U of I Extension Food Safety Training for School Lunch Program

U of I Extension Food Safety Training for School Lunch Program
Jennifer McCaffrey, Family and Consumer Sciences - University of Illinois Extension


The Illinois State Board of Education has awarded four and half million dollars to University of Illinois Extension. The money will be used to help with the state’s school lunch program. Todd Gleason has more on how Extension plans to improve health and nutrition for nearly two million school aged kids.

The State Board of Education will use…
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The State Board of Education will use University of Illinois Extension to provide foodservice training and education to about 4000 school lunchrooms. Family & Consumer Sciences educators will create and deliver training on child nutrition standards and the cafeteria environment. The four-and-a-half-milion-dollar, three year effort starts in January with a monthly webinar series. A web training portal will follow in March. Schools interested in training can also contact Extension for onsite customized sessions and technical assistance says University of Illinois’ Jennifer McCaffrey.

McCaffrey : …to assist the food service staff.
Quote Summary - Because our staff are spread out across the state we can work with schools in their local area. So, we will be able to provide training onsite as well as provide technical assistance to the food service staff.
McCaffrey is Assistant Dean for Family and Consumer Sciences and says research shows kids make healthier choices when food is prepared and presented in an appealing way.

Mc Caffrey :34 …consequently eat it.
Quote Summary - All of us, including children in a school cafeteria setting, often start eating with our eyes. What looks good, what looks appealing, is what we want to put on our plate and that is where it all starts. If fruits and vegetables are shiny and out front and center catching our eye, students are more likely to eat them. This is what we want. When the food looks good and more appealing they are more likely to put it on their plate and then to consequently eat it.
This is really important because about half of the one-point-nine million Illinois kids that eat school lunches are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, and USDA research shows kids that eat lunch from the school tend to consume more nutritious foods than those that do not. U of I Extension over the next three years will help Illinois schools build even better more nutritious menus and to put those items right out front for healthier kids.