News Archive

Walnuts and SNP’s Effort to Increase Plant Based Proteins in School Meals by Deb Glasser, M.S., R.D.

SNP develops recipes and new items throughout the school year. I’ve written about our process here. Often in R&D, we are flavor driven, exploring ways to menu trending cuisines or flavor profiles.

Sometimes we are ingredient driven. Such is the case with walnuts. SNP has partnered with California Walnuts to pilot a program in some of our schools featuring walnuts. Walnuts, a powerhouse of “good fats”, particularly omega-3 ALA (alpha linolenic acid), can be a substitute for animal proteins or used in conjunction with animal protein to make delicious, nutrient dense... [more]

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Rockin' Rainbow Salad

Nutrition events are an integral part of what we do at SNP. 

While the events may differ, the goal is always the same: bring exposure and awareness to delicious vegetables and get our students to TRY them. 

In years past, in addition to our Alphabet Produce Train, we've brought SNP's Epic Green Smoothie and Epic Green Hummus to students throughout Southern California. 

This year, we've delveloped and tested several contenders and landed on one we thing is pretty spectacular. 

Enter SNP's Rockin' Rainbow Salad...

The mix of colorful jewel tones inspired the name and it may be my favorite salad to... [more]

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Back to School

Summer is over (insert tear drop sad face emoji here!).

While there’s no sign that our hot weather is going anywhere, the long lazy hours at the beach, fun days at water parks, and outrageous county fair food consumption have turned into distant memories just in time for that first school bell to ring. Let’s kiss the relaxed emotional state of mind that summer brings goodbye…for now.  

 

Our chefs have spent their summers working diligently in the R... [more]

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Chocolate Milk? Or Not? By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

What happens when schools stop serving chocolate milk in the cafeteria?

Will students stop drinking milk altogether or will they accept the change, albeit gradually, and eventually make the shift to drinking plain (white) milk?

These were some of the questions researchers tackled in Baltimore, Maryland as they looked closely at the impact of eliminating chocolate milk from cafeterias at several schools throughout the city. The results of their recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics measured student acceptance of plain (white) milk both the year the chocolate milk... [more]

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Hey, Sunshine

The end of the school year is here. On one hand it’s…Helloooo summer! On the other hand, the finality and closure make me contemplative. Perhaps because it’s tangible evidence that my own children are growing and maturing (slow down, please). Perhaps its somber because friends and colleagues take the natural break as an opportunity to move on, change schools or jobs, or even retire.

I’ll focus on the former since it’s more fun and certainly a good time for SNP to reflect on this whirlwind of a school year.

SNP’s Cookbook, A Chef Walks Into a Cafeteria… was... [more]

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Yay for May!

May’s here and that’s exciting for so many reasons:

May flowers (thank you April showers), Mother’s Day (keep reading for awesome gift giveaway info!), and of course drumroll please…our cookbook has officially been published and released.

We celebrated the launch of “A Chef Walks Into a Cafeteria…” last month by hosting a sensational group of bloggers, dietitians, media influencers, school administrators, and people who are doing amazing work in the fields of nutrition, gardening, and school lunch.

The guests were treated to lunch which featured our Alphabet Produce Train.

... [more]

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Earth Day by Deb Glasser, MS, RD

April 22nd is Earth Day and I love any opportunity to celebrate our planet. With an abundance of accessible information, more people are aware of how their food and lifestyle choices impact the environment. What are we collectively doing about it? At SNP, students eat lunch on reusable trays instead of foam disposable ones. Our central kitchen is energy efficient and employees are encouraged (i.e. gifted) a reusable water bottle.  We proudly offer a daily vegetarian option to our students and incorporate fresh seasonal produce into menus. Our themed salad event, the APT is a vegetarian... [more]

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Go Further with Food

March is National Nutrition Month, a month-long campaign focused on educating the public on the importance of informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. Initially conceived as National Nutrition Week in 1973, the week became a month-long campaign as interest in nutrition grew in the 80’s. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the professional organization for Registered Dietitians), whose goal is to promote good nutrition and overall healthy lifestyle, chooses an annual theme.  This year’s theme is “Go Further with Food” and here are three ways to do just that:

  1. Go further with... [more]
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Part 2: Chewing the Fat with Chef Jason by Deb Glasser, MS, RD

DG: What’s the most challenging part of your job?

JK: Employees and retention, finding qualified people that enjoy what they’re doing. Also, navigating the NSLP and finding ingredients and developing recipes the kids will eat.

DG: Tell me something fun about your job.

