THE HCS CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM
NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2021
The National School Lunch Week 2021 event was a great success. We very much appreciate the efforts of our Child Nutrition Program staff and the participation from our many school site administrators and students. The ideal of promoting wildlife and sustainable practices was very enlightening to our Huntsville City School community.
Fall is now upon us and now people will start to plan for the holidays. Please keep in mind to stay protected as the pandemic is still impacting all of us. As young people get involved in trick or treating activities this Halloween, we want to encourage everyone to utilize safe practices and to have fun. Most of all please enjoy the Fall because Winter will be here before you know it!
- H. Ward
Inspirational Quote of the Month
“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
― Arthur C. Clarke
CNP is NOW HIRING!!
Lead CNP Worker
- To apply for a position with Huntsville City Schools, you must complete an online application with the Alabama State Department of Education. Just Click the Link below to start the process
NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH WEEK 2021
13 Healthy(ish) Halloween Treats You Can Make at Home
Candy reigns supreme on Halloween, and a few sweet treats throughout the day probably won’t do much lasting damage for most people. But if you’re trying to supplement the all-day sugarfest with some much-needed nutrients, you’re in luck. There are lots of ways to get creative with your Halloween treats at home.
Bonus: adults and kids alike will appreciate the variety.
Whether you’re spending October 31st at home or having (socially distanced) outdoor parties with the neighbors, here are 13 healthy-ish treats you can make yourself this Halloween, from sunrise to sundown.
Begin your family’s day with a twist on traditional pancakes. Start by whipping up a batch of your favorite pancake mix. If you want to up the nutrition factor, opt for whole wheat or another alternative to all-purpose white flour.
When you pour the batter onto the griddle, aim for ghostly shapes instead of perfect circles.
Before flipping the flapjacks, add two chocolate chips for eyes and a third for a mouth. Once they’re cooked, give the ghosts a coat of white by sprinkling on powdered sugar before serving.
Pull together another crew of ghosts to serve alongside your spooky pancakes. Peel bananas and cut them in half. Near the pointy tip of each half, press three mini chocolate chips to create an open-mouthed ghost face.
Serve the bananas as-is or with a side of vanilla yogurt or warmed peanut butter for dipping.
Candy Corn Parfaits
For another fruity start to your day, try this easy Halloween dish. You’ll need a short, clear glass for each serving that you plan to make. Stemless wine glasses are an ideal shape, but if you’ve got young kids, choose something a little less breakable.
Layer cubes of fresh pineapple in the bottom third of each glass. Fill the next third with well-drained mandarin oranges from a can. Top the fruit off with a thick layer of whipped cream, and add a piece of candy corn on top as a garnish.
Not a fan of these particular fruits? Get creative with your layering. Try pumpkin, mashed banana, Greek yogurt or other foods in the same color categories.
String cheese is a smart mid-morning snack because it’s low in fat but contains protein to carry you through until lunch.
To turn your innocent sticks of cheese into witches’ brooms, cut them into thirds. Press a small stick pretzel into one end of each section. At the opposite end, separate the cheese into strings to resemble the bristles of a broom.
If you’re craving a juicy midday treat or need an easy snack for the office potluck, try this simple spell to turn citrus fruits into pumpkins. Rinse and peel one or more mandarins or clementines. Cut small sticks of celery, and slide one into the top of each orange as the pumpkin’s stem.
For your kids, consider keeping the peel on instead and drawing a jack-o’-lantern face on each mandarin — spooky or silly, it’s up to you.
Faces make everything more fun, and this simple snack is no exception.
Start with two small whole-wheat tortillas. Sprinkle shredded orange cheddar across one of them. Next, use a sharp knife to cut a jack-o’-lantern face in the other tortilla. Get the kids involved, too, and let them cut their own unique faces into the tortillas.
Place the carved tortilla over the cheese, and cook them on a griddle until the cheese melts. Pressed for time or don’t feel like heating up the griddle? Microwave the whole thing for about 30 seconds (or less, just until the cheese melts). This treat works as a snack or a light lunch.
Nothing goes better with cheesy tortillas than a side of homemade guacamole. And it’s easier than you think to make it yourself.
Being careful not to tear the skins, cut several avocados in half lengthwise around the pit. Remove the pit. Then gently remove the fruit with a spoon, throw the pits away and set the peels off to the side.
Using your favorite recipe or this simple one, mash the avocados into guacamole. Scoop the mixture back into the reserved peels.
Decorate each “bowl” of guac with olives, diced vegetables or small pieces of cheese to resemble a monster face. Serve this snack with orange pepper strips or blue corn tortilla chips for dipping, or even pair it with those queso lanterns you made earlier.
By midafternoon, your family might be ready for a sweet treat, and what’s more delicious than a traditional caramel apple? Instead of dipping whole apples in sticky caramel — messy to make and messy to eat — whip up a batch of healthier caramel dessert hummus instead.
With just a handful of ingredients, you can turn a can of chickpeas into an indulgent dip for apple slices. Find the full recipe for caramel hummus here.
Give yourself a midday pick-me-up with a fruity smoothie packed with personality. For this treat, you’ll need your best smoothie recipes and a package of clear plastic cups.
Use a black permanent marker to doodle a festive face on the side of each cup. With a little creativity, you can match the colors of various smoothie recipes to corresponding Halloween characters.
Draw Frankenstein’s monster or a witch for a green smoothie, pair a lively jack-o’-lantern face with a mango and pineapple mixture, or try your hand at ghost or vampire looks to go with a banana and coconut shake.
