THE HCS CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM
NEWSLETTER APRIL 2022
We hope that all of you had a wonderful and joyous Easter.
Next month, we celebrate those who work so diligently and persistent to ensure that our young people are supplied with a nutritious meal every school day. Those individuals are the Child Nutrition Program food service professionals who are true School Lunch Heroes! We will celebrate them on Friday, May 6, 2022, at every school site. The job that they do while school is in and out of session is so important and we are fortunate to have them as part of in our Huntsville City School district community. So, hats off to these individuals who do what they do and do it so well. A very special thank you to all of our CNP staff for providing nourishment to our children!
Inspirational Quote of the Month
“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
Friday May 6, 2022 is School Lunch Hero Day!
Between preparing healthy meals for America’s students, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, school nutrition professionals are true heroes.
On Friday, May 6, 2022, we will celebrate the 10th Annual School Lunch Hero Day! School Lunch Hero Day is a chance to showcase the difference school nutrition professionals make for every child who comes through the cafeteria.
School Lunch Hero Day provides you with the perfect opportunity to recognize the hardworking professionals in your school cafeterias.
SNA has partnered with author Jarrett J. Krosoczka, of the “Lunch Lady” book series, to remind everyone—directors, managers, parents, students, and school staff—that school nutrition employees are superheroes that deserve some recognition.
School Lunch Hero Day 2021
DID YOU KNOW?
Diets, like clothes, are not one-size-fits-all, so scientists with the new Artificial Intelligence, Modeling, and Informatics, for Nutrition Guidance and Systems Center are developing computer technology and artificial intelligence to guide nutrition recommendations based on different people's unique circumstances and biological characteristics. AI that disregards social determinants of health or oversimplifies complex relationships will produce flawed recommendations, and the researchers will apply the principles and practices of systems science to avoid such pitfalls, writes Bruce Y. Lee, co-principal investigator at the AIMINGS Center.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration)
With federal waivers for school meals now in flux, school nutrition professionals report the timing could not be worse because of high inflation and supply chain challenges that are driving up the cost of menu items and other materials. "Losing the waivers would be a double hit financially," said Diane Pratt-Heavner, director of media relations of the School Nutrition Association. "Not only would they lose that higher reimbursement rate, but they would see their meal participation decline, because the meals are no longer free for all students."
Full Story: TIME (tiered subscription model)
Registered dietitian nutritionists say avocados are good sources of fiber, protein, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and B6 and can make a good topping for toast. RDN Lisa Statner says avocados contain healthful fats but still should be eaten with portion sizes in mind.
Full Story: Parade
Expiration of federal school meal waivers would affect summer foodservice in Indiana school districts. These modifications include requiring students to eat meals at the feeding site, rather than being able to take meals to go, and Christine Clarahan, director of food and nutrition services for the School City of Hammond, says she plans to offer such things as games and other activities.
Full Story: The Times of Northwest Indiana (Munster)
14 Fun and Healthy April Fool’s Food Ideas
By Natalie Monson
Published on March 15, 2016
Prank your kids with these fun, healthy recipes where food is disguised to look silly and different!
Every year my kids anxiously await the April Fools’ Day food fun in our house. My kids giggle with glee over what they may find when they come to the table!
They love to have surprises throughout the day-like having ostrich eggs for breakfast, a brown E with their school lunch (or maybe a wooden cookie), and a meatloaf “cupcake” with apple “French fries” for dessert. Try some of these silly ideas with your own kids!
Fun and Healthy April Fool’s Foods for Kids
- Ostrich eggs. My kids ask for these every April Fools’ Day. They look like oversized sunny side up fried eggs with a huge yolk, but in reality they are made of vanilla (or plain) yogurt and a half of a peach. Spoon some yogurt onto the plate to serve as the egg white, then top it with a half of a peach (fresh or canned in its own juices) to serve as the yolk. Chia seeds add a fun ‘peppery’ touch! The first year that I did this, the kids truly thought that I was serving ostrich eggs.
- Real Peach Donuts. These “donuts” look like donuts and taste delicious, but they’re really peaches. This works with apples, too!
- Funny Cupcakes. The kids love when I make meatloaf cupcakes. Just prepare your meatloaf in a muffin tin, top the meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato icing and decorate with pea sprinkles or other fun garnishes.
- Fake Fruit Punch. This one is another of our favorites! Prepare some natural jello, pour it into drinking cups and insert a straw into each cup. Refrigerate until firm, then serve this undrinkable drink with snack for a fun surprise.
