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CNAC Meeting Minutes for February 25, 2013

Child Nutrition Advisory Council

An Advisory Body to the State Board Of Education

Meeting Minutes

February 25, 2013

Members Present

Carol Chase, Nori Grossman, Caroline Danielson, Lucy McProud, Trish Vance, Soo Zee Park, Barbara Rohrer, Clell Hoffman, Colleen You, and Lawrence Herrera

State Board of Education Liaison

Niki Sandoval

Representative for the State Board of Education

Beth Rice

Members Absent

Marni Posey

Also Present—California Department of Education

Sandip Kaur, Deborah Tamannaie, Mike Danzik, Stephanie Papas, Martie Hague, Heather Reed, and Karen Bertram

Call to Order

Larry Herrera, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Approval of Agenda

Lucy McProud moved to approve the agenda for February 25, 2013, and Beth Rice seconded the motion. The Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) voted to approve the February 25, 2013, agenda. 

Approval of Minutes

Barbara Rohrer moved that the minutes of the December 17, 2012, meeting be accepted. Lucy McProud seconded the motion. The CNAC voted to accept the minutes of the December 17, 2012, meeting.

There was no public comment.

Item 1

Lunchtime Management—Update Survey

Sandip Kaur, Director, Nutrition Services Division, shared that the letter regarding lunchtime management was received and signed by Tom Torlakson. She stated that it was handed out at the California School Nutrition Association’s Legislative Action Conference in January.

Martie Hague, Staff Services Analyst, and Deborah Tammanaie, Nutrition Education Consultant, presented the draft of the survey. Discussion followed.

CNAC made observations and recommendations and had questions.

  • Question #2: Time allotted for each lunch period? It was felt the question should be how much time for eating? Does #7 address this? There was concern about asking this question. Martie stated that most districts do not have policy mandating a specific time for lunch. That is why the question is written this way.

This question regarding time allotted specifically for eating could be added on to Question #3.

Further discussion ensued regarding how much time the elementary/middle school children have to play and how much time they have to eat. It was stated that High School students can come and go as they please.

The question came up asking if the children were pressured to go out when the next children come in. It was also asked what occurs if the child is not done eating. This will be added to question #10.

It was suggested that “a” is changed to “each” in Question #2

  • Question #7: It was suggested that the survey delineate between elementary and secondary students. Possibility of last student in line only having seven minutes to eat. High school students have clubs, etc. and would not want to wait in a long line.

A separate survey for elementary/middle school age students was suggested. Martie suggested that after we receive a response we could then determine whether or not to do it for high school students. Others felt that the survey should go out to elementary/middle and high school at the same time.

It was stated that the principals of the schools are less interested than the Food Service Directors (FSD). It was further stated that this is not just an FSD issue—that we are trying to change this. The principal sets the lunch time. Karen Bertram suggested that we do a simple form for students to complete regarding their lunch time. Suggestions for who could help with this included making this a math project, have parents assist with survey, or student nutrition council. This was felt to be a useful tool and that it would provide solid data.

It was asked how prescriptive the survey would be? It was stated that it would have to be voluntary. It could impact staff. It was also suggested that a section be added for participants to share best practices and comments at the bottom of the survey.

The question was asked whether this survey could be in the Child Nutrition Information Payment System Form Section.

Clell Hoffman moved that a recommendation to make a tool to assess lunchtime flow be developed and Barbara Rohrer seconded the motion.

Martie Hague stated that National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI) already has a tool available on the NFSMI Web site titled Measuring and Evaluating Adequacy of the School Lunch Period External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)

  • Question #9: It was suggested that “lunch” be changed to “eating” (also needs a question mark at the end).

Item 2

Cafeteria Funds Senate Report: “Food Fight: Small team of state examiners no match for schools that divert student meal funds”

Sandip Kaur, Director, Nutrition Services Division, led the discussion regarding the Cafeteria Funds “Food Fight…” report by Jim Sweeney. After being asked, CNAC members said that they were “horrified” and that there seemed to be “some gray areas.” Sandip stated that Mr. Sweeney has been working with NSD and that nothing in it surprised us, we felt it was balanced, but it did have a sensational title.

Sandip further stated that the California Department of Education (CDE) is in a difficult position. Districts say that we are too tough; the Senate says we are not tough enough. We have to help the school districts but we have to protect the cafeteria funds.

