Aaron Thein

Recent Posts

Getting Started with Farm to School

I'm sure no one will be shocked to hear that Farm to School has been growing in popularity over the last few years.  So much so, that a recent national Farm to School Census conducted by the USDA, showed that roughly 42% of all districts surveyed participate in farm to school activities.  

These programs include serving local foods in school meals, holding taste tests and food demonstrations showcasing local foods, and planning student field trips to farms or orchards.  Another 16% of school districts surveyed plan to start farm to school activities in the future.

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Time For An Upgrade? 4 Ways to Evaluate Your Cafeteria POS Hardware

Knowing when it's time to upgrade your cafeteria's POS hardware, versus sticking with what you already own, can have important implications for your foodservice operation. Upgrading too soon is certainly not good for your bottom line.  But waiting too long can also be expensive.

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How to Properly Care for Your Point of Sale Computers: 6 Quick Tips

Remember the first day you started using your new POS computers? Everything was shiny and clean, your POS system ran fast (or so we hope), and your pin pads worked perfectly.  Now fast forward to today.  Is that still the same story?

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A Brief History of School Lunch in America [Infographic]

The history of school lunch programs in America is anything but brief.  The Children's Aid Society began feeding hungry, needy school children in New York City as far back as 1853.  But it wasn't until the late 19th century that some major US cities, including Philadelphia and Boston, started their own school lunch programs.  Over the next century, authors, war, and politics continued to shape the school lunch program into what we know it as today.

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How to Create a Facebook Page for Your School Nutrition Program in 6 Easy Steps

Did you know that over 82% of internet users ages 18-29 and 79% of internet users ages 30-49 are on Facebook?  Even more important than this stat is the fact that many of these users are likely your district's parents.  Creating a business page on Facebook to promote your school nutrition program provides a whole new way to engage with parents in a fun and rewarding way.  Use it to showcase the nutritious food your staff is preparing each day, build trust with your parents, solicit valuable feedback, and more.

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Simple Solutions to Reduce Food Waste in Schools

With over 30 million students participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) everyday, you might not be surprised to hear that those same students generate over $600 million in food waste each year.  Making an effort to reduce food waste can save your operation money, increase meal consumption in the lunchroom, and help minimize your school's impact on the environment.

Here are some simple solutions to reduce food waste before it happens, recover foods that are on their way to the trash, and recycle food waste that might otherwise end up in a landfill:

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13 Healthy School Cafeteria Recipe Cookbooks That Rock!

Coming up with new, healthy recipes for school cafeterias can be challenging to say the least.  Fortunately, many states and organizations across the country have developed cookbooks full of nutritious recipes school kids will love.

Here are 13 of our favorite school cookbooks that feature plenty of locally sourced ingredients and flavors from around the globe:

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How to keep student information up-to-date in your cafeteria POS

Having up-to-date student information in your cafeteria point of sale (POS) system is vital to running a successful operation.  Serving reimbursable meals, end of the day reporting, and reconciling deposits all depend on the quality of your student information.  Understanding how to get this information out of your Student Information System (SIS) and into your POS system is an important first step.

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5 Ways to Reduce Unpaid Meal Charges

As food costs continue to climb and many families struggle to make ends meet, school districts across the country continue to see a rise in unpaid meal charges.  In SNA's State of School Nutrition 2014 survey, nearly 71% of schools reported that their meal program had unpaid student meal debt at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

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4 Simple Tips For Protecting Your Nutrition Program Data

For many people (including myself), talking about data protection can be a boring topic.  Like buying insurance for your car or house, we don't want to think about the consequences of not having it until something goes wrong.  Well, the same logic applies to your program data.  Whether your district uses a Point of Sale (POS), Menu Planning or Inventory solution, making sure your data stays safe is paramount.

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