Schools

Milk just got a whole lot cooler

Milk just got a whole lot cooler

Having cold milk (or milk that isn’t slushy with ice) at lunch would seem a given for school cafeterias, but because of aging equipment, some schools have struggled to do that. Recently, the Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council (MDNC) and its Fuel Up to Play 60 program, funded by Maine dairy farmers, awarded six Maine schools grant funds to purchase new milk coolers – Coastal Ridge in York, Center Drive School in Orrington, Ella P. Burr School in Lincoln, Beech Hill School in Otis, Edmunds Consolidated School in Edmunds Township, and Edna Drinkwater School in Northport. A large number of schools applied for the small equipment grants, far beyond what was available for funds, and the MDNC selected based on the most basic of needs – a working milk cooler. This fall, we have visited many of the schools during lunchtime to celebrate the new coolers. On Tuesday, Nov.8, we were at Edmunds Consolidated, which is a K-8 school. Cindy Cox, the school’s food service director, said the milk cooler was a much needed piece of equipment that the school would not have otherwise been able to afford. “Our other one would ice up, and I had to defrost it once a week,” she said. The school has no walk-in coolers, and the milk crates would take up too much room in the refrigerators.  “We only get a milk delivery once a week, so it all has to fit.” The new cooler solves the problem. Jane and Aaron Bell of nearby Tide Mill Organic Farm were also able to be at the school. Jane helped us hand out fun dairy stuff to the students (stickers, pencils and bracelets), while her son Aaron brought Arugula, a 3-week-old Lineback calf, for the students to meet during recess. Aaron told the students that Arugula will be two years old before she has her first calf and becomes a milk cow. Until then she will be hanging out on the farm and living a life much like them – “she has a lot of friends, has a nice place to live and eats lots of good food,” he said.               Our new dietetic intern Zakk got to make the trip to Edmunds with us, so we made sure to stop by Tide Mill Organic Farm because we always like to give future dietitians an opportunity to see where all that nutritious dairy starts out. If you’ve never been there, Tide Mill is located right on the water’s edge, just about as far east as you can go in the State of Maine. The cows have some of the most scenic pastures you’ll find in the state. The farm offers tours depending on the time of year, so be sure to check it out if you’re ever in that neck of the woods. The first Bell settled here in 1765 and built a grist mill powered by the tide (hence Tide Mill). One of the grist stones is still there, and you can see timbers that used to be part of the dam, now covered by seaweed.     The farm encompasses 1600 acres and is truly a diversified operation. While it has been a dairy farm for much of its history, the Bell’s actually stopped milking cows in 1977. “Someone was coming from New York to buy the herd of registered Brown Swiss when we were headed to the hospital to have Aaron,” Jane said. Ironically, it was Aaron, a member of the eighth generation on the farm, who wanted to bring milk cows back to the farm...

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2016 Summer Meals Cooler Grant Application

2016 Summer Meals Cooler Grant Application

The Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council recognizes the importance of a healthy, nutritious summer meals program to the health of Maine children. Summer meals provide the nutritional bridge between the end of one school year and the beginning of a new school year. The Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council is committed to helping schools increase participation in their summer meals programs so students return to school in the fall, healthy and ready to learn. The Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council also knows kids will drink more milk if it’s displayed attractively and served icy cold. To help schools do both during the summer and school year, Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council will award up to three, Fuel Up to Play 60 soft-sided insulated coolers and accompanying ice packs to twenty (20) Maine school districts participating in the USDA Summer Meals Program. Each brightly colored, soft-sided, insulated cooler holds one standard milk crate. Interested school nutrition directors are asked to complete the application (link below) and return it to the address below by April 29, 2016. Preference will be given to schools enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 and school nutrition directors who are signed up as Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisors. To see whether your school is enrolled and to sign up as a Program Advisor, visit www.FuelUpToPlay60.com If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact: Katie Hoffmann Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council 333 Cony Road Augusta, ME 04330 Catherine@drinkmainemilk.org 207-287-3621 207-287-7161(fax) 2016 Summer Meals Cooler Grant...

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Hate to admit it, but Mom was right …

