Top 10 Most Popular Blog Posts From 2019









Throughout the year, we shared many helpful tips and hints to help you get the most from your program. Here's just some of our favorites from 2019:

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6 reasons you need to be at Connect 2020 (+ Early Bird Price Extended!)

With over 150 nutrition professionals and 70+ software training classes - there are a lot of reasons you won't want to miss Connect 2020! So if you've already booked your travel or if you're just reviewing the session catalog, checkout these 6 reasons you and your staff need to be at Connect next year:

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3 Ways to Add More Vegetarian Options to Your School Menus

In the 2018 School Nutrition Operations Report, 56.5% of districts surveyed offered or planned to serve vegetarian meal options. For many districts, this might include peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or meatless pizza. While this may be simple and familiar, there is an opportunity to incorporate more vegetarian meals that meet student's ever-changing taste preferences and provide a wider variety of nutritional value.

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Registration Is Open! Grab Your Seat for Connect 2020

Have you heard? Registration for Connect 2020 is open! Join us this spring in Durham, NC from March 31 - April 2, 2020 for our biggest training event of the year. Register before November 1 to save your seat (and some money!)

From in-depth software training to powerful open-forum discussions, Connect 2020 is your chance to connect with schools nationwide to share ideas on how to tackle the challenges facing our industry and build a network of forward-thinking food service directors and staff.

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Cracking the iGen Code: Why Heartland is Launching a New Communications Platform

Today’s generation of students - aptly dubbed “iGen” - are more digitally connected and technically savvy than any other group on the planet. They grew up with the internet and never knew a time where information, a photo, or a status, couldn’t be shared in seconds with the swipe of a finger or click of a button.

The manner in which iGens consume information is vastly different than the students that came before them. Most iGen teens are multi-screen users and are accustomed to consuming large amounts of media from multiple touch points all at once. With smartphones in the hands of 95% of teens and the ubiquity of photo, video, and information sharing apps like TikTok, SnapChat, and YouTube, the way that today’s students communicate and engage with one another has drastically evolved.  So isn’t it time that we adapt the way we communicate and engage with them?

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The Public Charge Rule and Its Impact on School Meal Programs

Last month the Trump Administration published a new rule on something called Public Charge. It creates new barriers for immigrants to achieve permanent status in the U.S. with either a green card or citizenship. In effect, the rule states that any non-citizen who might receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance, or Medicaid may not be admitted to the country or be granted legal status. The determination of an immigrant’s likelihood of requiring assistance in the future is a subjective one, but individuals and families that are not wealthy or secure in their employment on arrival will certainly be at risk.

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What's on Your Playlist for National School Lunch Week?

National School Lunch Week (NSLW) is right around the corner starting October 14, 2019! This is the perfect opportunity to promote the importance of your school's lunch program and emphasize why students need to eat healthy meals. NSLW helps highlight the healthy menu options you have in your cafeteria and get students excited to try new foods.

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Afterschool Nutrition Programs Make More "Cents" Than You Think

Afterschool Nutrition Programs help millions of low-income students across the country get access to healthy meals they might not otherwise receive outside of school. When districts offer an afterschool nutrition program (ANP), eligible students are able to receive a snack or meal on a weeknight, weekend, and school holiday.

In 2017, more than 46,000 districts participated in ANPs offered through both the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Together, these programs served over 1.07 million children and participation has continued to grow year over year. 

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5 Unique Ways Parent Organizations Can Fundraise This School Year

The beginning of the school year is a busy time for parent teacher organizations to raise funds for events, field trips, school supplies, athletics, and more. Fundraisers also help PTO or PTA volunteers get involved with their school community to reach their organization's goals. While raising money can be as easy as requesting a donation, hosting events or contests can increase participation and provide a fun experience for families. Here are some unique fundraising ideas for your parent organizations this upcoming school year: 

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How to Host a Successful Taste Test in Your School Cafeteria

It's no secret that students can get tired of eating the same thing over and over again. Offering different and new menu items can freshen up your meals and get students excited about eating in the cafeteria. Hosting a taste test event is a great way to get students involved in choosing new menu items and learning more about their preferences. A successful taste test gives students the opportunity to try new recipes and share valuable feedback before you start serving them on a regular basis.

Getting started is easier than you think! Here are some strategies to help make your taste testing event successful:

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