SOURCE: School Nutrition Association

January 07, 2008 10:30 ET

Nutrition Standards and Wellness to Take Center Stage at School Nutrition Conference

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - January 7, 2008) - By navigating complex regulations, offering balanced, nutritionally sound meals and meeting financial constraints, school nutrition professionals are operating effective food and nutrition programs that positively impact children's health. From January 13 - 15, 2008, school nutrition professionals will join with representatives from food and beverage companies, kitchen equipment manufacturers, distributors, marketing professionals and more at the School Nutrition Association's annual Child Nutrition Industry Conference (CNIC) in Monterey, California to share knowledge on nutrition standards, local wellness policy evaluation, USDA research and successful practices for using commodities. These conference attendees will build collaborative partnerships aimed at promoting healthy eating habits among children.

Studies have shown that today's healthy school lunches contain more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy than brown bag lunches brought from home. School nutrition professionals are working to ensure nutrition integrity -- advocating for policies that set nutrition standards based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for all foods and beverages in the school environment. CNIC provides an opportunity for networking and relationship building to help achieve this goal.

The Conference includes sessions on innovative and healthful food, beverage and equipment items designed for today's nutritious school lunch, new research development in school nutrition and more. Over 350 attendees are expected for the three-day meeting that will include:

--  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 the strides
    that have been made, as well as outline the steps that lie ahead.
    Discussion will include details of the National Nutrition Standards Summit,
    which will be immediately prior to CNIC 2008.
--  The 2008 Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Awards:
    recognizing seven school nutrition professionals who have set the bar in
    the child nutrition arena.

Prior to the Conference, on Saturday, January 12, 2008, SNA will host a National Nutrition Standards Summit. The Summit will bring together more than 100 SNA members from several membership sections as well as government and allied organization representatives. Invited attendees will discuss several proposed national nutrition standards. Feedback will be collected and used to develop final school nutrition principles expected to be approved by the SNA Board of Directors by April 2008.

Members of media are welcome to attend. Contact SNA at email address above to receive complimentary press registration.

The School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. The Association and its members are dedicated to feeding children safe and nutritious meals. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children's health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

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