We're on Instagram and Facebook!

We're on Instagram and Facebook!

Are you looking for another way to connect with Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors? We are now on Instagram and Facebook! You can view what's going on with us, where we are sharing information and learn more about our services. Or you can post questions, comments and ideas for virtual interactions. We would love to have you join us for upcoming activities, including a chance to join a sounding board discussion!

For more information on Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors or to bring a ProTeam expert to your state, contact Kymm Mutch at (414) 331-4412 or Kymm@proteamdvisors.com. Visit our website at www.proteamadvisors.com. We’d love to see you soon!

Texas Association of School Nutrition Annual Conference was a blast!

Texas Association of School Nutrition Annual Conference was a blast!

We had a great couple days in Houston at TASN. We met so many great school nutrition professionals! Were you able to join us at our sessions or visit our booth?

Kymm shares insight with the audience at "Measurable Differences" session while Glenn looks on. The session was presented jointly with First Choice Restaurant Supply.

Kymm shares insight with the audience at "Measurable Differences" session while Glenn looks on. The session was presented jointly with First Choice Restaurant Supply.

 

Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors shared simple ways to season and spice up your menu with our “Measurable Differences” sessions. Chef Glenn Noffsinger gave quick and simple recipes – many with 5 ingredients or less!

Glenn answers questions post-presentation.

Glenn answers questions post-presentation.

We enjoyed meeting so many passionate nutrition staff in Houston.

It was fantastic to meet people at our other session, "Putting It All Together - Building Partnerships for Funding and Support" and hear how you are working with partners. So many of you are embracing the challenges of limited funding and limited staff as you continue to do great things for your district. One specific insight that seemed resonate with attendees was finding non-traditional partners or ways to work with community members to promote and grow your program. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the PowerPoint from the "Putting It All Together" presentation, please contact us or send an email request to jillcd@proteamadvisors.com to have the slides sent your way.

Pro•Team is planning to be at the school nutrition shows in Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts and the National ANC show in July!

Or consider having us present at your state association meeting. For more information on Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors or to bring a ProTeam expert to your state, contact Kymm Mutch at (414) 331-4412 or Kymm@proteamdvisors.com. Visit our website at www.proteamadvisors.com. We’d love to see you soon!

Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors is at TASN!!

Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors is at TASN!!

Are you attending the 2017 Texas Association of School Nutrition Meeting (TASN)? We are excited to be making the trip to Houston! We'd love to see you June 19 - 21!

It's a jam-packed schedule, and Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors will be exhibiting and presenting two different sessions, twice. One session, "Measurable Differences: Equipment Options for Simple Scratch Cooking” is in partnership with 1st Choice Restaurant Equipment and Supply from San Antonio. This session features our consulting Chef Glenn Noffsinger and VP Kymm S. Mutch, MS, RDN. School Nutrition Professionals that attend this session will learn simple recipes using basic equipment you may already have or could easily purchase. Let us show you how to create a few of your favorite recipes with a few simple steps, and in turn save your staff valuable time, save your district money, and reduce food and labor cost. This can make “Measurable Differences” in your districts through a better knowledge and understanding of how to train your staff in the kitchen. Take note of the two different session times on Monday, June 19, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, Room 361A-F and repeating at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Room 361A-F.

https://www.1stchoiceres.com/

Measurable Differences

Monday, June 19 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, Room 361 A-F and Monday June 19 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Room 361 A-F. 

Then, join us for our "Building Partnerships for Funding and Support" session. This session will be bright and early on Monday June 19, from 8:00 - 9:00 AM in Room 361 A-F and repeating on Tuesday June 20, from 1:30 - 2:30 PM in Room 360 A-F.  As a Nutrition Education Consultant with Pro•Team I am looking forward to presenting these sessions and sharing ideas for partnerships for success in School Nutrition Programs. In the spirit of the 2017 TASN theme, this session will help current and future school nutrition leaders learn how to seek and form partnerships and explore different options of partners, from in their own district and local businesses to state agencies and federal entities. Furthermore, how partnerships can help “put it all together” to seek funding and support of local programs will be discussed.

fruit on fork.jpg

Building Partnerships

Monday June 19, from 8:00 - 9:00 AM in Room 361 A-F and repeating on Tuesday June 20, from 1:30 - 2:30 PM in Room 360 A-F.

