School Nutrition Kicks off the Holiday Season with their Annual Harvest Lunch

Written By: Stefanie Dove, RDN, School Nutrition Marketing Coordinator

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This week, School Nutrition Services hosted their annual Harvest Lunch in all schools across the county to celebrate American Education Week. The meal was served during regular meal times in the schools with some of the holiday staples that many have for their upcoming Thanksgiving meal.

School Nutrition works with their partner, Cuisine Solutions, who is based in Sterling, to provide sous-vide turkey breast for this meal. The School Nutrition staff also made stuffing, mashed potatoes with chicken gravy, fresh rolls, steamed broccoli, side salads, fresh vegetable cups, fresh fruit, and also offered a frozen fruit treat made from 100% whole fruit.  For those students who did not want to enjoy the turkey, the department also offered Baked Chicken Bites, Chicken Caesar Salads, Vegetarian Chef Salads, Turkey Chef Salads, Bagel and Yogurt Boxes, and Hummus Meals.

For more information about this event or School Nutrition Services, please visit www.LCPSHealthyCafe.org or email, Stefanie Dove, RDN, Marketing Coordinator at  Stefanie.Dove@LCPS.org

Stay Up-to-Date on all SNS events by following us on social media @LCPSCafe

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Putting School Nutrition in the Spotlight at the 1st Annual Regional Garden Summit

Written By: Stefanie Dove, RDN, School Nutrition Marketing Coordinator

On October 14th, 2017, DC Greens hosted the first annual Regional School Garden Summit at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary in Washington, D.C. The goal of the Summit was to nurture the emerging regional network of nonprofits, schools, and government agencies interested in capacity and network building around school gardens by providing a space to learn, share best practices and make new connections. The day consisted of panel discussions covering topics such as innovative school garden program models, sustaining school gardens through public policy and advocacy, growing networks, and collaborative efforts to connect gardens and the cafeteria.

Stefanie Dove, RDN, School Nutrition Marketing Coordinator for Loudoun County Schools Department of School Nutrition, sat on the panel to discuss the ways LCPS utilizes school gardens as educational tools to connect the concepts to school meals. LCPS Cafe also provided copies of their School Garden Toolkit in the gift bags for all attendees. Mark Pankau, Physical Education Teacher at Guilford Elementary, sat on a panel to discuss the importance of growing school garden networks.

In the afternoon, all 75 attendees were provided a lunch that was prepared using ingredients from the school garden. After lunch, attendees were shuttled onto buses where they spent the afternoon touring several school gardens across the district. The summit ended with an evening of networking with other school garden advocates in the region.

For more information on the school garden program in Loudoun County, please contact Stefanie Dove at Stefanie.Dove@LCPS.org.

Park View High School Serves 2,500 meals in September for After School Fuel

Written By: Stefanie Dove, RDN, School Nutrition Marketing Coordinator

In the first month of school, the School Nutrition staff at Park View High School successfully served 2,500 meals to students during their After School Fuel Program. Introduced in January 2017, After School Fuel provides a nutritious meal at no cost to all students who attend Park View. This program expanded from three days last year to five days this school year due to the tremendous effort by the LCPS Department of Transportation and the Administration at Park View to provide late buses at the school so that those students who want to enjoy a meal can eat and then get on the bus.

Students can select from a variety of their favorite menu options each day including: chicken bites, steak and cheese subs, orange chicken with rice, yogurt and bagel boxes, fruit and yogurt smoothies, chef salads, and pizza.  The meals are served daily from 4:05 P.M- 5:15 P.M in the cafeteria.

School Nutrition will be launching their second After School Fuel site at Sugarland Elementary later this month. For more information about this program or School Nutrition Services, please contact Stefanie Dove, RDN at Stefanie.Dove@LCPS.org

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Loudoun County Public Schools to Celebrate National School Lunch Week

 

“Recipes for Success” during #NSLW17

Ashburn, VA – October 3, 2017 – To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, Loudoun County Public schools will recognize National School Lunch Week from October 10-13, 2017. The theme, “Recipes for Success” is an opportunity to get the students involved in the school nutrition program both in the cafeteria and in the classroom.

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National School Lunch Week will emphasize the nutritious foods that are offered daily at in Loudoun. Schools across the county are celebrating this week through activities such as poster contests, prizes, giveaways, special lunch servers, local farmer visits and meet and greets with professional athletes. In addition to this, School Nutrition has partnered with gourmet foods classes at John Champe and Freedom High School to implement a project-based learning activity around recipe development in school nutrition.

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“School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fat and sodium,” said Stefanie Dove, Registered Dietitian and Marketing Coordinator for LCPS. “National School Lunch Week helps us educate parents and students about all the benefits of our lunch program, and the appealing choices we offer.”

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The school nutrition program strives to provide the most nutritious options to students daily. All schools serve salads featuring locally grown lettuce, a rainbow of colorful fresh fruit and vegetables and a variety of vegetarian menu options daily. They work with Sterling-based, Cuisine Solutions, to source the chicken that is used in entrees such as chicken fajita rice bowls and buffalo chicken salad. School Nutrition works closely with teachers across the county to provide nutrition education support both in the classroom and in the school garden. Over the past two years, the department has worked with Loudoun County Health Department to distribute 80 hydroponic garden towers to teachers.

