Summit on School Nutrition Standards Held at CNIC
January 15, 2008 -- Over 100 school nutrition professionals representing school districts, state school nutrition associations, the food and foodservice equipment industry and state agencies gathered on Saturday, January 12, 2008, one day before the SNA Child Nutrition Industry Conference (CNIC) for a National Nutrition Standards Summit. Participants listened to presentations on the Institute of Medicine voluntary nutrition standards, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation voluntary standards and the proposed SNA standards. Following the presentations, smaller discussion groups evaluated four key issues: sugar levels for dairy, sodium levels for snacks, the definition of whole grains, and preemption of state and local standards. The SNA Nutrition Standards Task Force will now review feedback from the Summit as well as comments submitted over the last two months. The Task Force will then present revised, proposed national nutrition standards.
Following the Summit, CNIC kicked off. Over 370 attendees heard presentations on wellness policy implementation, trends and research in school nutrition, USDA commodity news and more. Some of the sessions included:
- What's New in School Nutrition: the latest findings from research in school nutrition including local school wellness policies and the impact of the 2004 Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
- USDA Update on Child Nutrition Programs: the Healthier US Schools Challenge, implementation of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and recently released child nutrition studies.
- Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) Evaluation: What’s working and which models are school districts adopting for policy evaluation.
- USDA Commodities 2008: getting the maximum benefits from the commodity program including USDA purchasing decisions and the many variables that impact those plans.
- National Nutrition Standards-A Progress Report: recap of the strides that have been made, as well as outlining the steps that lie ahead.
- The 2008 Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Awards: Recognized seven school nutrition professionals who have set the bar in the child nutrition arena.
USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Nancy Montanez Johner addressed the group Monday morning, January 14, thanking members for the work they do to promote healthy eating among children and discussed both the Farm Bill process as well as early plans to solicit input for Child Nutrition Reauthorization in 2009. The conference concludes today.