Mark your calendars and plan to attend these informative sessions. And don’t forget to visit Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors in the Exhibit Hall! We'd love to meet with you, and chat on how we can help you and your program. Click here to learn more and to register for the 2017 TASN Annual Conference!  If you aren't from Texas and won't be at TASN - consider having us present at your state association meeting. For more information on Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors or to bring a ProTeam expert to your state, contact Kymm Mutch at (414) 331-4412 or Kymm@proteamdvisors.com. Visit our website at www.proteamadvisors.com.

Are You a Wellness Champion?

Are You a Wellness Champion?

The deadline is looming… are you ready? The “deadline” in question is the date for Local School Wellness Policy Compliance – June 30, 2017. All Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that participate in the USDA reimbursable meal programs must fully comply with the requirements of the final Local School Wellness Policy (LWP) rule by June 30, 2017.

Is your district ready? Many district wellness committees have worked on their local wellness policies to meet the final rule, but there still may be some confusion on what is required. Is it crunch time or is your district already compliant? Let’s take a quick quiz to test your knowledge and see if you are a wellness champion! Once you've taken the quiz, come back to the blog to learn more about the LWP final rule.

wellness wordle.jpg

So what is this final rule, and what is required? The final rule required LEAs to begin developing a revised local school wellness policy during School Year 2016-2017. Now that the school year is done – or almost done - LEAs must fully comply with the requirements of the final rule by June 30, 2017.

The requirements include:

  • Increased involvement in the policy process by allowing parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers (physical education and health in particular), school health professionals, the school board, school administrators, and the general public to participate in the development, implementation, review, and update of the local wellness policy.

This may seem like a lot of people, but permitting this participation will lead to more buy-in and transparency in your policy process.

  • Accountability for the policy by identifying by district position title(s) who will take leadership and responsibility to ensure each school complies with the policy. The leadership must have the authority to enforce the policy.

Who at your district has the responsibility and ability to enforce the policy? You may want to specify leadership at district and school levels, too, although that is not required.

  • Informing and updating the public (including parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of the local wellness policy.

This is vital for your policy success. Keeping everyone in the loop with what the policy says can also be a boon for your nutrition services. Focus on the positives (rather than the “not allowed” items). Consider how your department can help parents, teachers and staff meet the nutritional requirements. Share the information on your webpage and other communications.

  • Ensuring the wellness policy includes all of the required components. See list below.

LWP required components

§ Specific goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness. LEAs are required to review and consider evidence-based strategies in determining these goals.

§ Nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages available or for sale on the school campus during the school day that are consistent with Federal regulations for School meal nutrition standards and Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.

§ Policies for other foods and beverages available on the school campus during the school day (e.g., in classroom parties, classroom snacks brought by parents, or other foods given as incentives).

§ Policies for food and beverage marketing that allow marketing and advertising of only those foods and beverages that meet the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.

§ Description of public involvement, public updates, policy leadership, and evaluation plans.

 

These required components are really the meat of your policy. Advice here is to address each component individually, and use S.M.A.R.T. goals. In addition, evaluation of the policy refers to an internal assessment at least once every three years. The District must assess the extent to which its schools are in compliance with the district policy, the extent to which the local wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies, and the progress made in attaining the goals of the local wellness policy. LEAs must make this assessment available to the public, such as in public record meeting minutes and/or on the district website.

