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CNAC Meeting Minutes for February 9, 2015


Child Nutrition Advisory Council

An Advisory Body to the State Board Of Education

Meeting Minutes

February 9, 2015

Members Present

Nori Grossmann, Clell Hoffman, Carol Chase Huegli, Lawrence Herrera, John Shimko,
Cody Williams, Lucy McProud, Caroline Danielson, Helen Chang, and Dena Boortz

State Board of Education Member Liaison

Niki Sandoval

Representative for the State Board of Education

Kristin Wright

Members Absent

Patricia Vance and Barbara Rohrer

Also Present—California Department of Education

Michael Danzik, Sandip Kaur, Kimberly Frinzell, Alejandro Espinoza,
Julie BoarerPitchford, Kelley Knapp, and Melissa Webb

Call to Order

Lawrence (Larry) Herrera, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:07 a.m.

New CNAC members (Cody Williams, John Shimko, Dena Boortz, and Helen Chang) and returning CNAC members (Clell Hoffman, Caroline Danielson, and Nori Grossman) were sworn in.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Members and other attendees introduced themselves.

Approval of Agenda

Lucy McProud moved to approve the agenda for February 9, 2015, John Shimko seconded the motion. The Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) voted to approve the February 9, 2015, agenda.

Approval of Minutes to the December 15, 2014, CNAC meeting

Lucy McProud moved to approve the minutes and John Shimko seconded the motion. The CNAC voted to approve the minutes of the December 15, 2014, meeting.

There was no public comment.

Agenda Items

Item 1
Subject: Member Project and Priority Sharing

The CNAC members discussed and shared items of interest from their own agency work.

Cody Williams shared that many of the school lunchrooms in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District include salad bars and utilize school gardens, both with positive results. Mr. Williams shared that he was featured on the Who’s Cooking School Lunch blog. The blog described his preparation of international cuisine for Lodi Unified School food service employees. The purpose was to train the food service employees in educating students about cuisine from around the world. Mr. Williams is also working on a food service mobile phone application. Mr. Williams’ district recently implemented
after-school snack and the Seamless Summer Feeding option. The state has provided over 900 million dollars’ worth of meals through this program.

Dena Boortz shared that Yosemite Unified School District stopped charging students the reduced-price fee, which raised participation by 20 percent at breakfast and 15 percent at lunch without any additional labor costs. Ms. Boortz shared that 43 percent of students in the district are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

John Shimko shared that he is known as “Farmer John” in his school district. Mr. Shimko provides nutrition education to elementary school classrooms within his district. Mr. Shimko also created an infomercial on YouTube in collaboration with his high school students. He is currently working on a second infomercial. Mr. Shimko receives a lot of positive feedback from parents regarding his nutrition education programs.

Nori Grossman shared that she works with retail stores to promote healthy food options.

Lucy McProud is researching what type of assistance is needed to reduce hunger on university campuses. Ms. McProud shared that many students are single parents and struggle to provide healthy meals for themselves and their children.

Caroline Danielson is doing research specifically on poverty and inequality and will continue to watch for and report on nutrition-related issues she comes across.

Clell Hoffman shared that he is a part of a systems thinking group that focuses on how everything is related. Mr. Hoffman also participates in the “California Thursdays” initiative. “California Thursdays” focuses on serving meals comprised only of food sourced from California. The next round of “California Thursdays” events will be revealed the week of Earth Day. The program has been featured statewide on the radio, on television, and in news publications.

Carol Chase Huegli shared that she is working on planning the Childhood Obesity Conference along with Julie BoarerPitchford and Kim Frinzell. Ms. Chase Huegli shared that the conference is a great opportunity for networking and sharing what they are doing to promote nutrition in their schools and encouraged CNAC members to attend. Ms. Chase Huegli stated that schools have been underrepresented at previous conferences. She mentioned that it would also be beneficial to have those from the public health sector share what school leaders are doing to help their students. The dates of the conference are June 29–July 2, 2015, in San Diego.

CNAC Recommendations: No recommendations, only discussion/information sharing.

Action: None

Niki Sandoval was connected to the meeting through conference call.

Item 2

From the Nutrition Services Division (NSD), Sandip Kaur, Director

General Updates

Sandip Kaur shared that the Administrative Review process for School Nutrition Programs is changing from every five years to every three years. The NSD is continuing to implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), which includes meeting new meal pattern requirements. The NSD is also working to increase meal participation. Data shows that free and reduced-price meal participation is increasing, while full price participation is decreasing.

