K12Foodies Episode 18: Making Nutrition Education Fun with Deanna Gilbert

 

Our guest is Deanna Gilbert, the Director of Child Nutrition Services at Hope Public School District (AR). As a recipient of the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant, Deanna has been able to introduce her district’s students to fruits and vegetables they might have never tried before in a way that’s very unique and entertaining. Even if you aren’t participating in the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant, you’ll enjoy hearing what Deanna has done to earn the nickname “The Fruit Lady” and she even shares her advice on how you can implement some of these strategies in your district!

Deanna mentions in this episode that Food Play Productions has visited her district and the students loved it! For more information, visit their website.

K12Foodies is presented by Meals Plus, Superior Cafeteria Technology. Meals Plus is a complete front to back, Windows-based, web-enabled cafeteria technology system backed by the very best training and customer support in the business. Voted among District Administration’s Top 100 Products of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and HDI CSAT Elite 50 of 2015 and 2016 for top customer service. Click here for more information: www.mealsplus.com

K12Foodies Episode 17: Challenges and Successes in Child Nutrition with Frank Fields

 

Our guest is Frank Fields, the Director of School Nutrition at Gaston County Schools (NC). We caught up with Frank shortly after he was a session panelist at the NC Department of Public Instruction Conference for School Nutrition Administrators in October of 2016. In this episode, Frank shares what he considers the biggest challenges facing school nutrition today, as well as some success stories from his district. We hope you find today’s episode helpful and even inspirational to your district’s operations.

K12Foodies is presented by Meals Plus, Superior Cafeteria Technology. Meals Plus is a complete front to back, Windows-based, web-enabled cafeteria technology system backed by the very best training and customer support in the business. Voted among District Administration’s Top 100 Products of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and HDI CSAT Elite 50 of 2015 and 2016 for top customer service. Click here for more information: www.mealsplus.com

K12Foodies Ep 16: Top Issues in School Food Service, Part 1: Customer Service with JoAnne Robinett, MSA, SNS

 

“The Rock Star Lunchlady” JoAnne Robinett joins us to discuss what she considers are the Top Three Issues in School Food Service today. In this first episode in a three-part series, we discuss Customer Service. Subscribe on iTunes and Google Play or Soundcloud to be sure you don’t miss the next two episodes with JoAnne, where we discuss Food Safety and Accountability.

About JoAnne: With over 30 years of experience in child nutrition and is currently the owner of America’s Meal, a school meal consulting and training firm. She has been quoted in USA Today, Parenting Magazine and The Boston Globe. You may have even attended one of JoAnne’s sessions at an SNA event, as she is a frequent speaker at state and national SNA events. For more information, visit her website, America’s Meal.

K12Foodies is presented by Meals Plus, Superior Cafeteria Technology. Meals Plus is a complete front to back, Windows-based, web-enabled cafeteria technology system backed by the very best training and customer support in the business. Voted among District Administration’s Top 100 Products of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and HDI CSAT Elite 50 of 2015 and 2016 for top customer service. Click here for more information: www.mealsplus.com

Meals Plus Solves Your Menu Planning Problems

Elke and Mandy from Nash Rocky Mount

Matt with Mandy Gill and Elke Black of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools (NC) and Graham.

Hello, this is Meals Plus Matt! I’ve been talking to a lot of districts recently who are doing their menu planning and nutrient analysis by hand.  That sounds really complicated and time-consuming, and I know directors and managers are already very busy!  So, I thought I’d share the Meals Plus answer to that problem.  

Is Menu Planning a chore? Is Nutrient Analysis overly complicated? Meals Plus Menu Planning & Nutrient Analysis modules have the answer!

Our menu planning system helps standardize and streamline your district menu planning.

  • USDA-approved for nutrient analyses required in the school meal programs
  • USDA Child Nutrition Database
  • Food-based planning and tracking
  • Ability to build and add custom recipes
  • Accommodation for HACCP guidelines
  • Approved by USDA for use in certification of compliance with lunch meal requirements
  • Post-production and record keeping
  • Fully integrated with Inventory Management component

Email “Meals Plus Matt” to talk about out how easy Menu Planning can be!