Finally, keep in mind that local control is still part of school wellness policies. Districts can choose to be stricter than the federal standards and address other whole child initiatives. For more information there are online resources. USDA has an online wellness policy toolkit to help you become a wellness champion. Check it out to learn more. The Team Nutrition webpage has many resources that pertain to local wellness policies.

If you’d like more information, a “wellness policy check up” or additional guidance, Pro•Team’s foodservice experts are here to help. For more information, contact Kymm Mutch at (414) 331-4412 or Kymm@proteamdvisors.com. Visit our website at www.proteamadvisors.com.

3 R's for Food Waste: Reduce, Recover, Recycle

3 R's for Food Waste: Reduce, Recover, Recycle

Each one of us believes we waste less than other households yet in each household, 20% of the food purchased never gets eaten. Individually, we throw out 300 pounds of perfectly good food every year, making wasted food the largest contributor to landfills and producing harmful amounts of methane gas – gas which is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Did you know that upwards of 40% of the food in the U.S. is wasted? Estimates are food costs can be reduced by 2-6% by implementing changes in foodservice establishments such as schools.

--excerpts from Reduce Food Waste presentation by Jean Ronnei, SNS

Food wasted at home, at restaurants and at schools had been fodder for many recent news articles and discussions. The reasons for the waste are multi-factorial, but the result is the same. Wasted food = wasted nutrition and wasted money. As school nutrition leaders, we can help reduce food waste in our facilities with these three R’s:

Reduce: Reducing waste begins with smart menu planning and purchasing, and then continues with proper storage and preparation techniques.

Recover: There are numerous options for recovering what would be wasted food. Their effectiveness varies depending on location and regulatory barriers.

Recycle: Composting and live-stock feed is a hot topic in preventing food waste prevention.

Source: USDA https://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cnd/Infographic-food-waste.pdf

Source: USDA https://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cnd/Infographic-food-waste.pdf

Reduce

First, we can help reduce the amount of food wasted by encouraging consumption. No, this is not the “clean plate club” revisited. Rather, try incorporating techniques such as Smarter Lunchrooms to “nudge” students to eat more fruits and vegetables. These ideas are also part of the U.S. food waste challenge ideas; other ideas for elementary schools include:

Secondly, there are some best practices to help with menu planning, purchasing, storage and food preparation to reduce food waste.

  • Review production records for the right menu mix. Consider replacing or reworking less popular menu items to balance menu choices. Check out how  Pro•Team’s services can help you!
  • Revamp your ordering and delivery schedules to optimize staff and storage. Use the USDA Food Buying Guide for ordering assistance.
  • Use and monitor cycle menus for better meal forecasting.
  • Work with staff on proper food storage, preparation and holding techniques. Take a look at training opportunities offered through NSFMI.
  • Know your options - determine if precut produce or scratch cooking can cut down on waste, and if ingredient by-products can be incorporated into other planned recipes.

Food Recovery

What about food that students take but don’t eat? USDA encourages both sharing tables and food donations. Unopened packaged items can be placed on a "share table" that allows students to leave on the table what they don’t want or they can take an item to eat if they are still hungry. Leftovers from the cafeteria that have not been served to children and other excess food can be donated to charitable organizations such as food banks, pantries, or other food recovery organizations. For additional guidance, this USDA summer meals toolkit memo and your local health department can help you get started.

waste not gar.png

Use separate waste bins for recycle, food donations, compost and trash

Recycling Food

What about half-eaten items or foods past their prime? Many of these foods can be easily composted and used in school gardens (edible and decorative) or donated to local farms for animal feeding or other food scrap projects.

Final Tips

  • Use separate waste bins for recycle, food donations, compost and trash.
  • Sign up for the U.S. Food Waste Challenge to share your story on how you are reducing, recovering, or recycling food waste in your schools.
  • If you are going to Atlanta for the School Nutrition Association 2017 ANC, plan to learn more at this session: Food Waste: The Latest Movement on Monday July 10 3:30-4:30 pm. Join SNA Past President Jean Ronnei, SNS, to learn about the latest movement to stem food waste. Take home the practical ideas and links to educational videos, and hear about innovations from schools and restaurants to help you reduce, reuse and recycle!
  • Log in and listen in to the School Nutrition Association archived webinar on Food Waste featuring Pro•Team’s Jean Ronnei, SNS. (Free for SNA members.)