Previously the federally required administrative review of the School Nutrition Programs occurred every five years. The new regulations require states to conduct the reviews every three years. There will be a USDA training in March and the process will possibly be changing of who does the training, either CNCs or program specialists.

CNAC discussion and comments

  • It was stated that the monitoring reviews are only sent to the superintendent of a school district. The question was asked if they should also be sent to the Board Members. It was stated that the Board must exercise their fiduciary duty. It was stated that the Board is included in the entrance and exit report and given an opportunity to give comment.
  • It was suggested that at the California School Board Association conference that school board members be alerted that not all districts are handling cafeteria funds correctly.
  • It was recommended that CDE correspondence go to both the district superintendent and the district school board president.
  • It was shared that the CDE has sponsored legislation to align the California education code with the federal code.

Sandip reviewed the recommendations on page 49 of the report.

Item 3

Team California for Healthy Kids, Update on Various Projects

Karen Bertram, Nutrition Education Consultant, and Stephanie Papas, Education Program Consultant, updated several projects that are in the works.

  • The Superintendent will have a regular feature in the California School Board Association quarterly magazine. Future articles will reflect nutrition and health priorities.
  • Snapshot Project

Stephanie stated that the information on the Snapshot will have to be gathered voluntarily. They are still working on it.

  • Distinguished Schools: Physical Activity and Nutrition Exemplary Program

Discussion regarding Distinguished Schools (DS). Middle and High School submitted seven applications; four passed the first round of screening. Karen and Stephanie will be doing visits to those four schools soon.

Next year is the Elementary Schools year to apply for the award. The rubric contains six themes:

  1. Planning, Policy and Oversight
  2. Healthy Eating, Beverages, and Nutrition Education
  3. Physical Education and Physical Activity
  4. Employee Wellness
  5. Community Involvement and Collaboration
  6. Resources, Facilities, and Funding

Previously DS awards did not expire. Now the award will expire in 4 years.

The DS awards are made and celebrations will be held in 5 regions throughout the state.

Stephanie suggested that the CNAC input on Distinguished Schools be tabled and put on the agenda for the August 2013 meeting.

  • TEAM California for Healthy Kids

Stephanie stated that Monterey, Sacramento, Imperial, and Santa Clara are identified as pilot counties.

  • Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools Campaign

Karen stated that this is part of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools” campaign. The program started two years ago, has representation at the “Let’s Move” table by Diane Harris, CDC. These salad bars cost $2,625 and are funded by various businesses.

The “Let’s Move Salad Bars to California Schools” set a goal of raising money to fund 350 new salad bars. Karen and Stephanie are going out to find funders for this program. They have the support of Kaiser, Safeway, and Whole Foods. Fundraisers may want to donate directly to a specific school. Others, such as Whole Foods, just donated to the program for the money to be used where it is needed. Whole Foods has funded half of the salad bars in California. State Superintendent Torlakson will speak at the press event in San Diego on May 15, 2013, announcing the success of the campaign.

Clell mentioned that it changes the parent’s perception of school lunches after they find out that there is a salad bar at their child’s school. He organized a parent night and there was a program similar to the television show “The Actor’s Studio” and he was the guest. It was a hit!

Stephanie stated that the TEAM California for Healthy Kids pledge has been signed by the State Superintendent.

There was discussion about the role of salad bars in the lunch program.

There is great training available from the NSD.

The question was asked, “What percentage of schools have salad bars?” The CDE does not have this data.

Item 4

Proposed Federal Competitive Food and Beverage Regulations

The Proposed Federal Competitive Regulations were released on February 8. April 9 is the last day to comment on these regulations. CNAC comments are being asked for today.

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), Section 208 states that the USDA can regulate Competitive Food and Beverages. HHFKA is telling the USDA the following:

  • Create nutrition standards for all competitive foods and beverages sold throughout the school day.
  • Follow the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Consider scientific recommendations.
  • Consider state and local standards already implemented.

National competitive food and beverage implementation can occur no earlier than the beginning of the school year at least one year after the final or interim rule is released. It is possible this may be school year 2014-15, but more likely 2015-16 or 2016-17.

Mike reviewed the Comparison Chart comparing California’s requirements with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed rule, Institute of Medicine’s recommendations, Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s guidelines, USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge requirements, and the School Nutrition Association’s recommendations.

Mike discussed that schools/districts must follow the stricter rule whether it be state or federal.

The USDA proposed rule is minimum standards. The regulations state that States can pass stricter standards if warranted.

The council reviewed the handout titled “USDA Proposed Rule and California Requirements Which Sections of the Rule are Stricter?”