Hate to admit it, but Mom was right …

The week of March 7-11 is National School Breakfast Week, but many of us don’t gain an appreciation for how important breakfast is until we are in our adult years. This special blog post comes from the newest member of our Moo Squad – Ashley Sears, Esq. A runner, Ashley is also the marketing specialist for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.    Growing up, we often can recall our mothers telling us to eat our breakfast, as “it is the most important meal of the day.”  I typically chose a few more minutes of sleep, grabbed a pop-tart on my way out the door, or skipped breakfast entirely.  I was used to early mornings on the farm and looked forward to the mid-morning coffee break with my family on the weekends.  We’d share a sit-down breakfast together, usually consisting of eggs, bacon or sausage, and toast, and a cup of coffee (I think after “cow” or “milk”, every farm kid’s second word is “coffee”).  During the school week, it was a different story, as I neglected to heed Mom’s sage wisdom and settled for sugary treats, leftovers from last night’s dinner (spaghetti is an acceptable breakfast, right carb-loving athletes?!), or listened to my stomach growl while I waited all morning for the lunch bell to ring.  Little did I know that when I started life in the real world and had big girl responsibilities, how much I would love breakfast!     As I found a passion and stress reliever in running during law school, I started to read more about the importance of breakfast for fueling our muscles, helping to maintain a healthy weight, keeping us attentive during the day, and even improving our moods.  The key is to choose the right breakfast foods though, saying no to sugar-laden pastries and cereals and instead, choosing a meal that contains protein, fiber, and key vitamins and minerals.  By opting for a yogurt parfait instead of a sticky bun, our bodies tend to stay more energized, alert, and keep us going throughout the morning without “hitting a wall.”  Doctors, nutritionists, trainers, teachers, and parents alike have all recognized the importance of a healthy, nutritious breakfast and encouraged more programs and initiatives to help aid their efforts. The National School Breakfast Week program was founded in 1989 through the collaborative efforts of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the School Nutrition Association.  The program provides over 13 million breakfast meals to school-aged children, regardless of economic background, helping students to be alert and productive during the school day.  This week, March 7-11, marks National School Breakfast Week.  Additionally, throughout the month of March, we recognize and celebrate National Nutrition Month.  This provides an opportunity to talk about healthy lifestyle choices, recipes that taste good and are good for you, and how we can eat well while still leading hectic and busy lives. As a farmer’s daughter and dairy-loving girl, I include dairy in my breakfast each morning.  To celebrate National School Breakfast Week, I’ve provided five recipes to help kick-start your day!  Whether you’re currently a breakfast person or just joining us crazy people that call sleep our time machine to breakfast, these recipes offer healthy, creative options for you to try.  Hopefully by the end of the week you’ll be hopping on the breakfast train and realizing that we shouldn’t celebrate for only a week, but rather every day…because breakfast is just that amazing!   Recipes from Ashley Sears’ Kitchen   Monday, March 7th: PB&J Smoothie 1 cup milk ½ cup strawberry or vanilla Greek...

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Join the Fuel Up to Play 60 team!

Join the Fuel Up to Play 60 team!

Looking for ways to make eating right and getting physically active more fun for your students? Fuel Up to Play 60 has you covered, and it’s also a great way for students to develop leadership skills. Students who are active can rack up points and are then eligible to become a student ambassador! How to get started :  Guide to Student Registration How to earn points and achieve new levels: Guide to Earn Collect Achieve As always, for more information, visit...

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Dairy farmers support healthy eating and physical activity in schools

Dairy farmers support healthy eating and physical activity in schools

Eating a well-balanced diet and being active for a minimum of 60 minutes a day are the corner stones for Fuel Up to Play 60.  Maine’s dairy farmers, as well as dairy farmers around the country who pay into the national Dairy Checkoff program, fund Fuel Up to Play 60 — a cooperative effort between the National Dairy Council and the NFL to promote lifelong healthy habits. Maine dairy farmers presented big checks (literally) to four schools on behalf of Maine Fuel Up to Play 60 this fall. The checks were the result of a  grant awarded to each school for its healthy eating and physical activity initiatives.  Grant funds are available each spring and fall to active FUTP60 schools and are administered by the Maine Dairy and Nutrition Council. The schools must show how the grant will be used to promote both healthy eating and physical activity, and the ideas are generated by the students. Jenni Tilton-Flood of Flood Brothers Farm presented a $1,400 check to Pittston Consolidated School that will allow the school to purchase equipment for a Food Corps volunteer to teach lessons about healthy cooking and eating and to do taste tests in the classrooms. A portion of the grant will also be used to purchase equipment so the same volunteer can lead physical activity breaks in classrooms. Read more at http://www.centralmaine.com/2015/10/01/pittston-students-earn-money-for-better-health/ In Aroostook County, both Van Buren Secondary School and Woodland School received grants. Van Buren will use the funds to purchase a small refrigerator to store perishable items like milk, yogurt and cheese as a part of its monthly food distribution. Their physical activity component will be to purchase an XBox Kinect and the game Just Dance for its physical education classes. Retired dairy farmer Leroy Crane presented the $2,250 check. Tom Drew’s H.B. Farms is just up the hill from Woodland School, where they earned a $1,500 grant. Woodland will purchase a smoothie machine and fruit and vegetable slicer to offer smoothies for breakfast and mid-morning snack. They will also purchase pedometers to track students’ progress as they strive toward their goal of 100 miles. Remaining funds will be used to buy incentives and awards to encourage those students in reaching their goal. “It’s nice to be part of something positive,” Tom said following the check presentation. “It’s nice to see our dollars going to something connected to the community. After all, that’s the bridge that carries us into the future.” Sabattus dairy farmer Peter Waterman presented a Oak Hill Middle School has purchased a “make-your-own” sandwich bar with its grant and will also purchase baskets and discs to create a disc golf course on the school grounds to engage more students in physical activity. Principal Marco Aliberti said the school has already seen an increase in the number of students participating in hot lunch with the addition of the sandwich bar, growing from about 150 to 160 students per day to almost 200. “It helps to add a healthy component and gives them healthier options,” he said. Peter’s farm with about 125 milk cows is just a short distance from the middle school. He said dairy farmers support Fuel Up to Play 60 “because it promotes two things – healthy eating and physical activity, and we think that is a win-win situation.”...

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Success Starts with Fuel Up to Play 60

Success Starts with Fuel Up to Play 60

Great things happen with Fuel Up to Play 60. And once the momentum starts, it builds! The result: empowered youth who eat healthier, move more, and inspire their school and community to do the same. See more here : FUTP60...

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