It’s a new year—and that means life is full of possibilities right now. Or so it would seem. But New Year’s energy doesn’t always last much beyond January (maybe February if you’re lucky!), and then the stress of life tends to turn you a little bit cynical. But that’s one of the reasons imagination is such a powerful tool, and it’s one that’s going to help you accomplish all the goals you have for 2023 and beyond.

It’s thanks to imagination that you’re able to solve problems, implement new ideas and be innovative about the way your program is working. You rely on imagination when you create better menu options, encourage participation, overcome labor or supply shortages or observe special occasions in a way that’s memorable and fun for your entire school community.

So, we’re excited to be centering our first issue of the new year on the topic of imagination. We explore why it’s important, offer tips and tricks, and even take an up-close-and-personal look at some exciting success stories.

Don’t think you’re very imaginative? Think again! Our coverage this month offers insight that shows how all of us can be imaginative if we have the right approach.

Check out the full coverage in articles like…

Just Imagine…

If you’ve ever told yourself you’re just not that creative, then it’s time to change your perspective. Imagination is something that naturally exists in everyone, even if you don’t know how (or think you don’t know how) to make it work when you need it. It’s a matter of learning how you can take the creativity that inherently exists in you and put it into action in ways that will help you solve problems, accomplish your goals and find greater success in 2023.

Let Your Imagination Take Flight!

When it feels as if good ideas are eluding you, you can’t sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. Instead, there are practical steps you can take to help yourself not only brainstorm plenty of ideas but also pinpoint which ones are valid—and which ones might need a little more elaboration. Learn an actionable plan for clarifying your problem, ideating potential solutions and developing, and ultimately implementing, your solution.

Imagi-FAME-tion in Action

The annual FAME Awards recognize school nutrition leaders who think outside the box when it comes to solving problems and better serving their students. Hear from this year’s four honorees, each of whom has a story to tell about overcoming problems in the workplace, plus their advice for others who are trying to get more creative.

Perfect Pitch

If only everyone could be receptive to your ideas. But unfortunately, there will always be the cynics and naysayers who find fault with every creative solution you develop. But what if these people could be overcome and won over if you figured out the right way to pitch your ideas? Learn the components of a perfect pitch so you can start hearing “yes” from even the most hardened of colleagues.

From “What if?” to “WOW!”

Shannon Ebron originally set out to write a children’s book, but she ultimately found her creativity was leading her in a different direction, and she pivoted to self-publish Check-in & Color: A Coloring Book & Gratitude Journal for School Nutrition Professionals. The response was greater than she ever could have expected, showing her just how much some of her fellow school nutrition professionals needed the creative outlet.

Food Focus: The Thrill of the Grill

What menu item better exemplifies creativity than that of a sandwich—after all, there are so. many. ways. of making a sandwich! We’re walking you through the many options you have to create the perfect combination, from the type of bread to the variety of fillings and even the extras you top it with. You’ll see that there’s a type of artistry to sandwiches, and you’re only limited by your imagination.

Read the January/February 2023 issue of School Nutrition today!

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