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.

lucketts smoothies

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.

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Guilford Elementary Set Begin Garden to Cafeteria Program

In the spring of 2017 Guilford Elementary was honored to receive a $1,500 grant from the Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF), to install six raised grade level garden beds as part of Health and Wellness PBL project at Guilford. The purpose is to integrate nutrition lessons through planting and harvesting of grade level crops. Guilford has also been named one of the LCPS schools for the new School Garden to Cafeteria pilot program through the School Nutrition Office. The project has ties to all grade levels and is facilitated by Mark Pankau, Health and Physical Educator for Guilford.

guilford garden check
Project Based Learning is the second phase on all Loudoun County Public School campuses following the One to the World (OTTW) projects of last school year. The driving question that our students will be investigating will be, “How will growing our own food help us make decisions for our future?”.

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Guilford has already made great progress in our PBL and OTTW integration across grade levels and disciplines with specialists supporting grade levels as exhibited in our wellness and physical education in the areas of nutrition for third grade, exploring the different Virginia Regions through physical activity and supporting planting and growth with the KinderGARDEN projects. These are examples, like the grade level garden beds and highlights how school Specialists can support classroom core curriculum while making meaningful connections for children.
In July Mr. Pankau was contacted by the Loudoun Health Office with information on the Virginia Food Access Network Day of Action on September 29th. The VFAN goals are to raise awareness of organizations working to increase food access to improve nutrition and end hunger. A second goal is to encourage the promotion of food access by facilitating volunteer opportunities.
The Garden to Cafeteria project will provide students hands on skills, while supporting the needs of the Loudoun community. The grade level gardens ribbon cutting on September 29th, will be the kickoff event to the LCPS pilot school program and the VFAN Day of Action.

For more information please contact Mark Pankau at mpankau@lcps.org or Stefanie Dove, RDN at stefanie.dove@lcps.org

School Nutrition Is Here To Help

The Loudoun County Public Schools Department of School Nutrition is made up of a team of food and nutrition professionals including Registered Dietitians, that are dedicated to students’ health, well being and their ability to learn. We are taking the lead to promote nutrition, wellness and physical activity for our students. Check out our district’s new interactive and user friendly Nutrition Services website by visiting www.lcpshealthycafe.org.

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Good nutrition leads to great academic performance. When your nutritional needs are met it is easier to focus and learn. When you are physically fit you are more alert, more positive and enjoy a better quality of life. Combine good nutrition with physical activity and you will have a winning combination to succeed in school. Our team is also here to help our students, parents, teachers and community partners develop and grow the farm to school program in our district.  Whether we assist with garden implementation, taste parties or nutrition educations or work with our local farmers to organize activities in the classroom, we are always happy to help!

LCPS Nutrition Intern lesson

Along with information about menus, food allergy guidelines, meal applications, and online payments…you will find interactive nutrition lesson plans, nutrition videos, nutrition games, fitness calculators, fun activities, and healthy recipes…and it is all updated quarterly! Want to access this information from your mobile device? Download our FREE app!

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In Loudoun County, it is cool to eat at school and Nutrition Services is committed to helping you form the healthy habits today that will last a lifetime! Stop by and try one of our new menu items to help you fuel up for the day!

For more information on our program, please contact Stefanie Dove, RDN at Stefanie.Dove@LCPS.org or (571) 252-6502.

School Nutrition Connects Nutrition and Project-Based Learning for Secondary Teachers

School Nutrition Helps Teachers Connect Nutrition with Project-Based Learning
for a day of nutrition education and farm to school training

Ashburn, VA: Last month, School Nutrition Services collaborated with Virginia Cooperative Extension of Loudoun County, Giant Food and Virginia Family Nutrition Program to provide a full day of training to nineteen Loudoun County Middle and High School teachers. The training included topics on general nutrition, food science, plant science and farm to school. This training demonstrated how these subject areas could easily be applied to project-based learning initiatives while meeting SOL standards. Those who attended were able to engage in hands-on learning activities including cooking and food preparation demonstrations, soil lab experiments and recommendations on how teachers can connect students with community partners to achieve measurable learning outcomes. A follow-up survey from the training reported that 82% of attendees felt well equipped to incorporate school garden and nutrition education activities into their lesson plans while 84% plan to implement these lesson ideas during the 2017-2018 school year.

