School Nutrition Professionals to Taste Test Foods, Preview Equipment & Assess New Resources



Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner  


School Nutrition Professionals to Taste Test Foods, Preview Equipment & Assess New Resources  


School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference to feature largest exhibit of healthy trends for school food service

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - Today, school nutrition professionals from across the country will sample healthy foods and beverages and preview equipment and service options to help schools continue to improve meal programs and address challenges stemming from recent federal nutrition standards.

More than 5,500 school nutrition professionals have gathered in Salt Lake City for School Nutrition Association's (SNA) 69th Annual National Conference (ANC), featuring the largest exhibit floor in school nutrition. More than 125,000 square feet of exhibits from 385 companies, non-profits and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will showcase a range of healthy, tasty, kid-friendly menu items, energy-efficient equipment and services and resources to support menu planning and nutrition education initiatives.

ANC attendees are seeking affordable and appealing foods and recipes that meet new federal regulations, which require student lunch and breakfast trays to include more whole grains, fruits and vegetables and less calories, fat and sodium. Exhibitors will offer samples of new products and recipes, and nutrition education resources to help schools overcome student resistance to changing menus. Five interactive Culinary Demonstrations will highlight creative, nutritious recipes with student appeal. 

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

  • Kid-Friendly Fruit and Veggie Trends: Exhibitors will offer recipes and serving ideas to entice students to eat more produce. Attendees will find hummus, vegetable dips, fruit smoothies and parfaits, as well as single-serve produce options for school vending machines and a la carte lines.
  • Reduced-Sodium Dishes: Attendees will sample lower sodium soups, sauces and entrees, and pick up tips, recipes and seasonings to help them gradually reduce the sodium content in school menus.
  • Seafood Selections: Exhibitors are sampling a variety of seafood selections from Tuna Tailgating Sliders to Sweet Potato Crusted Whole Grain Fish Filets.
  • Whole Grain Rich Foods: New rules mandate that all grains offered in the cafeteria must be whole grain rich. Attendees will find recipes for incorporating whole grains, such as brown rice and barley, into school menus and sample new varieties of whole grain rich tortillas, biscuits and other specialty items.
  • Allergen Alternatives: Exhibitors will offer tools for managing students’ food allergies and serve samples of allergy-free alternatives including sunflower seed and soy butter spreads, lactose-free and soy milks, gluten-free entrees and snacks.
  • Nutrition education resources and technology: Exhibitors will offer everything from Farm to School resources and nutrition education activities to smart phone menu apps that engage students and parents with nutritional facts.
  • Energy-efficient equipment,products and services that help increase access to healthy school meals: Attendees will find carts, kiosks, milk coolers and point of service sale systems that allow schools to reach students outside of the cafeteria with breakfast in the classroom and healthy grab-and-go meals and snacks.
    Attendees will peruse the popular Produce Pavilion, Dairy Way, USDA Lane and, new this year, the Gluten Free Aisle. The Partner Pavilion will allow attendees to gather resources from allied organizations. In the Wellness Village, attendees will gather health tips and undergo screenings from the American Heart Association.

About the School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 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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