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The federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provides nutritionally balanced, healthy meals to students every day. The program, which has been serving the nation’s children for over 60 years, requires school meals to meet federal nutrition standards like offering fruits and vegetables every day, serving whole grain-rich foods, and limiting fat, calories, and sodium.

The “Recipes for Success” campaign is made possible by the nonprofit School Nutrition Association. Parents and students can follow the fun using the hashtag #NSLW17. For more information on National School Lunch Week, visit http://www.lcpshealthycafe.org and https://schoolnutrition.org/nslw/.

Celebrate Better Breakfast Month With Our Peach Yogurt Parfaits

In honor of Better Breakfast Month, why not celebrate by recreating one of LCPS Cafe’s student favorites: yogurt parfaits! This month, we are sourcing locally grown peaches in some of our schools, so our peach parfaits are always a hit with students.

Here is our easy-to-follow recipe so that you can enjoy these when school is not in session!

2 medium-sized ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups yogurt (we use low-fat vanilla, but you can use can use plain, vanilla, or low-fat Greek, Coconut or regular yogurt)
1/2 cup granola (our students love cinnamon granola)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, toss the peaches with cinnamon and set aside.
  2. Using a 8-12-ounce cup or jar, assemble the parfaits by adding a layer of yogurt (about 1/4 cup) to the bottom.
  3. Next add 3-4 tablespoons of the peaches on top of the yogurt and then add 2-3 tablespoons of granola on top of the peaches.
  4. Repeat layers filling to the top of the cup.
  5. You can top the parfaits with a small spoonful of peaches, a fresh peach slice, or another fruit and a sprinkle with extra granola.

*This recipe makes 2 peach parfaits.

This parfait is the perfect protein-packed snack or meal. The yogurt is filled with protein, calcium and vitamin D and the peaches are loaded with fiber and vitamin C! Granola provides essential carbohydrates students need to fuel their day.  In Loudoun, all of our granola is whole-grain rich, so it is full of fiber to keep them satisfied longer.

In addition to the parfait, students can grab an additional fresh fruit, 100% juice to complete their breakfast.  We also offer parfaits during lunch where they are paired with a whole-grain bagel and low-fat string cheese in addition to their fresh fruit and vegetable options for the day.

For more information about the menu options in Loudoun County, visit www.lcpshealthycafe.org or contact Stefanie Dove, RDN, CDN- School Nutrition Marketing Coordinator at Stefanie.Dove@lcps.org or 571.252.6502

September is Better Breakfast Month

As we gear up for another school year, we can’t forget to fuel our students minds and bodies for the school day! September is Better Breakfast Month and School Nutrition is here to help make sure students across Loudoun County have the nourishment they need for the most important meal of the day. A study conducted by Kellogg’s recently found that about one-third of the 14,000 individuals surveyed found time to fit breakfast into their schedules. Mornings are hectic and everyone is in a rush to get to school and to get out the door as quickly as possible. Don’t make breakfast an afterthought.  Let school nutrition check that breakfast off of your morning “to-do” list! All schools in the district offer breakfast daily for students. We serve a variety of items from whole grain gourmet bread loaves, oven baked chicken sandwiches, egg and cheese pitas to fruit and yogurt smoothies, yogurt and bagels.  All breakfast entrees come with fresh fruit, 100% fruit juice and milk.

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The new chocolate chip whole grain gourmet breakfast loaf students can select for breakfast.

Why is breakfast so important? There are many reasons, but we are going to focus on a few of the essentials.  Students who eat a balanced breakfast will stay focused in the classroom and stay full for a longer period of time.  With some students not eating lunch until well in the afternoon, that can be a long time to go without a meal! Eating breakfast also fuels them with energy so that they can succeed in the classroom.  Those students who eat breakfast will also reduce their chances of overeating later in the day.  We have even made it easier for our students to enjoy breakfast at school.  Last year, we introduced our Breakfast After the Bell program in Harper Park Middle School and Smart’s Mill Middle School and are pleased to announce that Brambleton Middle School and Freedom High School have joined this program for the 2017-2018 school year! Breakfast After the Bell allows students the opportunity to purchase breakfast after first block in their class. Our staff brings the breakfast to them.  All they need to do is enter their number into the computer and grab their meal!

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The School Nutrition staff at Harper Park Middle School getting ready to welcome students for Breakfast After the Bell.

A nutritious breakfast will jump start their brains and power it throughout the morning, allowing students to think clearly and concentrate on tasks in the classroom. Breakfast is also a wonderful opportunity for students to increase their fiber intake. Fiber is a nutrient in which many Americans lack in consumption.   All school breakfast entrees contain at least 51% whole grains. Whole grains are higher in fiber than other meal choices. In addition to the whole grains, fruit and vegetables also contain fiber. As previously mentioned, all school breakfasts are served with fresh fruit options. Students can increase the nutritional value of their breakfast by adding fruit to their meal.

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The NEW fruit and yogurt smoothies are a student favorite for breakfast. They are made with low fat yogurt, low fat milk and 100% whole fruit puree. 

Want to find out more information on the School Nutrition Program or find out what’s for #LCPSBreakfast? Visit our website at www.lcpshealthycafe.org or contact Stefanie Dove, RDN at Stefanie.Dove@LCPS.org.