Jennifer Gardner, AP Biology teacher at Loudoun Valley High School, stated, “I really enjoyed the training and it gave me some great ideas to take back to my students.” Renae Sterling, Marketing teacher and DECA advisor at Briar Woods High School, has already started collaborating with School Nutrition to plan for her Advanced Marketing classes. Natalie Kannan, RD and In-Store Nutritionist for Giant Food stated, “This training served as a wonderful opportunity to highlight the importance of nutritious fruits and veggies, in a way that our youth can easily connect with and implement at home. From math to science, in the classroom, these activities allow for introductions to new fruits and vegetables, as well as basic cooking skills, all while reinforcing the subject matter being taught.” Carly Griffith, Associate Extension Agent was pleased to see the training incorporating 4-H curricula. “Being able to incorporate 4-H nutrition programs into our school system will help insure that our message of “pledging my health to better living” reaches youth of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles.” Snap-Ed Agent, Van Do, summarized the day with “the experience was truly enjoyable for both facilitators and participants and was a great example of a good community partnership.”

As part of the USDA Farm to School Planning Grant received by School Nutrition, all teachers who attended the training will receive the following at the beginning of the upcoming school year:
• Complete sets of the 4-H curricula used for the training
• School Nutrition will also randomly select eight participating schools to receive their choice of a composting tumbler or raised garden bed to enhance farm to school experiences for students.
• Through a partnership with the Loudoun County Health Department, all attendees will receive a hydroponic garden tower for their classrooms or designated area in their school.

For more information about School Nutrition Services or our community partners, visit www.lcpshealthycafe.org or contact Stefanie Dove at (571) 252-6502.

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School Nutrition Announces PowerFuel Meal Locations for Summer 2017

Loudoun County Public Schools are serving free meals at 9 school locations across the county as part of School Nutrition Services annual PowerFuel program.

The program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s efforts to curb child hunger. Each summer, the USDA partners with local organizations like LCPS to provide free meals to children when school is out.

Any child under age 18 may come and eat a summer meal. No registration is required and meals are available to all children, regardless of income.

“For many families, schools are the one place their children can get a nutritious meal,” said Dr. Becky Domokos-Bays, Director of School Nutrition Services. “Our PowerFuel program allows School Nutrition to continue feeding children when school is not in session.”

To locate sites in your neighborhood please visit www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks. Loudoun County’s PowerFuel locations and serving times also can be found at www.lcpshealthycafe.org.

summer feeding flyer all sites 2017spanish summer feeding flyer all sites 2017

 

Cedar Lane and Sugarland Receive Grants for School Gardens

Last month, Cedar Lane Elementary and Sugarland Elementary were the recipients of grants to help support their school garden efforts.  These grants were made possible by the Northern Virginia Dietetic Association (NVAND).  Each school received $100 from the organization.

These schools were selected from 12 applicants in the Northern Virginia region.  Each school submitted a detailed application where they had to describe the educational purpose and goals of their gardens while also discussing the impact and outcomes their garden had on the students and community.  Each application was ranked and voted on by board members of NVAND.

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NVAND President, Teresa Lucas and Sugarland Garden Coordinator, Darielle Timothy

Sugarland uses their school garden to help students learn the role they play in both the community and as health ambassadors.  The garden coordinators help students understand that growing nutritious foods can be done regardless of ones income level.  They focus on inquiry-based learning and real world problem solving so that students can understand how gardens directly relate to their lives; such as the garden to cafeteria initiative.  They develop consistent schedules for the garden so that each grade has responsibilities relating to the project.

cedar lane garden grant

NVAND President Teresa Lucas and the Cedar Lane staff

 

Cedar Lane currently uses their garden to help their Autism classes learn curricular skills as well as career and working behaviors through garden-based activities.  They able to grow a variety of produce items which helps students become exposed to new foods.  Students learn the importance of following directions and reading recipes, conversational skills and money counting.  The Cafeteria Manager at Cedar Lane assists students with garden-based recipes and taste tests.  Cedar Lane also uses the harvest from their garden to host annual farmer’s markets at the school.  This allows the students to understand the background of having a business.

For more information on the farm to school program or school garden information in Loudoun County, please contact Stefanie Dove, RDN at Stefanie.Dove@LCPS.org or visit www.lcpshealthycafe.org