three separate lines, away from the main serving lines—pizza,  build your own sandwich bar and a grill line. The milk barrels allow the nutrient-rich milk to be offered right at the end of each serving line. Another service line helps feed as many students as possible in the limited time allotted.” – Heather Plain, Bonneville School District Child Nutrition Director

FUTP blog 3

“Thank you to the Idaho Dairy Council for the Breakfast Transport Cart you granted Marsing High School. With this cart, we are able to transport yogurt parfaits and smoothies to the high school—we could not have transported from our off-site kitchen before.” – Teresa Bettleyon, Marsing School District Child Nutrition Director

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