Workshop Recaps

Posted on September 3, 2015

A brief recap of what our staff has been up to!

Manchester Level 1 Farm to School Course

FEED's Ethan Bodin is in the midst of the 6-class Level 1 Course in Manchester in conjunction with Northshire Grows. 18 educators, administrators, and food service providers from 10 area school started off the course by discussing broadly about FTS in Vermont and were introduced to a number of other FTS organizations. Hunger Free Vermont presented on food insecurity and ways to make FTS connections through the meal programs. Throughout the course, participants will be working on developing either FTS action plans for their school or FTS curriculum pieces to bring into the classroom.

Child Nutrition Program Institute

As partners in VT FEED, NOFA-VT staff Abbie Nelson and Amy Gifford were once again part of the Child Nutrition Program Summer Institute in August in St. Johnsbury, VT. This week-long professional development program is held annually and caters to school nutrition professionals, principals, business managers, administrative assistants who work on meal application approval, school nurses, school staff who work on wellness policies, farm to school coordinators, teachers, and many more.

They also led 6 workshops:

What Farm to School Coordinators Need to Know about School Meals and were Afraid to Ask

This workshop covered the why and how of nutrition guidelines and proper procurement of local foods for schools. We also addressed specific challenges raised by attendee and outlined specifics of Farm to School programs and how to develop a team to address these.

Harvesting and Preparing Local Foods Safely

This workshop was an experiential workshop where participants learned about farm food safety and visited a farm to see farm safety in action. With the harvested produce from the farm, we discuss safe produce handling practices and prepared delicious grain dishes with the produce and quinoa.

The Ins and Outs of Taste Testing at School

Taste testing is listed by the USDA as one of the top three ways to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. Participants learned additional positive benefits and the “how-to’s” of enticing students (and staff) to try new foods by offering free tastes of new recipes!  

Nourishing Lessons

Helping students develop a positive and lasting relationship with food involves more than just eating well in the cafeteria. It involves creating links to what they are learning in the classroom, developing the ability to think critically about what they are eating, and how food fuels their bodies. This workshop focused on introducing topics, resources, activities, and lessons to help child nutrition professionals serve as nutrition educators in their cafeterias and schools.

Kids in the Kitchen

The kitchen is a wonderful learning environment for children and students of all ages. This workshops explored ways to bring children into school kitchens to learn about new foods, nutrition, culinary skills, and life skills. We emphasized creating a safe environment, food safety, having fun with hands-on learning. 

Teens in the Kitchen

What works with younger kids doesn't always work with older kids. That's why we offered a similar workshop but geared towards teens with Montpelier-based chef crystal Maderia. This workshop focused on tips and techniques that can be used to engage teens in the kitchen environment. Concrete examples were provided to increase familiarity and comfort level of participants in working with this age group to hone skills, develop confidence, and empower.

Do these topics sound interesting to you? Please consider attending the Child Nitration Program's Summer Institute in 2016. We hope to see you there! Sign up for our enewsletter to stay informed!