Mike led the discussion regarding the USDA proposed rule handout. Regarding individual items that are sold it was stated that a burrito can be part of a full meal. If a student would like another burrito a la carte it would be considered a competitive food and would need to meet the competitive food restrictions. If a second full meal is purchased it would not have to meet the competitive food restrictions. Soo suggested that it was “forcing food on a child.”

There was some discussion regarding natural occurring and added nutrients to food.

Carol stated that the intent of the change in meals is so that the children know what they are eating. The USDA states that the food has to be identifiable otherwise it is not reimbursable, i.e.; pureed broccoli added to a soup would not be reimbursable as it is not identifiable.

Colleen said that the National PTA’s Health Legislative Analyst and President support the HHFKA. It was stated that the full compliance regarding competitive foods will vary district to district. Colleen further stated that the CA PTA is the conduit for information getting to local PTAs. They are run by their own by-laws. It was said that conferences, etc., encourage school PTAs to engage in fundraising efforts that don’t include food.

It was stated that the principal of the school is the decision making point on PTA and student fundraisers.

The CNAC adjourned for lunch.
The meeting was reconvened after lunch.
Proposed Federal Competitive Food and Beverage Regulations—continued

Nori asked if California could require zero grams of trans fat. Mike explained that the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) definition of zero trans fat is less than or equal to 0.5 grams per serving. Nori stated that if the child eats two servings of such items then they would be greater than 0.5 grams.

A council member asked whether the USDA requirements will allow dried fruit, Mike answered “yes.” Mike explained that California regulations allow dried fruit with added sugar. He explained that according to the USDA dried fruit can be dusted with dextrose only. Regarding the issue of dried fruit it was suggested that we consider eliminating added sugar to dried fruit.

Nori stated that caffeine is allowable in high schools and she questioned its necessity in the diet of school-aged children.

Discussion regarding the calorie restrictions for Middle and High Schools for snacks and entrees: Clell stated that this will cut good snacks. He stated the entrée calorie restriction is reasonable, but it may be difficult to find snacks that meet the calorie restriction. Clell stated that this policy will have an impact on food service, i.e.: vending machines which bring in revenue product mark up. Colleen stated that students compare portion sizes at school to portion sizes out in the world.

Mike discussed the need to consider the USDA proposed rule’s impact on California, even where California is stricter. Beth stated that it is possible the state standards could be repealed someday, leaving California to follow only the federal standards.

California has no sodium restriction. The USDA proposed rule recommends levels found at the HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Award of Distinction (the highest honor of the Challenge awards). Clell stated that he felt that science will drive this.

Discussion regarding beverage sizes: it was stated that we need to manage the size of beverages. Eight or twelve ounces are acceptable. There was further discussion regarding Electrolyte Replacement Beverages (ERB), zero calorie (defined as less than five calories per 8 fluid ounces), and alternate calorie beverages (defined as 40-50 calories per 8 fluid ounces).

Mike shared with the group that the federal guidelines allow diet sodas and California does not. It was stated that the portion size should be consistent whether the beverage has calories or not, with the exception of water. It was stated that a consistent message about drinking water should occur.

Regarding fundraisers: it was stated that PTAs should work with site administrators. Possibly the exemption would be the nutrient level regarding home baked vs. not home baked.

Heather stated that the non-compliant foods affect meals and snacks served in the afterschool program. Heather recommended reviewing the USDA proposed rule for the definition of the “school day” and extending it in order to protect the afterschool meals and snacks.

Item 5

Institute of Medicine (IOM)

Carol led the IOM discussion. USDA requested that the IOM convene an expert committee to make recommendations for national nutrition education standards in schools. California was invited to a two day convening to share lessons learned and recommendations based upon the state’s experiences.

Carol asked for suggestions for the presentation planned for the CDE report. Recommendations and input would be useful for Heather to receive by February 28.

Agenda for the April 22, 2013 meeting

The following were suggested as agenda items:

  1. Cafeteria Fund Follow-up
  2. Legislative Input
  3. Team California For Healthy Kids Update
  4. Afterschool and Supplemental Programs
  5. Integrating Nutrition Education into Common Core Standards

Beth thanked everyone. She briefly spoke about the Ethics Training and stated that is not an option.


Barbara Rohrer moved and Trish Vance seconded that the meeting be adjourned.
The CNAC voted to adjourn at 3:01 p.m.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, October 3, 2017
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