Online training

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Production Records

This training provides users with an overview to help them understand what a production record is and why it is used. It also provides: list of minimum production record requirements, instructions on how to complete a production record, production record best practices, and overview of common production record errors.

Training is best viewed on the Google Chrome browser.

School Food Operational Models

School Food Operational Models walks you through the complicated web of school food operations and how each operational model affects the food on the lunch tray. We’ll look at food preparation models, operational models, production models, and service models in school food. We will focus on Chef Ann Cooper’s recommended combination of models for providing the highest quality scratch-cooked food in a sustainable and financially viable way. Next, we’ll dive into some of the facilities and equipment needed in the recommended model.

Marketing and Lunchroom Education

Increasing your average daily participation (ADP) is key to sustaining a higher quality school food program. Marketing is essential for increasing your ADP, especially when transitioning to a scratch-cook model. In Marketing and Lunchroom Education, we’ll discuss the importance of having a brand for your school food program, and we’ll look at various tools for promoting your program brand to students, parents and the community.

Salad Bars in Schools

In Salad Bars in Schools, we’re going to look at one of the most exciting trends in school food – the salad bar. Salad bars are a great way to get kids eating more fresh produce, but having a successful salad bar program requires a plan. We’ll go in-depth into the planning and assessment needed for salad bar implementation, as well as the complex operational issues of recipe development, production records, and procurement that are the cornerstone of successful salad bars in schools.

School Food Procurement

With over 30 million school lunches served every day, school food is big business. In School Food Procurement, we’ll discuss why procurement is so important in school food, and how to align your procurement practices with the mission and vision of your school meal program. We’ll look at how to use your menus to project procurement needs and how to write an effective Request for Proposal (RFP) to find the right vendor for your school food program.

Recipe and Menu Development

Recipes and menus are the heartbeat of a scratch-cook school food operation. In Recipes and Menu Development, we’ll discuss why recipes are important for a sustainable scratch-cook model, what makes a good recipe for school food, and what it might look like to transition some of your most popular menu items to scratch-cooked incrementally over a 3-year period. We’ll look at how to put your school food recipes into a 6-week menu cycle, using a real school food menu cycle as an example that illustrates the culinary and operational decisions behind the menu mix.

School Food Finance

Managing the financial resources in school food programs is a complex process, and it can be even more complicated in a scratch-cook operation. Fiscal accountability is essential for school food programs to be successful in transitioning to scratch-cooking. In School Food Finance, we’ll discuss the revenues and expenses involved in operating a school meal program, some of the fundamental tools required to track your financials throughout the year, and how to develop an annual and multi-year budget for your program.

Mission, Vision and Strategic Planning

Mission, Vision, and Strategic Planning guides participants through the process of planning for systemic, sustainable change in their school meal programs. In this course, you will learn the essentials of strategic planning – from baseline program assessment to defining your program’s mission, vision, values and goals, and developing a multi-year strategic plan to meet your goals for change. We will discuss how to use your Local School Wellness Policy as a tool to create change and garner stakeholder support during transition.

School Food 101

School Food 101 provides the overview and context of the operational demands of school food and the urgency of school food change. Participants will gain foundational knowledge about school food history, regulations, policy, and funding that will support informed advocacy for healthier food in schools. We’ll explore the ins and outs of school meal program operations, from procurement and finance to lunchroom education and human resources, including the primary challenges that school food programs face today.

Marketing School Meals

Course provides training on developing and implementing a marketing program. Examples of successful marketing campaigns presented, as well as resources from various State agencies and FNS that are available to help develop marketing plans, are provided.


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