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Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner
ANC Exhibit Hall to Feature Healthy Trends for Student Meals
Attendees to taste-test foods, preview supplies and equipment at national SNA conference
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LAS VEGAS, NV – On July 10, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) will open doors on the nation’s largest exhibit of foods, beverages, equipment and resources for school cafeterias. More than 7,000 school nutrition professionals from across the country have travelled to Las Vegas to participate in School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) 72nd Annual National Conference (ANC). The event features more than 200,000 square feet of exhibits from about 375 companies, non-profits and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), all working to support schools in serving students nutritious, appealing meals and snacks.
For three days, attendees will sample new menu items that meet federal nutrition standards for school breakfast and lunch, afterschool snacks and summer meals. Exhibitors will share recipes and culinary tips for making healthy school meals more appealing to diverse student tastes. Attendees will also preview menu planning and financial management software, technology and equipment to support cafeteria operations and resources to market healthy meals to students and parents.
Among the trends and solutions on exhibit:
- Foods and Equipment for Made-to-Order Meals: Today’s students expect school cafeterias to offer the wide range of choices available in trendy restaurants, so exhibits include induction cooktops for made-to-order stir fry, self-serve equipment and recipes for street taco bars, and flavor stations with a variety of low or no-sodium seasonings and sauces that allow students to customize their meals.
- Clean Label Choices: SNA research shows school nutrition professionals are seeking more menu items with fewer artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Exhibitors will offer clean label options and entrees prepared with fewer ingredients, including reduced-sodium, MSG-free Asian dishes prepared with whole muscle chicken, raised without antibiotics.
- Nutrition Education Tools: Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are required with school meals, and attendees want to make sure those nutritious options are consumed. The Exhibit Hall will offer Farm to School resources, “I Tried It!” stickers, signage, handouts and curriculum to help families and schools raise healthy eaters.
- Options for Special Dietary Requests: Food allergies and special dietary requests are on the rise, so attendees are seeking certified nut-free snacks, gluten-free breads that meet whole grain requirements, vegetarian and vegan entrees – even gelatin free yogurts.
- High Tech Menu Solutions: Gone are the days of pinning the paper menu to the home refrigerator! Exhibitors will offer interactive software and apps to share menus, nutrition facts and allergen information, online payment and account balance monitoring options, digital signage and cloud based program management solutions.
Attendees will peruse the popular Produce Pavilion, Dairy Way, USDA Lane and Alternative Bites Aisle for 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 stress relieving activities.
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 www.schoolnutrition.org/anc.