2018 National School Nutrition Heroes Announced

Each year, the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF)  recognizes deserving school nutrition professionals as national School Nutrition Heroes. Nominated by their peers, these amazing professionals have dedicated their lives to serving the needs of school children and go above and beyond for their communities. These are theFrom Oregon to Massachusetts, the 2018 School Nutrition Heroes hail from all over the United States. Tray Talk will feature each of these deserving five professionals over the next week, showcasing why they were chosen for this prestigious recognition.

The 2018 School Nutrition Heroes are: Paula Angelucci, Child Nutrition Director, Colonial School District, New Castle (DE); Anthony Terrell, Culinary Specialist, Shelby County Schools, Memphis (TN); April Laskey, SNS, Director of School Nutrition, Billerica Public Schools, Billerica (MA); Lynne Shore, Food Service Director, Willamina School District, Willamina (OR) and Patricia Urbanczyk, Kitchen Manager, School City of Hammond, Hammond (IN).

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2018 Brings New Fun to the Cafeteria

The New Year is traditionally a time for setting personal goals or starting healthier habits, and school nutrition professionals are enthusiastic to join the effort.  In January, many schools introduce new school meal recipes or menus, start programs to help more students access school meals or create special events in the cafeteria.  Changing varieties of fruits and vegetables, holding student taste tests, offering more healthy alternatives and allowing students to customize their school meals are all steps school nutrition professionals take to help students improve their lifelong habits. Read more…

Elves Visit School Cafeterias For Some Holiday Mischief

The popular holiday tradition featuring the mischievous pixie elf has made its way into the school cafeteria! Pixie elves, who work for Santa, have been around since the 1950s but the introduction of the infamous “Elf of the Shelf” in 2005, gave them new life. After gaining popularity among families, school food service professionals thought having their very own cafeteria elf would be a fun way to incorporate the children’s’ excitement of the holidays into the school meal experience. Read more…

Happy Turkey Day From School Cafeterias Nationwide

Thanksgiving is a celebration of family, friends and food! The joy of Thanksgiving is shared in school cafeterias across the country, where putting a heathy spin on traditional holiday fare and gathering with visiting family members and school friends welcomes all students. Elementary school students from Clarksville Community Schools (IN) to Cherokee County Schools (GA) to Milford Schools (OH) were all smiles at their Thanksgiving Day lunches, celebrating with their best buddies by their side! Read more…

Veterans Are “Still Serving” At Georgia’s Richmond County Schools

In observance of Veterans Day, Richmond County Nutrition Services in Augusta (GA) partnered with local veterans to honor Cross Creek High School’s cafeteria staff for their commitment to “Serving Students with Excellence.” Three local retired vets volunteered to serve cafeteria staff, as well as students during lunch, a program the district called “Still Serving.” In return, students were also able to honor the hard work, dedication and service that these three veterans have shown over the years.


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Schools Don’t Let Fall Break Sideline Lunch Week Celebrations

Fulton County Schools in Atlanta (GA) didn’t let their Columbus Day holiday break get in the way of celebrating the importance of National School Lunch Week (NSLW). Even though schools were closed October 9-13, Fulton County honored NSLW October 16-20 with a whole week of exciting events and school meals. Roughly 7.9 million healthy  school lunches are prepared for more than 91,000 Fulton County students each year.


“School lunches are healthier than ever, with more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less fat and sodium,” said Alyssia Wright, executive director of the district’s School Nutrition Program. “National School Lunch Week helps us educate parents and students about all the benefits of our lunch program, and the appealing choices we offer.” Read more…

Special Guests Serve Up Meals During National School Lunch Week

This year’s National School Lunch Week (NSLW) theme, “Recipes For Success,” encouraged schools to share tried-and-true healthy recipes students love, as well as introduce new and innovative recipes to school menus. Each day, parents and special guests joined students to eat or help serve lunch – local celebrities such as firefighters, superintendents, teachers, local government officials and coaches helped spread the lunchroom love in cafeterias across the country! Read more…

‘Recipes for Success’ Celebrated During National School Lunch Week

For 55 years, schools have celebrated National School Lunch Week (NSLW) by offering exciting menu ideas to promote the National School Lunch Program, the largest federal child nutrition program in the US.NSLW2017-Artwork-Wrap

This year’s NSLW will take place October 9 – 13 and brings together students, teachers, foodservice professionals and school staff from all across the country.  The theme, “Recipes For Success,” encourages schools to share tried-and-true healthy recipes students love, as well as introduce new and innovative recipes!

There are a variety of ways school nutrition professionals are promoting healthier choices and working to mirror restaurant trends to boost school meal participation. Weeks of preparation go into planning celebrations, with many schools incorporating customized, made-to-order options and international flavors on menus.

On Tray Talk, we’re holding contests for parents and the community to celebrate National School Lunch Week! Everyone who signs up to Follow TrayTalk.org between October 7-15 is eligible to win a grand prize worth $200, including a pressure cooker and cookbook, gift card for groceries and a NSLW Recipes for Success prize pack! Plus, check out our weeklong promotional contests on Tray Talk Facebook for chances to win $50 gift cards!

NSLW2017-Artwork-RecipesforSuccessBLUESchools also host a variety of contests during NSLW.  Students can participate in poster designs, which will then be used to decorate the cafeteria; recipe contests, where the winner’s recipe will be included on the regular school menu; parents and guests will join students to eat or serve lunch, including local celebrities, firefighters and other community members.

NSLW is a time to celebrate all of the exciting things happening in school food such increase in made-to-order or self-serve entrée bars, like chicken wing bars, burrito bars, flatbread bars, sandwich bars, pizza bars, rice bowl bars, etc. NSLW2017-Artwork-SaladWhen students can choose the ingredients to make their own meal, experts say that they often incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies that they will actually consume. Increased scratch preparation has become popular in school cafeterias – from soups to stir-fry and dumplings to lasagna, recipes feature fresh and healthy variety for students.