Ms. Kaur continued by sharing the NSD’s Farm to Fork activities. The NSD works with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to supply schools with fresh, local foods in accordance with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm to Fork Initiative. These programs also help to promote State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson’s, Team California for Healthy Kids initiative.

Helen Chang shared that if a comprehensive list of ingredients in food served in schools were available it would improve transparency about the nutritional content of the meals. Dr. Chang shared that many parents do not like their child eating processed, packaged foods. Dr. Chang also shared that many kids use the salad bars in schools, which is good; however, oftentimes when children are required to take fruit or vegetables, they don’t eat them.

Mr. Shimko stated that there is no systematic way to come up with a list of all the ingredients included in each item served as a part of school meals. He also mentioned that it would not be easy for food service directors to completely eliminate packaged foods.

Larry Herrera asked how schools can increase participation in the breakfast and lunch programs. He thought that public relations and menus that address nutritional aspects would be a good starting point.

Ms. Boortz stated that anything CDE can do to help would be good—perhaps sharing the school meal regulations with parents would help them understand the difficulties and intricacies of school meals.

Mr. Hoffman suggested that Dr. Chang invite a food service director to speak to the PTA and parents for educational purposes. Mr. Hoffman stated that many food service directors would like the opportunity to explain their process to parents. Mr. Hoffman stated that studies show that home lunches are often less healthy than school lunches and that the calorie count is less beneficial, too.

Ms. Grossman agreed and added that it would be helpful to have parents understand the challenges of school food service. She feels that everyone would benefit if food service directors and parents could be allies and that food service directors would be more willing to work with parents if they feel appreciated.

Mr. Herrera stated that communities should be involved in promoting nutrition. A lot of kids’ preferences come from home. Sometimes kids learn about nutrition in school and go home and teach their families

Ms. Boortz stated that a lot of focus is on the food and conditions under which it is served but not the dining experience, which is also important. For example, a loud cafeteria is not always conducive to a pleasant eating environment.

Michael Danzik mentioned the importance of wellness committees and their influence on all of the aspects discussed by the CNAC members.

Mr. Herrera added that ensuring that children have sufficient time to eat should be taken into consideration.

State Board of Education Liaison Update

Carolyn Pfister shared that she enjoyed being on the council. Kristin Wright will be taking over her position.

Carolyn shared that four of the five CNAC vacancies were filled. The student advisor position remains open. There was one applicant, and the screening committee opted to not move forward with that applicant.

Niki Sandoval shared that the dynamism and passion came through with each new member, and she knows they have a lot to contribute.

Legislative Updates

Alejandro Espinoza, from the CDE Government Affairs Office, provided legislative updates. Tom Torlakson was re-elected as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the new legislature reconvened on January 5, 2015. Their office has received many inquiries from legislative staff wanting to learn about access to water and breakfast programs in schools. Four hundred bills have been introduced so far this year, but no nutrition-related bills yet. The topic of providing enough time to eat is currently under review and may become a bill. The Superintendent’s office is encouraging districts to serve breakfast. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction is currently finalizing his list of which bills to sponsor, and Mr. Espinoza should have that information at the next meeting.

Mr. Espinoza stated that the legislature is interested in how to directly certify students eligible for free/reduced-price meals. Effective 2012, Assembly Bill 402 (AB 402) amended EC Section 49558 allows free/reduced-price meal applications to be shared with CalFresh.

Sandip Kaur went on to share that due to AB 402, districts can provide a consent form for parents allowing schools to share free/reduced lunch applications with county welfare offices to increase participation in the CalFresh program. Districts believe that this creates extra work for them. Critics also say that the CDE and districts have not done enough to implement AB 402. Ms. Kaur shared that there are some challenges with school districts and welfare departments working together. Ms. Kaur affirmed that AB 402 also includes foster youth and homeless youth. 

CNAC Recommendations: No recommendations, only discussion/information sharing.

Item 3

From the NSD, Julie BoarerPitchford, Nutrition Education Consultant

Subject: Research studies about children preparing food and how it relates to them practicing healthier eating habits

Ms. BoarerPitchford provided a briefing on research studies and the impact on healthy food choices when exposed to garden and cooking curriculum. Ms. BoarerPitchford shared a handout with an annotated bibliography of studies and their conclusive results. The studies universally concluded that school gardens increase children’s willingness to eat vegetables. School gardens as part of nutrition education positively increase healthy eating habits.