JK: I have freedom to develop and execute my schedule, I get to move around and see the big picture, and help grow the company.

DG: What’s your favorite recipe in the book?

JK: Jambalaya! Instead of seafood, its chicken and sausage, with well-developed flavor.  I used to make a gumbo dish at Bar Crudo which inspired this... [more]

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Chewing the *Bacon* Fat with Chef Jason (part 1) by Deb Glasser, MS, RD

Jason Keegan grew up a latch key kid who, by default, began cooking for himself and his sisters. After seven years at Bar Crudo and a stint at Beast and the Hare in San Francisco, he moved to LA to run one of SNP’s school kitchens. Fast forward six years. Jason, now SNP’s Culinary Operations Director oversees all outside operations (kitchens) and provides support and leadership to the entire SNP team. 

We crossed paths at SNP’s headquarters and had the opportunity to sit and chat.

Deb Glasser(DG): Where does your love for food and cooking come from?

Jason Keegan(JK):... [more]

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A Pizza My Mind by Deb Glasser MS, RD

National Pizza Day is here, and for me (and subsequently my family) it’s just an excuse to eat more pizza.

About me: I love pizza.

I grew up in Chicago, spent several years in New York, and have lived in LA for over 20 years. Other than Italy, I’ve lived in, IMHO, the best pizza hubs in the world. For the record, eating Margherita pizza in Naples, where pizza is thought to have originated, is on my bucket list.

If I had my druthers, dinner would be a giant slice of Lou Malnati’s spinach and cheese. Chicago style pizza... [more]

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Eat More Greens By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

SNP works hard to promote “Eat More Greens”. We wear it on our T-shirts, we incorporate greens into our menus, and we build several nutrition events around this mission (i.e. Epic Green Smoothie, Epic Green Hummus).

But Why? What’s so important about eating green vegetables?

Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and arugula are bursting with healthful nutrients. Greens are packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K, minerals including calcium and potassium and they’re high in fiber. Greens also contain an abundance of powerful phytochemicals that help maintain immune health, good vision and can decrease cholesterol levels. Dietary guidelines... [more]

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Reflection Time: Good Stuff By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

It’s been an action-packed year, filled with all the events, emotions, triumphs, and tribulations one might expect given our current climate.

We completed our corporate video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uzkvLsySAk or at the top of our website) in hopes of giving both our current and potential clients, students, and their families a sense of what SNP’s mission is as well as providing a glimpse into our day to day processes in preparing and transporting school meals to schools throughout southern California. It was an exciting and rewarding project.

“A Chef Walks Into a Cafeteria…”, our soon to be released cookbook was written, photographed and... [more]

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Chattin' with Chef Louis By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

Executive Sous Chef Louis Martinez spent hours upon hours watching Frugal Gourmet as a kid and running to his local library to scour cook books searching for recipes he could handle at age 8. A couple of decades later, he’s knee deep in creating and developing recipes for SNP and was instrumental in the production of SNP’s soon-to-be-released cookbook “A Chef Walks into A Cafeteria…”.

I had an opportunity to tear him away from his kitchen duties and interview him. He’s a surprising person and funny.

Deb Glasser: Where’d you get your start?

Louis Martinez: My mom’s kitchen and... [more]

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Epic Green Hummus By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

It’s nearly October (gasp!) and most of us have settled into the routine of the “new” school year: the early morning wakeups, homework schedules, and hustle and bustle of fall activity. Here at SNP, driver routes have been finalized, new items developed by our chefs are popping up on our menus, and nutrition special events are being scheduled.

There are many things that set SNP apart from other school lunch caterers. Certainly, our food is always fresh, nutritious and delicious. Yes, its prepared from scratch. Of course, it meets the NSLP guidelines.

However, at SNP we try to... [more]

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Back to School Together By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

Each year, sometime during the first week of August, the entire SNP team meets to review, revise, revitalize, and strategize for the upcoming school year. For many on the team, it’s also a chance to reconnect with friends after summer break and for others it’s the first chance to connect a face to a name.

