Get Ready to Learn with New SFI Courses

3 new courses explore important trends in school food

  • January 16, 2019
  • By: Caroline Mende
  • Comments

Environmental sustainability. Sustainable food systems. Plant-based eating. You’ve probably heard these key concepts in the news and popular media. These trends are not only prominent in the mainstream food world, but are also important topics for school food service departments.

To help schools push the needle on healthy and sustainable food, Chef Ann Foundation is thrilled to present our three most interesting and relevant courses yet. Taken individually or as a complementary set, Sustainable Lunchrooms, Plant Forward, and Ingredients for Healthier Kids provide schools with the knowledge, skills, and resources to start serving plant-forward, planet-friendly, and highly nutritious foods.

Schools around the country are getting on board by serving local produce, creating farm-to-school programs, offering plant-forward and vegan meals, and even growing food in their own gardens. (You can read more about how some schools are changing the way they feed their students in a report by Friends of the Earth, Scaling Up Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food: Strategies for Success.)

Check out our new courses and join the movement:

Sustainable Lunchrooms

Environmental sustainability involves acknowledging the important connection between educational development and sustainable learning environments. Food service departments have many options for increasing sustainability and reducing environmental impact in schools. In this course, Chef Ann presents changes that can be made in procurement and front and back of house operations, and how to use marketing to get your whole school community invested in making these important changes. Topics include: food waste management, local procurement, ingredients with low environmental impact, and how to identify the best equipment to meet your needs and reduce energy use.

Plant Forward

According to the Food Revolution Network, plant-based eating isn’t just a trend but a habit that’s here to stay. Many schools have started offering plant-based and vegan options to meet the increased desire for these healthy meals and to expose kids to new ways of eating. Rather than an all-or-nothing approach, Chef Ann suggests reducing consumption of animal proteins. Choosing beans/legumes, tofu, or nuts/seeds several times a week can have major health benefits. In addition to addressing the health benefits of plant-based meals, the Plant Forward course reveals some of the environmental and financial benefits of cutting back on meats and dairy.

Ingredients for Healthier Kids

We all want kids to eat as healthy as possible. That’s why you’re reading this and supporting school food reform! But how do we know what we should feed students – and ourselves for that matter? And how can schools choose the best ingredients while staying within their limited budgets? For this course, we partnered with Dr. Julia Nordgren, M.D. As a trained chef and Pediatric Lipid and Obesity Specialist, Dr. Nordgren works with kids and their families to help them choose healthy foods for their growing bodies. She brings this expertise to the Ingredients for Healthier Kids course to discuss how different ingredients affect our bodies and brains. Dr. Nordgren also makes the connection between good nutrition and academic success. To complement Dr. Nordgren’s nutritional insight, Chef Ann teaches students how to implement better nutrition in their kitchens and schools.

To learn more about these courses and other offerings, head over to the School Food Institute’s Course Catalog. We hope to see you in the courses!

Explore more posts tagged with: childhood obesity, nutrition education, school food reform
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