School nutrition expo examines nutrition policies

07/25/2006 12:00:00 AM
Bryan Scribner

At a school in California’s El Monte School District, new types of fruits and vegetables have helped increase consumption, said Carol Berg Sloan, a registered dietician and consultant from Long Beach, Calif.

She said a fruit salad that emulates the Fruit & Walnut Salad from McDonald’s was popular with children. Having attractive produce, even leaving red and green peels on apples, also helps increase interest, she said.

Tree Top Inc., Selah, Wash., has worked with schools as they develop wellness policies, said Becky Westby, regional sales manager for fresh slice.

She said last year the company worked with the California Department of Education to provide instruction regarding the use and handling of fresh produce.

The SNA’s Peterson said the association also is suggesting that school foodservice employees practice what they preach. If they encourage children to eat more healthfully and be more active, then they should do the same.

The association’s Eat Smart, Get Moving program, a virtual contest, was set to take place from the end of this year’s conference through the Chicago event in 2007. It will challenge school foodservice operators to improve food choices and physical activity, Peterson said.

CONVENTION NOTES

  • The School Nutrition Association expected about 5,100 attendees at the 60th annual convention in Los Angeles. The 2005 show in Baltimore attracted more than 7,200 visitors.
  • There were about 375 exhibitors at the show.
  • Eight fresh produce companies and nine industry associations were exhibitors.
  • About 80 educational breakout sessions were included at the convention.
  • The 2006 convention slogan was “Lights! Camera! School Nutrition.“
  • The 2007 convention is set for Chicago in July.
  • The organization’s Web site is www.schoolnutrition.org.

Source: Erik Peterson, director of public awareness for the SNA.


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