When we convene, sometimes, an employee is recognized for reaching a milestone employment anniversary. That happened a few weeks ago except it wasn’t just one employee, it was three of us who celebrated five-year anniversaries with SNP. Us. Myself included. I started... [more]

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End of the School Year Prose

The 2017 school year reaches a close

And with that comes this reflective prose

We are grateful as ever for our students and schools

Working diligently to comply with the Smart Snacks rules

Our fantastic state of the art kitchen was put to the test

Producing new menu items which were met with success

Nachos, calzones, and chicken pot pie

Cuban sandwiches, turkey meatloaf, and some innovative sides

The Alphabet Produce Train visited some sites

While others sampled Green Smoothies to their delight

The SNP video made its debut

Showcasing the talent and all that we do

Summer is upon us, now go out and play

We’ll catch our... [more]

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USDA's Commitment to School Meals

Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture announced yesterday in a memo titled USDA Commitment to School Meals that the USDA would offer some flexibility to schools across the nation who have “worked diligently to overcome operational challenges”. Meant to assist schools who participate in the NSLP, the proclamation of this easement in menu planning intends to help with providing “nutritious and appealing meals and encourage student participation in the meal programs”.

Mainly,

  • USDA will begin the regulatory process of offering schools additional options to serving 100 percent whole grains and will continue to provide States the authority... [more]
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Lights, Camera, Action

The SNP team covets the relationships we have with our schools' administrators, teachers, students, and their parents. We work hard to provide students with fresh, delicious, compliant meals are regularly asked about both our processes and the parameters of the National School Lunch Program. 

We thought it woule be beneficial (and fun!) to provide our clients with an informative (and fun!) video deconstructing the complicated nature of school lunch and offering a glimpse into our central kitchen. SNP is committed to scratch cooking using quality ingredients and we hope the video offers some insight into how we... [more]

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Menu Planning Cycle

We are often asked about our menu planning process. How do we manage to provide our students with healthy, innovative, and delicious school menus? It's a cyclical process that involves careful planning, execution, evaluation, & modification. 

First, we plan

SNP's combination of culinary expertise and nutrition knowledge is used to create cycle menus that incorporate numerous exciting flavors. Our chefs take into consideration MANY factors that ultimately affect the menu. Quality, cost, and availability of ingredients is paramount when planning. Menus are seasonal and weather patterns impact what is available from our growers and suppliers. For example, this... [more]

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Reconnecting in the New Year!

Take a look at SNP’s January menus and you might notice new items making an appearance. January’s weather calls for comfort food and we’ve created several fantastic lunches to keep our students cozy and warm during these “cold” winter months. My three favorites (in no particular order):

Turkey Meatloaf, made from scratch, served with mashed potatoes and gravy. A healthier take on this diner classic, the turkey is well seasoned, hand formed in individual portions and baked to perfection. And mashed potatoes and gravy? Who doesn’t love ‘em?

Citrus Chicken with Brown Rice and veggies is destined to... [more]

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Holiday Time

Holiday Traditions

We are grateful for the support and dedication of our clients and vendors. Each year SNP puts together a holiday gift to express our appreciation. In past years, we’ve done, cookies, cakes, soup mixes, and this year we made granola. Here's the recipe and a glimpse of Chef Louis crafting our SNP Holiday Granola (which is so amazing, it just might be our new holiday tradition).

Wishing all of our SNP friends a happy, healthy, and delicious 2017

SNP... [more]

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Magnificent Meatless Menu By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

Over the summer my daughter met and fell in love with a cow. In that moment, she swore off eating beef “forever”. I gave it a month. Well, it is November and she has yet to go back on the promise she made to herself.  While the rest of us cut into juicy rib-eyes, she opts instead for a turkey burger or grilled chicken breast. I applaud and support her ethical convictions and tell her frequently.

Many of the students we feed do not eat any meat or simply prefer a meatless meal on occasion.

We proudly offer... [more]

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Back to School! By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

There’s no tiptoeing into the school year.

It’s like going for a swim in the Pacific Ocean: hold your breath, close your eyes, and dive in.

Once you catch your breath and wipe the salt water from your eyes, there’s that wonderful moment that hits you.  You take it all in and remember how delightful it is to just float in the ocean. Sure, there are waves. But those always pass. And the sheer joy of the salty beach air, soft sand and tranquil blue water resonates.

The SNP team has dived right into the 2016-2017 school year.

 Our kitchen is bustling and the... [more]

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It's Here! By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

It’s here!

We’ve been waiting with baited breath to tell everyone our little secret. Okay, it’s not “little”. It’s actually a 10,000 square foot secret and houses our new command center including a state-of-the-art kitchen facility and our corporate offices. And we are excited to put it to work.

