THE HCS CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM
NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2021
Season's greetings Everyone!
Even though this school year has been challenging for staff, faculty, and students, it has been met with fearlessness and the desire to push forward. As we approach the end of 2021, we look towards the new year of 2022 with optimism, faith, and encouragement. The strength of the Huntsville City Schools community lies within all of us and we all will continue to persevere with positive attitudes and diligence. Most of all, we would like to wish everyone a joyous winter break and eventful New Year.
- H. Ward
Inspirational Qoute of The Month
Happy Holidays from CNP!
DID YOU KNOW?
The HCS Child Nutrition Program has executed and served over 1,764,247 school meals since August 4, 2021.
Bill aims to help Ala. schools ease supply chain woes
Alabama state Sen. Jack Williams said he intends to propose legislation in the 2022 legislative session aimed at helping schools with issues stemming from food supply chain challenges. Under the bill, schools in the state could be exempt from regular bidding processes to purchase food from vendors.
Full Story: Alabama Daily News
Registered dietitian Ella Davar writes that as an integrative dietitian, cooking nutritious meals at home comes naturally to her, but she understands it can sometimes be a challenge. Davar writes that she tries to simplify healthful eating for clients and notes part of that is having go-to foods on hand, such as capers, buckwheat, cranberries, leafy green vegetables, bone broth and walnuts.
Full Story: MindBodyGreen (11/30)
School Meals Corporate Report Card
How are the major food companies doing in meeting the nutrition standards for sodium and whole grains? How would they do in meeting an added sugars standard or having all products be free of artificial sweeteners and dyes? Download CSPI's groundbreaking 2021 report.
Winter Foods for Kids
When the temperatures drop and the daylight hours are shorter, energy levels can take a big dip, right along with mood. Kids might be less active in the cold, winter months, making it extra important to focus on getting the right nutrition this time of year. Changes in mood, energy, focus, appetite and sleep aren’t uncommon but could be signs of a more serious underlying condition. If you’re concerned about your child’s emotional and mental health, have a conversation with your child and their pediatrician. Healthful food choices can also help support your child’s mental health. Consider including the following foods to help your kids stay healthy — and happy — this winter.
Amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine and glutamine that are the building blocks of protein in salmon and other protein sources produce the neurotransmitters that contribute to mood regulation. Emerging evidence links fish consumption with lower risk of depression. Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown in some studies to help manage depression. What’s more, we need more research to confirm mental health benefits, but we already know that fish is an excellent heart-healthy source of protein. Some kids will eat salmon broiled or grilled — try using a marinade or sauce they love on other foods — or cut the fish into small pieces and make kebabs with veggies.
Clementines are an adorable winter citrus, packed with vitamin C, which helps keep immune systems strong. They also provide dietary fiber. Kids love that they're usually seedless, easy to peel and fun to eat, making them perfect for school lunchboxes or snacks. You also can toss the sections into salads to make greens more appealing.
Butternut squash is rich in vitamin A and carotenoids, which have been shown to benefit heart health and immunity while promoting healthy skin. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, which helps keep blood sugar levels stable. Most winter squash varieties are naturally sweet, and what kid doesn't like sweet? Try roasting butternut or acorn squash and tossing with cinnamon and maple syrup. Spaghetti squash is another popular winter squash. Try combining it with your kid's favorite pasta sauce.
Another great source of dietary fiber, sweet potatoes also are packed with vitamin A and potassium. Their mellow, sweet taste works in all kinds of recipes. Slice into thin "coins" and toss with canola or olive oil before roasting. Sweet potato puree also can be used in foods including macaroni and cheese, oatmeal and brownies. Try swapping in baked sweet potatoes as an alternative to French fries. Have your kids help with peeling so they're involved in the cooking.
This member of the cruciferous veggie family has been noted for its high phytochemical content and potential to help prevent cancer and inflammation. Cauliflower is delicious on its own but easily blends with other flavors. It's rich in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin K for a healthy immune system and healthy bones. But that's not all. Cauliflower also is a good source of folate, a B vitamin important for growth and development, while the dietary fiber promotes stable energy levels and good digestion. Cauliflower is delicious roasted, but if your kid is averse to eating veggies, try making cauliflower "rice" in a food processor and adding it to stir-fries.
Collins, Karen & Ellis, Esther (April 13, 2021). Winter Foods for Kids. Winter Foods for Kids (eatright.org)
CNP EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT
Mrs. Kimberly Riley, CNP Supervisor at Montview Elementary
Mrs. Kimberly Riley has been with the Huntsville City Schools Child Nutrition Program (CNP) for almost 28 years. She is originally from Huntsville, Alabama, and has been married to Eddie for 20 years. She has two children named Scott and Tracy. Kim also has four grandchildren named Allie age 10, Andrew age 9, Kamille age 8, and Konnor who is 10 months old.
Kim describes herself as a caregiver and some would say that she is like a Mother Hen. Before working in Child nutrition, Kim was employed in the manufacturing industry. She expresses that what she likes most about her job is the kids and it allowed her to be home with her children and now her four grandchildren especially when school is not in session. When she is not working, Kim likes to attend music concerts. Kim says that she is motivated to do her job by the smiles of the children that she feeds, and she also loves giving them good food.
The highlight of Kim’s career was working her way up from being a dishwasher to Child Nutrition Program Supervisor. She has two pets that are cats, and their names are Lula and Lancelot. Kim tells us that her favorite food is Mexican cuisine. She also explains that she is a very good cook, and she loves all types of music genres. Kim professes that a lot of people may not know that she loves parades as she records the 9/11 Tribute every year. She informs us that she still enjoys working in the Child Nutrition Program as it gives her an opportunity to see the students grow up that she serves. Kim says that if she were not working in Child Nutrition then she does not know what she would be doing. She explains that she has been in the role so long that she does not see herself doing anything else. Her hobbies include watching Hallmark Christmas moves during the year.
Kim feels that the Child Nutrition program is important because some children do not have food at home and the meals that she serves to them may the only food that they receive during the day. Also, it is important that the CNP staff give the children the best meal possible. In addition, she says that the students depend on the CNP staff to support them in many ways such as tying their shoes, giving hugs, wiping away tears, and listening to their stories. Kim’s’ favorite sport is college football where she roots for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. Kim notifies us that participating in CNP means not just feeding children for a paycheck but enjoying working in the Child Nutrition Program. One day Kim hopes to travel to New York and visit Central Park and the Work Trade Center Memorial. In the next fives years, Kim expresses that she will be retired. Kim defines success as ensuring that all the children that she feeds are full and that she has made a child smile and give them hugs when they need them. Kim confesses that at times she may need a hug more than they do.
School Site Support Staff Person's of The Year 2021
EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH
Deanna McRae 12/5
Kitty Holt 12/18
Vertricia Burgess 12/19
Janet Sharp 12/19
Glenda Stone 12/24
Kimberly James 12/25
Belinda Phillips 12/31
Glenda Stone 24 years
Gloria Fuller 8 years