Social media posts of school meals from around the world generate millions of online hits – with very little understanding of real-world challenges of feeding millions of children at school. This panel of international school nutrition experts will highlight ways that food and nutrition professionals share global concerns and strategies for overcoming obstacles. Speakers will discuss recent research into the effects of school meals and also report on successful approaches to reduce food waste and support sustainability at school, in homes and throughout the community. They will focus on commonalities across continents and the ways that dietetics professionals can learn from one another. This session is designed for attendees in all areas of practice by exploring ways that all RDNs and DTRs can support strong school meals and nutrition education in their communities by thinking globally, acting locally and working strategically.
Betty Izumi, PhD, MPH, RD, School of Public Health Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University, Associate Professor: Dr. Izumi will present her research findings on how lunch and shokuiku are implemented in Tokyo elementary schools. She will describe the school lunch program, discuss how school dietitians align their programs with shokuiku goals, and offer opportunities to adapt strategies used in Japan to enhance school meal programs in the US.
Annika Unt, RD, Consultant, Lund, Sweden: Ms. Unt will share her years of experience in Swedish school meal standards, staff education and inspiration, costs, food and meal quality, cooperation with teachers and local farmers. She will expand her perspective to include work with and visits to other European Union and Baltic countries, as well as to school districts in the United States.
Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, President, School Meals That Rock: Based on research and reports from first-person visits to schools across the US, Ms. Hayes will review the status of US school nutrition in nine years of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. The review will include documented patterns in menu planning, meal consumption, and food waste.