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K12Foodies Ep 15: Marketing and Nutrition Education with Jama Stallings, SNS

 

Marketing and Nutrition Education. It’s something you hear about pretty often and the message is pretty much always the same: It’s something you should be doing and often. Create social media accounts and newsletters to promote your program. But once you create a Facebook page or a Twitter page or a newsletter, what are you going to talk about? What content are you going to create to market your program? That’s what today’s guest is going to share with us!

Jama Stallings, SNS is the School Nutrition Director at Franklin County Schools in Louisburg, NC. Her marketing and nutrition content is effective because its creative, mostly in part of how she maximizes the relationships she has with her internal and external partners. And follow her district on Facebook for inspiration on marketing your own school nutrition program!

K12Foodies is presented by Meals Plus, Superior Cafeteria Technology. Meals Plus is a complete front to back, Windows-based, web-enabled cafeteria technology system backed by the very best training and customer support in the business. Voted among District Administration’s Top 100 Products of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and HDI CSAT Elite 50 of 2015 and 2016 for top customer service. Click here for more information: www.mealsplus.com

Do You Know How Much Your Food and Supplies Are Worth Today?

Do you know what each school has on the shelves right now? Meals Plus Inventory has the answer!

  • Easy to use, easy to learn
  • Provides accurate, timely reports
  • Simple function to update bid prices
  • Customizable for each role so that you only get access to the features you need

inventory software for schoolsOrganized, efficient and on top of everything. With Meals Plus, you get a centralized ordering and management system that helps you keep track of commodities, purchased foods, supplies and more – and maximize the efficiency of your inventory operations.

  • Capable of tracking a true perpetual inventory system
  • Includes Bid Analysis component
  • Enables electronic ordering
  • “FIFO” valuation method includes all items for an unlimited number of sites
  • Tracks an unlimited number of user-defined categories (USDA, supplies, processed, etc.)
  • Allows for limited item access by site
  • Fully integrated with menu planning component

Email “Meals Plus Matt” to talk about out how easy Inventory Management can be!

K12Foodies Ep 14: Engaging Students Outside of the Lunchroom with Stefanie Giannini

 

This episode is an amazing illustration of how child nutrition professionals can impact their district’s students outside of the lunchroom. Stefanie Giannini is the Assistant Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Marquardt School District 15 (IL) and she tells us about her district’s Young Chefs Club.

This is an extremely fun and educational club that gets middle school students in the kitchen, learning everything from knife skills to preparing a menu and coordinating a formal taste testing for parents and teachers and here’s the best part – THE KIDS LOVE IT! In fact, this past semester, the club filled up in 15 minutes and alternate options are having to be created for students that were already in the club and want to join again!

Stefanie has some really amazing stuff to share, including the benefits of the program for their students and her own advice on starting your own Young Chefs Club. Click the link above to listen to the complete episode!

K12Foodies is presented by Meals Plus, Superior Cafeteria Technology. Meals Plus is a complete front to back, Windows-based, web-enabled cafeteria technology system backed by the very best training and customer support in the business. Voted among District Administration’s Top 100 Products of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and HDI CSAT Elite 50 of 2015 and 2016 for top customer service. Click here for more information: www.mealsplus.com

Featured Meals Plus Customer Recipe: Mediterranean Pita

Meals Plus enjoys sharing recipes that help keep your lunchlines moving! You can find this recipe and more in our 2016 Meals Plus Customer Cookbook here and Meals Plus Menu Planning Customers can share recipes in the cloud via the Community Cookbook. 

Lexington_child_Nutrition-768x512This recipe comes from last year’s Lexington One Cooks! Competition from Lexington School District One (SC).  This recipe is from Sydney Bell, the Grand Prize Winner & First Place Winner from the Middle School Division. We hope your students enjoy it as much as the students at Lexington One!