With regard to cooking classes as an intervention strategy, the studies concluded that after preparing meals themselves, children were more open to eating vegetables. Boys without prior cooking experience showed the greatest improvement in their consumption of vegetables.

In conclusion, gardening and cooking are promising approaches to improving children’s eating habits. Nutrition education in a classroom setting is not enough; hands-on experience is important.

Mr. Williams shared that a community member contacted him about a Nutribullet grant. There will be one site to implement the program, where students will be able to make their own smoothies. The program will consist of a case study to promote consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and will document weight and body measurements to track improvement. Mr. Williams shared that 80 percent of students are on the free and reduced lunch program at this particular site.

Ms. BoarerPitchford added that knowledge and recognition of fruits and vegetables improved after participating in school gardening or cooking courses.

Mr. Hoffman mentioned that these interactive courses can help motivate children to come to school.

Dr. Chang wants to implement the Harvest of the Month Program at her school, but she was unsuccessful in obtaining the necessary grant. She asked if that would be something to try to fund at a policy level.

Mr. Hoffman stated that the curriculum itself is free, but the food costs money. He suggested that she try to work with food service to coordinate lunchroom food with whatever is being featured in Harvest of the Month. If children taste specific fruits or vegetables in class, they are more likely to select those foods at lunch.

CNAC Recommendations: No recommendations, only discussion/information sharing.

The CNAC adjourned for lunch at 11:45 a.m.

The meeting was reconvened at 12:50 p.m.

Item 3 (continued)

From the Agriculture and Home Economics Education Department, Melissa Webb, Home Economics Careers and Technology Education Programs Consultant

Subject: Home Economics Careers and Technology in Schools

Melissa Webb shared how Home Economics Careers and Technology (HECT) programs are currently being implemented in schools. HECT is made up of three programs: Consumer and Family Studies, Home Economics Related Occupations, and the Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) for HECT students in grades 6–12. Students in the Future Homemakers of America - Home Economics Related Occupations (FHA-HERO) program have the opportunity to participate in Competitive Recognition Events, which include 20 events and $636,000 in cash awards and scholarships. Not every school offers electives, so every school cannot offer HECT programs. These courses help to ensure that students are career and college ready. The classes include hands-on instruction and are very popular with the students. HECT programs often have business and industry partnerships.

Mr. Williams asked if HECT provides manuals for schools to use to teach. Ms. Webb answered that they provide outlines, assistance, and training as needed, and they work to ensure they are meeting industry standards. They have databases and resources to help schools implement these programs.

Ms. Chase Huegli asked if there is something CDE could do to educate food service directors about this program.

Dena Boortz brought up the challenge with collective bargaining units, specifically the idea that students would be trained to take the jobs of other individuals. She also mentioned the benefits of having students work in the cafeteria.

Mr. Williams mentioned that culinary classes in his school district sometimes create recipes to make sure they meet meal pattern and nutrient requirements.

Ms. Grossman stated that in Oakland, cooking classes no longer exist in middle schools. She asked about the process to get these programs back into schools.

Mr. Shimko explained that many home economics programs were cut from schools due to regulations brought about by No Child Left Behind and budget constraints. He also mentioned that it is difficult to get these programs implemented because of competing priorities such as implementation of the Common Core standards.

Ms. Boortz suggested that funding be obtained through Perkins grants and Regional Occupational Centers and Programs.

Mr. Williams advised taking a look at demographics in schools—specifically who attends college vs. joining the workforce directly out of high school. Maybe these electives can help students reach their goals.

Melissa Webb also provided information on FHA-HERO: The California Affiliate of Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America. It is currently in 94 schools. It is a student-driven organization, and advisors are only there to assist. The students do strategic planning, depending on what they’re getting ready for–secondary education or careers.

HECT classes count towards elective credit and some courses also meet UC a-g credit as well. Each year a few schools in the state apply to be a HECT Program of Excellence. Two schools recently recognized as a Program of Excellence included Milpitas School and San Juan High School. Both schools have a Food Service and Hospitality pathway—students bake products and sell them to faculty, staff, and the outside community. Students also do catering for school events and are encouraged to do outreach with their communities.

Mr. Herrera recommended that they make sure schools are growing their Academic Performance Index.

Nori Grossman suggested that Ms. Webb talk to PTAs to spread the word about HECT and the FHA-HERO programs. She added that some kids won’t go to college, so they need a chance to learn some of these skills. The hospitality industry is very big in California, and it would benefit children to learn skills relevant to that field.