Making an effort to reduce food waste can save your operation money, increase meal consumption in the lunchroom, and help minimize your school's impact on the environment. Implementing just a handful of these solutions can go a long way towards reducing food waste in your schools and getting students excited about the positive impact their making on the environment.  

If you are looking for advice to help your food service program, Pro•Team’s foodservice experts are here to help. For more information, contact Kymm Mutch at (414) 331-4412 or Kymm@proteamdvisors.com. Visit our website at www.proteamadvisors.com.

Cafeteria Makeover

Cafeteria Makeover

 

Are you a fan of the reality home remodeling shows? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a School Cafeteria “Fixer Upper” show? Do you wish you could “love it or list it" with your school cafeteria?

You work hard to serve fresh, tasty meals. You look for ways to add excitement to your meal programs. Are you ready for something new? A cafeteria makeover may do wonders for your meal programs.  The Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors Fresh Eyes Experience can give your program ideas and a fresh new perspective for your cafeteria and service line. Sometimes, a new perspective can help identify quick and easy ways to jazz up the eating experience in your school – and may boost meal program participation as well.

The TV remodeling shows’ successes depend on getting the right décor and environment for the home owner. This is also true for school nutrition directors. Brainstorm ideas with students, staff and the principal. This will insure that students and staff will have buy-in and will be excited to see the results -- which may lead to better meal participation. School cafeterias provide space for educational programs, social events and meetings. Involving stakeholders from these areas in remodeling plans may provide some additional insight (and possibly funding) for renovations.

Lighting can highlight healthy choices.

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/county-schools/

Just like on the home remodeling shows, there are many budget-conscious options to consider. Instead of a full-scale remodel, you may just need to refresh your space. Would a new coat of paint, refinished floors and updated pictures or posters brighten up your space? Check out service area and cafeteria ceiling tiles and vents, too. Contact your building and grounds/maintenance department to discuss district painting and flooring schedules, duct cleaning and ceiling tile replacements. Partner with the district art department (or even an artist in residence program) to paint a colorful mural. Add a pop of color with decorative trim, borders and accent walls in school colors. Take a good look at the lighting over your service line and in the eating areas. Can you go beyond the institutional florescent lighting and warm up the space with new LED lighting or even new fixture covers?

Rearranging the furniture for functionality is a key change on the love it or list programs; use this technique in your space as well. Revisit the customer flow. Not just tray pick up or service, but also condiment stations and tray return. Moving trash receptacle, adding organizations bins and repositioning free-standing equipment are all low cost considerations. Seating options are another renovation area that can really make a difference. If you have moveable seating booths and tables, consider grouping seatings for functionality and accommodating student social needs.

Moving service items and adding color helps promote your meals.

Finally, responsible house remodeling includes financial planning and meeting regulations and rules. Equipment replacement planning, new signage and menu boards provide for long term improvements and may be accomplished through planning and possible equipment grants. The Fresh Eyes assessment will pay attention to these areas and provide additional advice and suggestions for success. If you are looking for advice to help your food service program, Pro•Team’s foodservice experts are here to help. For more information, contact Kymm Mutch at (414) 331-4412 or Kymm@proteamdvisors.com. Visit our website at www.proteamadvisors.com.

Have you heard about the Fresh Eyes Experience?

Have you heard about the Fresh Eyes Experience?

Close your eyes for a minute and imagine walking into your children’s school cafeteria or your workplace cafeteria. What picture forms in your mind? How inviting is the space? Now consider sharing this “picture” with someone that hasn’t been to your cafeteria… What messages are shared with this picture?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The "picture" your cafeteria presents says a lot about your food service and commitment to healthy children. Is your cafeteria “saying” the right things to help create the right first impression?