The last nine months have been spent transforming an empty shell of a warehouse into a modern commissary kitchen with the capacity to produce thirty thousand meals per day and to service schools throughout all of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. One of only several kitchens this size built in Los Angeles in... [more]

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All Aboard! By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

The Alphabet Produce Train has officially pulled out of the station and the SNP train crew is elated! We have worked tirelessly to produce this year’s event, designing and engineering an old fashion steam engine replica complete with fruit and vegetable details AND creating a menu that highlights 26 amazing fruits and vegetables. The Alphabet Produce Train (APT), SNP’s premiere nutrition special event, is a train themed salad bar. Students are served salads that include items from every letter of the alphabet, serving as a nutrition platform by encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption. Our students get to “board the train”... [more]

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New Dietary Guidelines and the Lunch Tray By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

The rain is here (aloha, El Nino) and so are the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines. Released every five years, the Guidelines help shape what Americans eat (or at least are “supposed” to eat) over the next five years by informing “the development of Federal food, nutrition, and health policies and programs”. The Guidelines are particularly important to the school nutrition community because they will undoubtedly influence the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the reauthorization of the Health and Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA), happening any day.

So, what do these Guidelines say? What are we “supposed” to eat? What are we... [more]

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Holiday Musings BY DEB GLASSER, MS, RD

With only a few weeks left of 2015 (yikes!) the SNP chefs and crew are busy preparing holiday feasts for the students, faculty, and administration at our schools. Amidst the hustle and bustle of it all I had the chance to sneak into the kitchens and ask our staff to take a moment and reflect on what the holidays look like, feel like, and taste like for them. The responses, mostly family centered, reminded me that SNP is one big family with a one common goal. Everything we do is to ensure the students we feed are happy and getting... [more]

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When a chill in the air calls for chili...BY DEB GLASSER, MS, RD

Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. There’s a chill in the air and our students are “bundled up” as they make their way to school (Note: as a girl who spent the first 17 years of my life in Chicago, I feel compelled to use quotes around bundled up-we are in Southern California after all).  Venture into any of the SNP kitchens and the season is reflected in our menus.  At many of our schools we are now serving chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, as well as hearty stews.

The SNP... [more]

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GREEN SMOOTHIE SMILES BY DEB GLASSER, MS, RD

Procuring the talents of Executive Sous Chef Luis and our fantastic kitchen staff, SNP has created, prepared and served our signature “Epic Green Smoothie” to over 4000 students since the start of this school year. That’s right. 4000 students have sipped their greens…and liked them!

Staying true to the SNP mission of providing nutritious and delicious food to our students, we embarked on a nutrition mini mission to create a delicious nutrient packed green smoothie for our students to sample. We wanted to “prove” to them how delicious green can be (while simultaneously packing a nutritious vegetable punch).

Mission accomplished. Thousands... [more]

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation By Deb Glasser, MS, RD

First day of school? Cue the requisite “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” project. For my second grader, this took the shape of a paper cut out of over-sized sunglasses with instruction to write a favorite summer experience on each lens. She wrote of our family trip to the Midwest to see grandparents (chock-full of fireflies and thunderstorms-both of which are anomalies to my California girls) and on the other lens, she gushed about her experience at science camp and the solar system project she tackled. Her excitement over the moon specifically was palpable.

With the knowledge that our R... [more]

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A Pinch of Scratch is a Dash of Home By Sarah Lippman, Dietetic Intern

 

Did you hear that School Nutrition Plus is serving up meals cooked from scratch? We are very excited about it, and have found that scratch cooking is highly valuable in our mission to provide healthy, delicious, and nutritious meals for our students.  Some students are even saying that the food we serve “tastes like home.”

 

Scratch cooking provides endless benefits in the form of a home cooked experience. 

 

For starters, our students are constantly introduced to new foods and flavor profiles

 

Chef Louis: Here, try my homemade Ravioli…

Kids: No way!

Chef Louis: But it’s like inside out pizza!

Kids: Hooray!

 

Sounds like fun, right?  Getting children... [more]

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All Aboard the Alphabet Produce Train!

La Canada Elementary Schools and SNP just finished their annual Alphabet Produce Train salad bar event featuring vegetables and fruit from every letter of the alphabet.  The students were excited to participate and the day was a resounding success.  “Can we do this again tomorrow?” asked a 5th grader. 

First things first, and because this is by far the most popular FAQ…

Q: “What’s “X”? 

A: Why  Xtra Fancy Squash of course! 

This year we were thrilled to be featuring a blend of roasted and raw veggies and fresh and dried fruit on our salad bar.  Particularly scrumptious thanks to SNP Executive Sous Chef... [more]

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CONTACT US

6424 Clara Street
Bell Gardens, CA 90201

Phone: 323-984-7712
Fax: 818-475-5371

Email: info@schoolnutritionplus.com

Please contact us with any questions or comments. If you are interested in employment with SNP, please email inquiry to the address above.

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