Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of February 19, 2018

department of education

Nutrition Program Updates for the Week of February 19, 2018

All Program Updates

The Minnesota Department of Education will be closed on Monday, February 19, in honor of Presidents Day.

Child and Adult Care Food Program Updates

Registration is Open for CACFP Basic Training 2018

This live, in-person workshop provides basic information on the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The target audience is new directors, program coordinators, or center staff with CACFP responsibilities at child care centers and adult care centers participating in CACFP. Each workshop will be held 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and will cover the same content. For more details and to register to attend a session at one of the locations listed below, visit the CACFP Training page and click on Child and Adult Care Food Program New Training Opportunities.

  • Thursday, March 15: South Central Service Cooperative – North Mankato
  • Wednesday, April 18: Lakes Country Service Cooperative – Fergus Falls
  • Wednesday, May 23: Blandin Foundation – Grand Rapids

    Farm to Early Care Panel at the Schoolyard Gardens Conference

    Join us for a panel discussion on March 2 to hear about successful Farm to Early Care and Education programs across Minnesota. Your CACFP peers Catherine Brattensborg-Brown of Playhouse Child Care Center, Jackie Benoit-Petrich of Civic League Day Nursery, and Angela Prokop of Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties (Head Start) will share how they got started, the barriers they faced, strategies they used to overcome those barriers, and their unique approach to gardening, nutrition education, and incorporating locally sourced foods into their menus. They will also share their favorite resources, tools, and lessons learned. For more information about the conference and how to register, visit the Schoolyard Gardens Conference 2018 webpage.

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    School Nutrition Program Updates

    USDA Food Safety Flashes

    A Flash of Food Safety is an educational video series designed to help busy school nutrition professionals understand and practically apply safe food practices. The videos, available in English and Spanish, address five food safety topics:

    • Handwashing: Why to Wash Your Hands
    • Handwashing: How to Wash Your Hands
    • Calibrating a Thermometer: Ice Water Method
    • Calibrating a Thermometer: Boiling Water Method
    • Active Cooling with a Chill Stick.

    Each “flash” video is two to four minutes long – perfect for onsite training!Employees can earn 15 minutes (1/4 hour) of continuing education for Professional Standards when they watch all five videos in the series.

    School Nutrition Program Back to School Training

    On August 14 and 15, multiple two-hour training sessions will be offered via webinar. Topics will include: 

    • Approving Applications for Educational Benefits
    • Direct Certification for Free Meal Benefits
    • CLiCS/Claims and Getting Ready for Verification
    • Meal Components and Patterns
    • Menu Documentation (Food Production Records and Labels)
    • Offer vs. Serve

    Since the training will be provided via webinar, you can connect, project, and train your staff at your own location. Additional locations will be available at Minnesota Educational Centers of Excellence in Greater Minnesota. Details will be available soon.

    Fresh, Flavorful, and Fun: Culinary Training for School Nutrition Professionals

    The first series of this free culinary training will be offered on April 10, 2018, and May 15, 2018, in Little Falls from 2 to 5 p.m. (Registration for the second series, happening in the metro area this summer, will be open in the coming months.) The trainings will focus on basic culinary techniques, knife skills, tips for increasing vegetable subgroups, flavoring foods with less sodium, and tips for using local produce. Please register only if you are able to attend both dates. A maximum of two staff per district will be allowed to attend. There are 20 spots available, which will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. The training is designed for directors, managers, or lead cooks who will be able to take the information back to teach other staff in their district.
    Registration — Culinary Training Series in Little Falls

    Tuesdays @ 2 Webinars

    A variety of topics will be offered during this year’s Tuesdays@2 webinar series. All webinars begin at 2 p.m. and will be 30-60 minutes in length, unless otherwise noted. Registration and session information will be posted on the Training: School Nutrition Programs webpage

    Upcoming Webinars   

    February 20 – Dialogue with Deb
    Join Deb Lukkonen, Supervisor for School Nutrition Programs, for an update on school nutrition in Minnesota.
    Registration – Dialogue with Deb  

    February 27 – How Much Should that Meal Cost?
    Join us for a discussion on determining meal prices in school nutrition programs. This session will review the requirements for pricing of adult meals, breakfast, program adults and lunch.
    Registration – How Much Should that Meal Cost?  

    March 6 – Completing the Paid Lunch Equity Tool
    The Paid Lunch Equity (PLE) provision of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires school food authorities (SFAs) to ensure that sufficient funds are paid to the school service account to cover the costs of paid student lunches. This session will provide an overview of PLE and walk participants through completing a PLE spreadsheet.
    Registration – Completing the Paid Lunch Equity Tool

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    Opportunities from Our Partners

    Early Childhood Care and Education: Health Equity in Action – The Blue Cross Foundation

    The Blue Cross Foundation announces a new funding opportunity that aims to make a healthy difference in communities by advancing health equity in early childhood care and education. 

    The foundation is interested in partnering with 501(c)(3) nonprofits and Tribal governments to implement new or existing efforts that increase access to quality of early childhood care and education for children 0-5 years old.

    Applicants can apply for one or two year grants, up to $100,000 per year. A total of up to $1M is available over two years. 

    Applications are due April 10, 2018, at 4 p.m. (Central Time). To learn more, visit the Blue Cross Foundation website. Contact senior program officer Allison Corrado with questions at 651-662-4613 or


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