Michigan Department of Education nixes laptops for school nutrition

According to the Department of Education, laptops do not meet the USDA federal regulations to improve foodservice program delivery.

Nov. 4—The Michigan Department of Education has turned down Howell Public Schools' request to add laptops to a school nutrition program that allows students to track what they are eating as well as their body-mass index.

The district has used the myNutratek program for the past three school years, but Superintendent Ron Wilson says some students can't access it.

"So, what we proposed was using surplus food funds to create a cybercafe," Wilson told the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus for a recent story (http://bit.ly/19UxN25 ).

Laptops would have been placed in school cafeterias throughout the district.

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Ideas and Innovation
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We decided through focus group feedback that our freshmen struggled with the allergy-friendly options or options for students with diabetes on campus. In response, we decided to have a dinner the first few weeks of classes to let some of these students know what was available and let them network with their peers and others with allergies or diabetes. NC State Dining chefs prepared menu items based on foods from cultures around the world. ... From delicious sliced sweet potatoes to savory Ikarian-style roasted chicken, students were able to sample global dishes free of allergens.

Ideas and Innovation
coffee cups

We started a monthly Coffee Hour with just the department director. The goal is to gather 
staff feedback about their jobs and answer individual questions. After the first event, 
several staff members emailed stating they just wanted to meet with the director without 
their supervisors. Now, the meetings offer an opportunity for more of a one-on-one conversation without the presence of the supervisor they 
deal with day in and day out.

Ideas and Innovation
salad

We’re currently piloting a Salad Bar Happy Hour 
in Cafe 16. Due to Health Department regulations, any self-serve salad bar items must be disposed of after service. The salad bar goes “on sale” for 25 cents an ounce post-lunchtime to help reduce waste as well as offer value to customers.

Menu Development
sauces

Adding an entirely new cuisine to the menu can feel daunting. But what if you could dabble in international flavors simply by introducing a few new condiments? For inspiration, FSD talked to operators who are offering a range of condiments plucked from global regional cuisines.

“Most ethnic cuisines have some sort of sauce or condiment relishes that go with their dishes,” says Roy Sullivan, executive chef with Nutrition & Food Services at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. Condiments offered to diners at UCSF Medical include chimichurri (Argentina), curry (India), tzatziki (...

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