LCPS Supervisor of School Nutrition Invited to Provide Input on Dietary Guidelines

Last week, our very own Dr. Becky Domokos-Bays, Supervisor of School Nutrition Services, was invited to provide her input on the new Dietary Guidelines.  Dr. Bays is the current President of the School Nutrition Association and a School Nutrition expert with over 30 years of experience.  You can read her comments below.

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For more information on this please visit www.schoolnutrition.org

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LCPS School Nutrition Launches 1st Annual Farm to School Art Contest

October is FARM TO SCHOOL MONTH! Help Loudoun County School Nutrition Services celebrate the month by participating in our first annual art contest!

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Our 2016 theme is What Farm to School Means to Me. This is a call for art from all LCPS students – send us your artwork showcasing what you think of when you hear “Farm to School.”

This contest is open to all Loudoun County Public School students. Entries will be judged by an esteemed panel on originality, creativity and how well the entry illustrates the theme.

CONTEST RULES

Artists must be enrolled students in grades K-12 at LCPS. Entries must be original, must relate to the theme described above, and must be accompanied by a completed entry form. The deadline for contest submissions is October 30, 2016.

Contest winners will be announced in November.

Please visit the School Nutrition Services website (www.LCPSHealthyCafe.org) for more information or contact Stefanie Dove at Stefanie.Dove@lcps.org.

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LCPS to Celebrate National School Lunch Week

 

Loudoun County Public Schools to Celebrate National School Lunch Week

“Show Your Spirit” during #NSLW16

Ashburn, VA – September 21, 2016 – To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, Loudoun County schools will recognize National School Lunch Week from October 10-14, 2016. The theme, “Show Your Spirit” is all about getting parents, students and school officials to show their spirit for school lunch.

National School Lunch Week will emphasize the healthy foods that are offered daily at Loudoun County schools. All high school students have the opportunity to participate in a student video contest promoting school lunch.  Kenneth Colbert Elementary will host local farmer, Ellen Polishuk from Potomac Vegetable Farms, for a farmer trading card signing during school lunch to celebrate National Farmer Day on October 12th.  Promotional events and activities including trivia activities, guest servers, special lunch guests, and giveaways are scheduled at many schools across the district to help students understand the importance of eating a healthy school lunch.

“School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fat and sodium” said Dr. Becky Domokos-Bays, Supervisor of School Nutrition.  “National School Lunch Week helps us educate parents and students about all the benefits of our lunch program, and the appealing choices we offer”.

Students are offered a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that include items grown locally.  Loudoun County students can enjoy some of the new wraps, cold sandwiches, salads, 100% all-beef burgers, and the new vegetarian “beefy” crumble that is used in the tacos this year.  Hummus and vegetable meal kits are also offered as a vegetarian option during lunch.  The middle and high school students have a daily self-serve fruit and vegetable bar so that they can select as much as they would like.

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

The LCPS community is encouraged to use the hashtag #LCPSLunch so that School Nutrition and track and share all promotions and events that are occurring in the district.

Harvest of the Month Recipe: Mushroom Quesadilla

Our Harvest of the Month program is back in full swing for the new school year!! All K-12 students will have the opportunity to try a seasonal fruit or vegetable at no cost during school lunch.  This is open to all students, not just those who purchase school lunch that day.  The first feature items will be mushrooms!  Elementary students can try them on September 15th during Taste It Thursday and our Middle and High School students will get to test their fears of trying new foods on September 16th during Fear Factor Friday.

New this year, we are providing recipes that feature the item our students tried that week.  The recipes have few ingredients, are low in cost, and are easy to make in order to help promote more of our families cooking together at home!  Recipe cards will also be available on the day that these items are offered for students to try.

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Photo Courtesy of Hungry Happens

Check out our first recipe of the year below!

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Recipe adapted from Hungry Happens

School Nutrition Services Wins “One In A Melon Award” for Virginia

One in a Melon BadgeLoudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) School Nutrition Services received a “One in a Melon” Award from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its efforts to bring fresh, local produce to the students eating in school cafeterias each day.

One district per state received the honor. LCPS was selected from among all of the schools in Virginia with similar initiatives.
School Nutrition Services’ farm-to-school efforts date back to 2014 and include two local farms, Kilmer Farms and Wegmeyer Farms. For example, just last week, LCPS students enjoyed fresh strawberries from Wegmeyer Farms. The berries were actually picked the same day they were served in LCPS cafeterias.
In addition to receiving food from local farms, 31 schools also operate school gardens in an effort to produce some of their own food. Educational programs about farming extend to LCPS classrooms as well. The most successful project to date has been Farmer Trading Cards. The trading cards were released on the opening day of baseball season, which is also the first day of growing season. Instead of featuring baseball players, these trading cards profiled 12 Loudoun County farmers. The trading cards were produced in conjunction with the Loudoun Rural Economic Development Commission.
School Nutrition Services Director Becky Domokos-Bays says that future promotions are planned around Virginia Agriculture Week in October and the creation of more of the popular trading cards.

Health Benefits of Strawberries

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It is no coincidence that our students love strawberries!  This year, we have been fortunate to expose our students to locally grown berries from Wegmeyer’s Farm right here in Loudoun!

Here are some fun facts about strawberries!

  • One cup of strawberries provides more than 100% of the recommend daily allowance of vitamin C for adults as well as roughly 3 grams of fiber.
  • Vitamin C is an important antioxidant with many functions. It protects our cells from damage caused by free radicals, helps with wound healing, and assists with the body’s absorption of iron.
  • Fiber, particularly soluble fiber (which is the type found in strawberries) also has many beneficial functions. It can help lower our “bad” LDL cholesterol, regulate digestion and reduce our risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Strawberries are a great source of Manganese as well, providing about 30% of the daily value in a one-cup serving.
  • Manganese helps the body utilize key nutrients, helps to maintain strong bones and healthy nerves, assists in synthesizing fatty acids and cholesterol, and maintains normal blood sugar levels- preventing energy spikes and crashes.
  • Strawberry season is in full swing, which is why all students in Loudoun County were able to try strawberries for free at their Taste It Thursday and Fear Factor Friday events in May!

This blog was written by Virginia Tech Dietetic Interns