School Nutrition Professionals to Sample Foods and Preview Equipment, Resources



Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner  


School Nutrition Professionals to Sample Foods and Preview Equipment, Resources  


SNA’s Annual National Conference features largest exhibit of healthy trends for school cafeterias

SAN ANTONIO, TX – On Monday, July 11, School Nutrition Association (SNA) opens a three-day exhibit of healthy school foods, beverages and cafeteria service trends to help attendees improve meal programs for students. More than 6,500 school nutrition professionals are gathering in San Antonio for School Nutrition Association's (SNA) 70th Annual National Conference (ANC). The unique event features the largest exhibit floor in school nutrition, with 200,000 square feet of exhibits from 412 companies, non-profits and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Attendees will preview a range of nutritious, student-friendly menu items, energy-efficient equipment and resources to support menu planning and operations. School nutrition professionals gather at ANC to seek affordable and appealing menu options that meet federal regulations, which require more whole grains, fruits and vegetables and less calories, fat and sodium. Attendees will sample new recipes and assess nutrition education resources to help make these healthier menus more enticing to students. Five interactive Culinary Demonstrations will highlight creative, nutritious recipes.

Attendees will find a number of exciting trends on display, including:

  • Ethnic Menus: For schools seeking to appeal to increasingly diverse student tastes, exhibitors will offer a multitude of ethnic choices, from Thai Style Chili Sauces to Verde Pork Tacos.
  • Produce Options: Every school meal includes fruit and vegetable sides. Exhibitors will offer recipes and serving ideas to boost student consumption and incorporate more produce into entrees. Attendees will sample everything from mushroom burgers and veggie stir fry to healthy dips, smoothies and parfaits.
  • Cleaner Label Choices: Mirroring retail trends, school cafeterias are working to reduce preservatives and additives in menu items. Attendees will taste test everything from antibiotic-free whole muscle chicken to sauces and seasonings made without MSG, artificial colors or flavors.
  • Menu and Payment Technologies: Attendees will preview apps allowing students and parents to monitor account balances, make payments and conveniently view menu options, including allergen and nutritional profiles, on mobile devices.
  • Reduced-Sodium Dishes: Attendees will sample lower sodium soups, sauces and entrees, and gather ideas, recipes and seasonings to gradually reduce the sodium content in school menus.
  • Allergen Alternatives: With food allergies and special dietary requests on the rise, exhibitors will offer a variety of allergen-free alternatives including gluten-free and nut-free foods, lactose-free and soy milks. Attendees will also preview equipment and resources to prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen.
  • Energy-efficient equipment, products and services to expand access to healthy school meals: Attendees will find carts, kiosks, coolers and point of service sale systems that allow students to access meals outside of the cafeteria through breakfast in the classroom and healthy grab-and-go meals and snacks.

Attendees will peruse the popular Produce Pavilion, Dairy Way, USDA Lane and Alternative Bites Aisle, offering options to serve students with special dietary needs. The Partner Pavilion will allow attendees to gather resources from allied organizations. In the Wellness Village, attendees will gather health and insurance information and participate in CPR demonstration sessions.

About the School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 56,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. For more information about ANC, visit


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