Nation’s Largest School Nutrition Conference to Offer School Meal Strategies and Solutions



Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner  


Nation’s Largest School Nutrition Conference to Offer School Meal Strategies and Solutions  


SNA’s Annual National Conference in Las Vegas, July 9-12
Follow us @schoollunch and #ANC18

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – More than 7,000 school nutrition professionals will gather in Las Vegas, NV for School Nutrition Association's (SNA) 72nd Annual National Conference (ANC), July 9-12. ANC features the nation’s largest exhibit hall in school nutrition and more than 120 education sessions sharing best practices for serving students healthy, delicious school meals. Attendees will taste-test foods and beverages meeting federal school nutrition standards and preview equipment, technology and resources for school cafeterias. 

Media wishing to attend ANC must contact Diane Pratt-Heavner at to register for the conference. Media guests must meet the published Press Registration Policies (pdf).

School nutrition professionals from across the country come to ANC seeking creative menu-planning solutions to spice up school meals to appeal to students’ varied taste preferences. ANC also provides attendees with strategies to: enhance staff culinary skills to incorporate more scratch-prepared offerings; utilize social media and digital tools to market healthy school meals to students and families; improve procurement practices to reduce costs and increase local sourcing; and expand breakfast, afterschool and summer meal options to better serve at-risk students.

In the Exhibit Hall, attendees seek on-trend, appealing menu options that meet nutrition standards while fitting within tight meal program budgets. Flavorful, low-sodium entrees, soft-textured whole grain foods, and creative vegetable sides will be presented in kid-friendly varieties. Attendees will preview interactive menu software and nutrition education resources and assess cutting edge equipment, including microwave steamer ovens and induction cooktops that allow school chefs to prepare made-to-order entrees for students. 

Highlights include:

  • SNA’s Chefs Task Force will host Culinary Skills Labs to help attendees hone their skills, including demonstrations on fruit and vegetable preparation, thermometer calibration, knife skills and weights and measures.
  • Education sessions on topics including food safety, farm to school, strategies to minimize waste, financial management, and utilizing food trucks and mobile feeding programs to reach more students with healthy meals.
  • The largest Exhibit Hall in the school nutrition industry with more than 200,000 square feet of exhibits from about 375 companies, partner organizations and US Department of Agriculture divisions.
  • Culinary Demonstrations featuring innovative school recipes such as Ranchero Pork Burrito Bowls and Teriyaki Meatballs with Bok Choy Fried Rice.
  • General Session speakers include: Gayle King, journalist and television personality; Chef Jeff Henderson, author, inspirational speaker and television host; and Brandon Lipps, USDA’s Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service and Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.
  • About the School Nutrition Association: 
    The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 57,000 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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