- Mini “Pumpkin Pies.” This cheese and cracker combo is another great one for snack time. You can just use the cheese and Triscuits and still get great results, though the dollop of cream cheese whipped cream is a great touch.
- Worm in my Apple? Make a tiny hole in an apple and use a fruit leather to make a worm appear to be coming out of the apple.
- Grapes in Candy Wrappers. This one requires a bit of effort- but it’s totally worth it when they tear open that wrapper! Luckily, grapes are still pretty darn tasty.
- Phony French Fries. Apple French fries have always been a hit at our house! Peel an apple, then slice into fry shapes (a crinkle cutter makes the illusion top notch!) Toss with a bit of cinnamon and serve with a few teaspoons of jam to look like ketchup.
- Banana Hot Dog. Start with a whole wheat hot dog bun, add your favorite nut butter, top with a banana, then drizzle with honey or jelly instead of mustard.
- Carroty Cheese Dip. These cheese carrots certainly look like carrots, but they are really cheese. Serve them with your favorite whole wheat crackers. And if you prefer individual portions, make tiny carrots or baby carrots.
- Micro meal. Serve a tiny meal for dinner and present your best serious face. It will be tough not to laugh though. Once the kids’ laughter has died down, you can serve your real dinner.
- Meatballs for Snack? These delicious Peanut Butter Fudge Protein Energy Balls look like meatballs
- For “dessert,” send brown-E’s. Cut out E’s from brown paper and add them to the lunch box for a fun April Fools’ day joke.
- Send pretend food for dessert. Do you have any wooden play cookies? Or a slice of plastic cake or a scoop of plastic ice cream? Send it to stand in for dessert.
- Draw eyeballs on everything that can be drawn on. Use a sharpie to draw eyes onto a banana or orange peel, onto the sandwich bag or fruit cup, and on your child’s drink.
- Take a bite. Cut a bite out of your child’s lunch and leave a note with it saying, “I hope you don’t mind that I took a bite.”
CNP EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT
Mrs. Tamika Smith, Child Nutrition Program Area Supervisor
Tamika Smith has been working for Huntsville City Schools in the Child Nutrition Program for over 16 years. She is originally from Huntsville, Alabama and She is married to Rodderick Smith. Tamika has two children named Brandon who is 24 years old and Tyler who is 22 years old. She also has one granddaughter named Summer and she is one and half years old. Tamika describes herself as a fun-loving person who is giving and caring. She is willing to help anyone who is in need. She has resided in other places bedside Huntsville, and they include Madison, Alabama, and El Paso Texas on the Fort Bliss military base.
Before working in Child Nutrition, Tamika was employed at Comfort Inn in the Hotel industry. Tamika explains that what she likes the most about her job is building bonds with the children in school and seeing the smiles on their faces as they come through, the serving lines. Tamika says that when she is not working, she is spending time with her family. She also states that she is motivated in her role by her ability to cook and feed the students hot and healthy meals. Tamika feels that the highlight of her career was when she was promoted to be a Child Nutrition Area Supervisor. She has one pet, and she is a dog named Bella who is seven years old. Her favorite food is anything that contains pasta.
Tamika expresses that she is adept at cooking meals and hosting gatherings with her family. Tamika’s favorite music is Gospel and old school songs. Tamika states that it is not widely known that she is the second of nine siblings in her family. She also has another grandchild that is due to be born on Christmas Day. Tamika shares that the hugs and smiles on the children's faces are what keeps her working in Child Nutrition along with being able to serve them hot healthy meals that they just might not get at home.
Tamika says that if she were not working in the Child Nutrition Program, she would be working in the retail industry. Her favorite hobbies include shopping, reading, and spending time with her sisters. She believes that Child Nutrition is important because countless children do not have the luxury of having hot meals at home daily. Being able to serve them healthy nutritious meals is also important because you cannot instruct a child on an empty stomach.
Tamika’s favorite sport is college football where she roots for the University of Alabama. Tamika declares that participation in Child Nutrition means teamwork and getting the job done on time to feed our children. One day Tamika hopes to travel to Dubai the City in the United Arab Emirates. She implies that in the next five years that she will still be working in the Child Nutrition Program department. Tamika defines success as always doing the right thing, treating others with respect, and being the best, you can be at whatever you are doing.
EMPLOYEES OF THE MONTH
Samantha Crutcher 4/2
Sharmelia Pinet 4/7
Emily Battle 4/12
Debbie Casteel 4/18
Latonya Williams 4/22
Gloria Fuller 4/29