CNAC Recommendations: No recommendations, only discussion/information sharing.

Item 4

From the NSD, Kelley Knapp, Nutrition Education Consultant

Subject: Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Meal Patterns – Proposed Regulations
Meal Patterns

Ms. Chase Huegli shared that the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 included provisions to improve child nutrition programs. They based the regulations on those put forth by the Institute of Medicine. The deadline to submit public comments to the US Department of Agriculture on the proposed CACFP meal pattern is April 15, 2015.

Kelley Knapp provided an overview of the proposed CACFP meal pattern. She shared that the proposed meal pattern disallows milk products for infants less than one year in the new infant meal pattern requirements. Many people think yogurt and cheese are suitable for children by about 9–10 months of age, especially in small quantities.

Ms. Knapp stated that AB 2084 (Healthy Beverages in Licensed Child Care Law) doesn’t allow flavored milk to be served in licensed child care facilities in California.

Ms. Knapp added that there are no specific calorie ranges outlined in the proposed infant meal pattern. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans apply to ages 2 and older. Therefore, guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is typically used to determine calorie requirements of children and infants less than two years of age.

Dr. Chang provided information about the dietary needs of infants, from a pediatrician’s viewpoint. Young infants (ages 0–5 months) don’t eat at regular mealtimes; they take 4–6 oz. every couple of hours. Dr. Chang felt that the 4–6 oz. serving size was adequate, but the servings would be more frequent than just breakfast, lunch, and snack. Dr. Chang recommends 4–6 oz. of formula for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, supper, snack. Therefore, the total amount of formula in the proposed meal pattern may not be adequate for infants under six months.

As far as yogurt for infants, Dr. Chang recommends plain yogurt and cheese at 9 months of age for her patients (and butter) for those exclusively breastfed through 6 months. Formula-fed infants may have the yogurt and cheese introduced sooner as their digestive tracts are already accustomed to milk-based formulas.

Ms. Knapp stated that the USDA plans to change from a three-part infant meal pattern to a two-part meal pattern. She shared that the proposed rule does not provide allowance for the gradual introduction of solids for infants at 6 months.

CNAC Recommendations: The CNAC came to a group consensus on a few aspects of the proposed meal pattern requirements. They decided that flavored milk should be prohibited for children ages 2–4 years (to match state healthy beverage law), with the exception of children attending transitional kindergarten classes on school campuses. The CNAC agrees to allow flavored milk for children ages five years and older. Lastly, they recommend only serving yogurt with 30 grams of sugar or less.

In terms of best practices, the CNAC recommends limiting fruit juice to no more than one serving per day as a meal requirement, not just a best practice (to match state healthy beverage law). They also recommend serving at least one whole grain rich item each day as a meal requirement, not just a best practice.

The CNAC suggested making a proposed CACFP meal pattern for children less than 5 years old part of the NSLP, SBP, and Special Milk Program regulations, rather than just referring to the CACFP regulations. They also opted to keep offer vs. serve for the less than 5 year-old group.

The proposed rule includes language in § 210.10 Meal requirements for lunches and requirements for afterschool snacks that reads, “With State agency approval, schools may serve lunches to children under age 5 over two service periods. Schools may divide the quantities and/or food items offered each time any way they wish.” The CNAC recommends that USDA keep this language.

Kim Frinzell mentioned that some are concerned with a possible increase in costs for local education agencies regarding labor and state agencies regarding monitoring.

Ms. Frinzell stated that once the official NSD comments have been approved, they will be shared with the CNAC.

Item 5

Michael Danzik introduced the topic of an August meeting versus a September meeting. Six members voted in favor of moving the meeting to August. The other members either preferred the September meeting date or abstained from the vote.

August 10, 2015 was mentioned as a possible date. Mr. Danzik will send out a Doodle with all potential CNAC meeting dates from July 2015 through June 2016 for members to respond.

Item 6
Possible agenda items for the April 13, 2015 Meeting
  1. Management Bulletin focusing on the use of incentives within the national school lunch program.
  2. Food Allergies – Ms. Chase Huegli will bring the information that the NSD has collected.
  3. The CNAC will need to elect a vice-chairperson
  4. Framework adoption update
  5. How to fit nutrition issues into LCAP
  6. Legislative update
  7. Information regarding the upcoming Reauthorization Meeting adjourned at 2:57 p.m.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
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