SNA Press Releases

Preparing Professionals for All Aspects of the School Nutrition Industry

(110) Permanent link

Contact: Erik Peterson
(703) 739-3900, ext. 124

Preparing Professionals for All Aspects of the School Nutrition Industry

August 26, 2005 - What qualifies as a reimbursable school lunch under the federal nutrition guidelines? What foods and beverages are prohibited under federal law from being included in a school breakfast? With new child nutrition legislation recently passed in Congress and a number of school food trends ranging from healthier snacks to food allergy policies, those serving the school foodservice market need the latest information.

From November 15-16, 2005, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) will host its third School Nutrition Industry Boot Camp: What You Need to Know to Serve The School Foodservice and Nutrition Market. This intimate seminar will be held at the Holiday Inn Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia and will cover:

  • Recent child nutrition legislation and regulations specific to the school foodservice market
  • Current school meal nutrition guidelines and regulations
  • The latest school nutrition market trends and research

SNA’s team of staff experts will lead marketing and sales representatives and other school nutrition industry professionals in an interactive educational seminar designed to help participants better understand the ins and outs of the rapidly changing school nutrition market. Through past seminars and conferences SNA has brought together school nutrition professionals and food and beverage manufacturers with the shared goal of offering the healthiest school meals to children.

For examples, industry members now offer a variety of whole grain, reduced fat and zero trans fat products for the school foodservice market. The Boot Camp promises to continue that spirit of communication and collaboration.

For registration information, visit the Meeting and Events section of

The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children’s health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.


Summer’s Over: Time for a Healthy School Lunch

(110) Permanent link

Summer’s Over: Time for a Healthy School Lunch

Reprinted with permission, from August 14, 2005, Florida TodayALEXANDRIA, Va., August 30, 2005 - At least one thing has changed in the nation’s schools over the summer: school lunch. As children return for the new school year they can look forward to some of the healthiest school meals ever offered for lunch.

The School Nutrition Association’s 2005 Trend Survey of school nutrition directors conducted last month found that efforts to offer healthy meal choices have accelerated. Over 67% say their districts have made “significant” efforts in the past two years to offer healthy choices as part of National School Lunch Program meals.

Over half of all school districts also made “significant” efforts to offer healthy choices in school breakfasts and for a la carte sales. The most significant efforts in all categories are being made in the nations largest school districts.

The survey confirms other research that shows school lunches include more fruits and vegetables and more of the nutrients students need, than sack lunches brought from home. Other findings from the survey were:

  • Nutritional information of school lunch meals is displayed or made available to students/staff in almost 63% of school districts.
  • Limiting the hours of operation and/or the availability of vending machines remains the most popular nutrition policy in place in school districts, with 65% of respondents having such a policy in place.
  • With regard to other nutrition policies enacted, responses are highly similar to the pattern seen in 2004, with just under half of respondents saying their districts have increased the availability of healthier beverages in vending machines. The availability of fresh fruits/vegetables on a la carte lines and/or in vending machines has also increased. About 40% of districts have limited the fat content of a la carte and/or vending items, and 37.3% are offering vegetarian options.
  • While far less popular, the percentage saying they have removed carbonated beverages from vending machines has increased, up to 18.1% from 11.3%. This varies by region with 41.7% of the districts in the West having removed carbonated beverages from vending machines versus only 6.3% of the districts in the Midwest. This comes ahead of the recently announced policy that recommends further limits to carbonated beverages in elementary, middle and high schools.

School nutrition directors provided specific examples of the healthy lunch changes being made in time for the new school year. Among the most popular responses were:

  • Implementing wellness plans that will, in turn, spark a significant number of healthy changes;
  • Offering greater choices for fruit, vegetables, whole grain foods and other nutritious offerings;
  • Revamping menus and implementing cuts in areas such as fat, sugar and calories,
  • Reducing portion sizes, and the amount of processed foods to bolster nutritional standards;
  • Eliminating or cutting back on the availability of certain foods (such as French fries and chips) from a la carte lines;
  • Implementing a “marketing push” for greater consumption of healthier fare as well as lifestyle issues (i.e., exercise, nutrition education, etc.);
  • Eliminating items such as sodas and foods of limited nutritional value from vending machines;

School nutrition directors also report that more children are eating healthy school lunches and breakfasts. A majority of the 2005 respondents report an increase in Average Daily Participation rates for breakfast and lunch. A near majority (45.6%) report an increase in free/reduced price meal participation.

Districts continued to report financial pressure resulting in the need to increase school meal prices, although incidences of funding cutbacks have begun to decrease over the past two years. The effort to provide more healthy food options in school meals has added to the financial pressure of districts.

Bookmark and Share