If you want a better picture, Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors offers fresh eyes on site evaluations to help you see your services in a new light. Hilltop Elementary School in Inver Grove Heights, MN, took advantage of the Fresh Eyes Experience, and ended up with a fresh new perspective. Cathi Krick, Inver Grove Community Schools district director of food services, brought in Jean Ronnei to take a look, and help the district see what the customers see.

Ronnei observed meal services, talked with students and staff, and looked at all aspects of the meal program and services provided. This is one of the before pictures:

Initial picture of the service area.

Initial picture of the service area.

First impression – very generic, white and sterile looking. More importantly, this picture really doesn’t invite you to eat here. The food may be really good –but this picture doesn’t tell you anything about the food here. What would be more exciting for elementary kids and support healthy eating? Ronnei also dug into the menu, policies and procedures so she would have a deeper understanding of the business end of the operations. Ronnei compiled her assessment, and discussed with district administration the importance cafeteria set up and environment. All aspects were looked at, and Hilltop’s updated cafeteria is a byproduct of that process, District Superintendent Bernhardson noted in a recent news article.

It is important to note that the school staff wanted the school’s cafeteria to reflect the healthy food being served there, and this made it a priority to focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. This opinion resonated with administration and staff, and the superintendent said it best: “how you have your cafeteria set up, and how inviting it is and how fresh and exciting it is, plays a role with kids and their desire to make choices that maybe typically they wouldn’t.” 

Ronnei worked with district staff during the entire experience, and was able to provide advice on implementation ideas. Being open to the assessment of a stranger (who happens to be an expert in the field) can be intimidating, but Cathi Krick’s willingness to get a fresh look at her program led to some great results (which we will share in the next blog).  So, let’s take a look at the after picture – and it really does have a lot to say!

After Fresh Eyes advice.

After Fresh Eyes advice.

Children enjoy the bright new service area.

Children enjoy the bright new service area.

If you are looking for advice to help your food service program, Pro•Team’s foodservice experts are here to help. For more information, contact Kymm Mutch at (414) 331-4412 or Kymm@proteamdvisors.com. Visit our website at www.proteamadvisors.com.

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Food Service Management Solutions (FSMS) is still as quality-minded as ever with its new brand name: Pro•Team Foodservice Advisors.

Why the rebranding? “We wanted a more approachable, progressive brand that reflects the true nature of our team-building partnership with our clients, says Paul Mackesey, FSCI, Principal and Senior Consultant. “The new name and logo help people realize just how much practical experience our individual advisors have, and what a great asset they can be. We are absolutely committed to helping internal foodservice programs stay strong and competitive in a difficult, cost-cutting environment.”

The new branding reflects the depth, experience and leadership of Pro•Team’s foodservice experts, offering comprehensive operational consulting services across multiple markets. Thus the “pro” aspect of the name indicates the team’s real-world working experience. The updated logo still includes the iconic apple, a nod to the company’s academic foodservice roots.

A new name is also significant for new markets – corporations, healthcare, corrections, central production and warehouse environments, and new services – fresh eyes reviews and professional standards level trainings. Pro•Team works with clients in a comprehensive relationship, advising and helping build ongoing organizational capacity.

“It’s great to have an experienced peer you can turn to during difficult times, but there is really so much more we can do for clients across so many program areas,” says Kymm Mutch, MS, RDN, CD, Pro•Team Vice President of Products & Services. “In our rebranding process, we realized our core passions were a progressive food vision coupled with impeccable stewardship of program resources. That’s where our street-smart, day-to-day operational experience really comes alive.”

For more information, contact Kymm Mutch at (414) 331-4412 or Kymm@proteamadvisors.com. Visit our website at www.proteamadvisors.com.