Embellish the tops with whipped coconut cream or a little regular whipped cream, or a few festive sprinkles.
For a hearty afternoon snack, a party appetizer or a family dinner, a creepy-crawly Halloween pizza is sure to thrill.
Roll out homemade or store-bought pizza dough, then top it with marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. If you want to up the impressive factor, arrange some of the cheese into a spider web pattern across the top.
Turn this into a frightful dish by arranging an army of spiders on top. For legs, cut pepperoni slices or black olives into strips. Use pepperoni circles or olives halves as the bodies, and arrange eight legs around each. Bake the pizza until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted.
To put a Halloween spin on nearly any dish, pick up a bag of candy eyes. You’ll find plenty of uses for these spooky accents throughout the season.
For example, cut up celery sticks to serve with your Halloween dinner. Fill each with peanut butter, then place a line of candy eyes along the top. You could also use cream cheese to attach the eyes to grapes or mini bell peppers.
Halloween desserts can be both sweet and healthy, and these apple bites are a perfect example of that. Take two apple slices and spread a layer of peanut butter on each one. Add a row of tiny marshmallows on one slice, then sandwich it together with the other slice.
You can use red or green apples. And in place of the marshmallows, you could use yogurt-covered raisins, white chocolate almond candies or any other small white treat that fits in the slices.
Not a fan of apples? Try some ghostly strawberries instead.
To make them, dip plump strawberries in white melting chocolate. Add a face to each one using three miniature chocolate chips. Set the strawberries on a sheet of wax paper until the candy coating dries.
Your family will flip for these delicious fruity treats. They’d also make a crowd-pleasing party app.
If you want to end your Halloween snacking with some good old-fashioned milk and cookies before bed, try your hand at a batch of yummy mummies.
Start with homemade or store-bought sugar or oatmeal cookies. Gingerbread people cutouts would also be cute, but simple round cookies will work just fine.
Ribbon white glaze back and forth across the cookies to simulate mummy wrappings. If you have candy eyes on hand, add a couple to each cookie to complete the look. If not, use mini chocolate chips or a small dot of melted chocolate for eyes.
Who needs piles of chocolate bars when you have all these goodies to fill your Halloween menu? From morning ‘til night, you can delight your family and friends with these delicious and somewhat nutritious seasonal treats.
OCTOBER 25TH, 2020 BY HEALTHNETWORK
DID YOU KNOW?
School nutrition pros tackle supply chain challenges
A survey by the School Nutrition Association found that 97% of school nutrition professionals were worried about facing supply chain challenges this school year, and districts across the US have experienced significant disruptions. In response, the USDA has allocated $1.5 billion to be given to schools dealing with supply chain issues, and SNA President Beth Wallace said the funds are "a huge relief for school nutrition professionals who are working so hard to serve our students healthy meals in the face of unprecedented challenges."Full Story: Good Morning America
Supply chain leads to uncertainty for school meals
School nutrition professionals report inconsistent deliveries -- or cancellations -- for items such as food, utensils and trays. Brenton Lexvold, director of student nutrition services for Red Wing Public Schools in Minnesota, said at a time when meal participation is up, it is critical that students and families see consistency in school foodservice.
Full Story: NBC News
Stronger With School Meals
Stronger with School Meals educational materials are fun and colorful resources to support the reopening of schools in School Year 2021-2022. These materials are designed to be used by teachers and other school staff, parents, and students.
HALLOWEEN AT HUNTSVILLE CITY SCHOOLS 2019
CNP EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT
Mrs. Paula Elkins, CNP Supervisor at Jones Valley Elementary
Mrs. Paula Elkins has been with Huntsville City Schools for over 26 years. She is originally from Huntsville; Alabama and she has been married for 31 years to her husband Jason. She has two children named Joshua and Aaron and one daughter in-law named Ashley. Paula describes herself as a very family-oriented person with high Christian Values and she feels that she is very blessed. She has lived in Huntsville all her life and before she started working in Child Nutrition, she was a restaurant manager.
Paula says that what she likes most about her job are the children and the staff that she works with, When Paula is not working, she is spending time with her family. Paula expresses that she is motivated to perform her job by the friendships that she makes with the students and that they remember her when they grow into adulthood. She also says that the highlight of her career is seeing the children enjoy what they are eating.
Paula’s favorite food is Mexican cuisine and home cooked meals. She feels that she is good at helping her sister care for her Grandson named Parker who calls her Gigi. Paula’s favorite music is Gospel and Country music. Her favorite recording artist is Dolly Parton. Paula states that people may not know that all the children love to sit with her while she is at church because she always brings a purse full of candy.
Paula tells us that the students keep her working in Child Nutrition and if she were not working in Child Nutrition then she would be operating her own Day Care facility. Her hobbies include cooking, sewing, monograming, and shopping. Paula believes that the Child Nutrition Program is important because without it children would not receive a balanced meal. She also mentions that it helps to work as a team to get the job done of feeding children. One day Paula hopes to take her family to either Disney Land or Hawaii. In the next five years Paula hopes to become a grandmother. Paula defines success as seeing the smiles on kids’ faces and knowing that they are being fed and not going hungry.
EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH
Mirtha Petty - CNP Supervisor, Morris Elem./Middle
Ms. Petty has done an wonderful job leading her staff and her school site produces over 1600 student meals per day.
Pam Horton - CNP Worker , Williams Elem./Middle
Ms. Horton has proven that she has a great commitement to the CNP program and it shows through her work ethic.