Mediterranean Pita

Ingredients:

1 + 1/2 tsp. ‐ hummus
1/4 tsp. ‐ ground black pepper, spices, 6/18 oz.; as purchased
1/4 c.+ 1 tbsp. chopped + 4/5 tsp. chopped ‐ Iceberg lettuce
1 tbsp. ‐ chopped raw onion
1 tsp. ‐ cilantro, fresh herb washed and destemmed
4 oz. ‐ frozen chicken breast, ready to cook, boneless skinless chicken breast; as purchased
1/4 tsp. ‐ ground black pepper, spices, 6/18 oz.; as purchased
1 tbsp. ‐ chopped or sliced tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, Year round average.
1 ‐ large pita, whole‐wheat pita bread

Directions:
CCP: Wash fresh fruits & vegetables under cold running water.
CCP: Wash, rinse, and sanitize all food contact surfaces.
CCP: Wash hands properly before beginning food preparations.
1. Chop onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and lettuce. Set aside.
CCP: Change gloves and wash hands properly before next task
CCP: Cook raw chicken to 165°
2. Season diced chicken with salt and pepper then cook in a skillet over medium heat until chicken is heated through.
3. Cut pita in half and spread hummus inside. Fill each half of the pita with chopped vegetables, chicken and cheese. Finish by squeezing fresh lime juice over top.

Yields: 2
Serving Size: 1 pita
Food Group Components: 1 oz. eq. grain, 2 oz. eq. meat/meat alternative
Recipe Type Entree
Additional Notes: Each serving is 1/2 of filled pita pocket.
Allergens: Soybeans
Nutrients per serving: Calories ‐ 163.961 Chol (mg) ‐ 28.330 Sodium (mg) ‐413.908 Fiber (gm) ‐ 2.997 Iron (mg) ‐ 1.533 Calc (mg) ‐ 21.983 Vit A (IU) ‐ 156.594 Vit C (mg) ‐ 7.317 Protein (gm) ‐ 14.179 Carb (gm) ‐ 19.974 Tot Fat (gm) ‐ 3.531 Sat Fat (gm) ‐ 0.718 Sugars (gm) ‐ 0.167* Trans Fat (gm) ‐ 0.000*

K12Foodies Ep 13: USDA Foods Update with Malissa Marsden, SNS

 

NOW is the best time to be looking at USDA Foods! In this episode, we get a USDA Foods update from Malissa Marsden, a School Nutrition Specialist and consultant to two Agricultural Boards, the American Egg Board and the Mushroom Council. She has been in child nutrition for over 20 years and because, as she puts it “She speaks Child Nutrition and USDA,” she’s the perfect person to give us a USDA update. She’ll share why now is the best time to look at USDA Foods, tell us about some new products coming soon, and how USDA supports food trends in your cafeterias.

You’ll find some of Malissa’s tasty recipes featured in our Meals Plus Customer Cookbook. Visit our White Paper Library to download your copies!

K12Foodies is presented by Meals Plus, Superior Cafeteria Technology. Meals Plus is a complete front to back, Windows-based, web-enabled cafeteria technology system backed by the very best training and customer support in the business. Voted among District Administration’s Top 100 Products of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016 and HDI CSAT Elite 50 of 2015 and 2016 for top customer service. Click here for more information: www.mealsplus.com

The Meals Plus Help Desk’s 2016 Report Card is In!

Meals Plus continues to provide top-notch customer service – and fast!

The Meals Plus Help Desk is excited to report yet another successful year with our 2016 performance statistics, including those provided by Meals Plus customer survey feedback.

The average time to answer a support call in 2016 was only 44 seconds. That’s right – even including July and August numbers, when call volume increases six-fold, Meals Plus customer calls in 2016 were answered in less than a minute on average! And as for time spent on the call, 97.8% of our customers said they were happy with how long it took to get to a resolution.  So, your call is answered in seconds and you quickly get to the resolution you need.

And the results of our random post-support call survey speak for themselves! On a scale of 1-5 with 5 being very satisfied, Meals Plus customers rated their satisfaction on the following:

  • The courtesy of the Technical Account Specialist: 4.93
  • The technical skills/knowledge of the Technical Account Specialist: 4.86
  • The timeliness of the service provided: 4.89
  • The quality of the service provided: 4.88
  • The overall service experience: 4.87

To learn more about our award-winning help desk, visit our “About Us” page!

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