Things may be bigger in Texas, but this year’s School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference (SNA) in Atlanta might have been the biggest yet. More exhibitors, bigger booths, and a surprise speaker – Sonny Perdue.

Closing out the conference was none other than Sonny Perdue, the former Governor of Georgia and current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for the Trump administration. During his remarks, Perdue didn’t hold any punches with his criticisms of the previous administrations Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA).

Educational Sessions

Sonny Perdue wasn’t the only speaker at ANC, however. The event had educational sessions over a range of school nutrition topics – ranging in areas from food allergies and sodium levels to new trends and the basics in gluten-free meals. While I personally couldn’t make it to them all, below are just a few of the informative sessions attendees could sit in on.

Legume Love in School Meals

Dry beans, chickpeas, lentils, and peas (pulses) are a nutritious and affordable food for your cafeteria. They provide budget-friendly options for both legume vegetable and meat alternatives and are gluten-free. This session showed how to leverage globally inspired cuisines to incorporate these products into your existing program.

Deciphering the Code: How to Read the New Packaged Food Labels

On May 20, 2016, the Food and Drug announced the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The new label will make it easier for consumers to make better-informed food choices. By understanding the data, consumers can evaluate the nutritional value of products, compare similar items and watch for misleading information.

Incorporating Culinary Trends into School Menus

Jeremy West, SNS, revealed his secrets about the latest menu item and meal service trends in the commercial/non-commercial food industry segments and then be guided on how to translate these trends to school cafeterias.

Spark Sessions

Attendees at our two Spark sessions received a first look at our newest software release for school nutrition: SchoolCafé TV. Replacing paper menus, SchoolCafé TV brings school menus to life with its customizable digital menu boards.

Our Product Director, Dallas Taras, led the presentation and gave attendees a look at SchoolCafé TV’s interactive, drag and drop customization.

Interested in finding out more about SchoolCafé TV? Follow the link here.

What’s Next

With ANC in Hot-Lanta in the rearview mirror, we’re already prepping for next year! We hope to see you at ANC 2018 in Vegas.

What was your favorite part of ANC? Stop by our booth or have questions? Leave a comment below!