SUNY Cobleskill, Creating Healthy Places Host Farm Fresh School Lunches Training

March 19, 2012

SUNY Cobleskill and Creating Healthy Places host a Schoharie County Farm Fresh Lunches Training on Friday, March 23. The training focuses on preparing fresh fruits and vegetables in a manner appealing to K-12 school-age students. Approximately 60 participants are registered to attend from the Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Duanesburg, Gilboa, Middleburgh, Schoharie and Schalmont school districts, as well as the Morning Star Learning Center in Schoharie.

 

Schoharie County Farm Fresh Lunches Training is funded by Creating Healthy Places, a five-year New York State Department of Health grant awarded to SUNY Cobleskill to implement a series of initiatives to improve access to fruit fruits and vegetables, and promote active lifestyles in Schoharie County.

 

Workshops will be conducted by Anne Rogan, professor in SUNY Cobleskill’s Department of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism, with SUNY Cobleskill students leading cooking and cutting demonstrations for dishes that can easily be implemented into school menus. All of the dishes will include fresh fruits or vegetables and will be served to the participants for lunch. Recipes meeting United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations while offering fun and interesting food combinations such as tropical slaw, rainbow pasta salad, greek salad wraps, cucumber apple salad, and cauliflower mashed potatoes.

 

The event’s keynote speaker, Ray Denniston of the New York Farm to School Committee, will highlight the importance of using fresh and local foods in school systems, serving healthy meals, improving nutrition and opening opportunities for agriculture, health and nutrition education. Denniston is part of the Farm to School Network, which connects local farms with schools.

 

“We are always aiming to improve our menus, and this training will help our food service staff learn new recipes, preparation skills and techniques for incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables in a delicious and enticing way,” says Josie Ennist, food service director for the Schoharie Central School District.

 

Approximately 12.5 million children ages 2-19 nationwide are considered obese, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. To fight the epidemic in Schoharie County, Creating Healthy Places has teamed with local school districts to provide training on the newly-released Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

of 2010, updating USDA regulations for nutrition standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. As of July 2012, school lunches must provide to each student at least ½ cup of fruit and ¾ cup of vegetables each day. Vegetable quantities are broken into groups, such as red/orange vegetables, beans/peas (legumes), and starchy vegetables.

 

For more information, contact Deya Greer, program coordinator of Creating Healthy Places at SUNY Cobleskill’s Beard Wellness Center, at 518-255-5225 or greerdn@cobleskill.edu.

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