Hallway Café: The First Step to a Culinary Career

At Elk River High School the Culinary Arts courses are at full-capacity. The Hallway Café, which doubles as Monique Sabby’s classroom during first semester, provides a hand-on, technical learning experience for her students. The Hallway Café houses a full commercial kitchen which is licensed and inspected by the Minnesota Department of Health. This is where students prepare menu items and perfect their craft. Students in ProStart I & II courses design the menu, pricing, and management plan before actually operating the café over the lunch hour during second semester. The preliminary work also includes food safety and sanitation, food and nutrition education, and food preparation lessons to ensure students are prepared for all aspects of the restaurant business. Hallway Cafe

Sabby, a University of Minnesota graduate with a Masters in Family Education, has been teaching for 12 years. When asked about her motivation for running the culinary program, Sabby said,

It is the personal growth and increased confidence of students that is the biggest reward for me.

For students, the rewards come in the form of scholarships from prestigious culinary schools across the U.S. and job skills they can use for a lifetime. Students can also earn ProStart Level I & II Certificates and college credit through Hennepin Technical College, Normandale College, or St Cloud Technical College .

For those students who want to excel even more in the program, there is a ProStart Culinary Team and ProStart Management Team that meet outside of school hours and competes in state and national competitions through the National Restaurant Association. Under Sabby’s tutelage, and mentored by professional chefs, the students have won the state competition 6 out of the past 8 years. Students are eligible to compete for two years in ProStart programs in culinary techniques and/or management skills.

Elk River High School senior Meaghan Stoutenburg is the captain of the 2015-2016 ProStart Management Team and assists Sabby during an independent study period with project details beyond those included in culinary classes.

From Exploring Foods and Culinary I & II to the professional experiences of ProStart, students master the skills necessary for life and leadership. This award-winning Culinary Arts Program at Elk River High School is focused on the food service industry to ensure students gain the knowledge and experience they will need for college and careers in the future.


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Exceptional Child Care Teachers Recognized

From our friends at GrantStation…

Exceptional Child Care Teachers Recognized
Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL National Child Care Teacher Awards
The Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s TYLENOL National Child Care Teacher Awards acknowledge the critical role of child care teachers in providing quality early care and education. Child care teachers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and on U.S. military bases and installations around the world are eligible to apply for these awards. Applicants must be full-time child care teachers employed in a home, group, or center-based program for a minimum of three years and meet other eligibility guidelines. As part of the application process, teachers are asked to design an enhancement project for the children in their classroom or home, illustrating the educational, social, and emotional benefits from the project. Fifty selected teachers will each receive a $1,000 grant; $500 to create the project and $500 for the teacher’s personal use. Of the top ten recipients, one is selected to receive the Helene Marks Award, which includes an additional $1,000 grant. Applications must be postmarked by January 4, 2016. Visit the Foundation’s website to download the application guidelines.

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Tricks for Healthy Halloween Treats!

For kids, Halloween is that sweet time of year when they get the chance to dress up in costume and stock up on sweets, but for parents and educators it can be a nightmare!

We spend all year trying to encourage our kids to eat healthy foods and limit sweets; still the holiday can’t be all spooks and no fun.

Here are our tricks for a healthier Halloween:623001

  • Serve a healthy meal before kids go trick-or-treating-so they’re less hungry when the candy starts rolling in.
  • “Trick” kids into some exercise and encourage them to walk door-to-door instead of driving them.
  • Have kids select their favorite treats then make the rest do a disappearing act or give the rest away.
  • On Halloween night, be a little less “ghoulish” about eating candy, but then talk about how the rest of the candy will be handled.
  • Give out healthy alternatives to candy like: temporary tattoos, stickers, granola bars, trail mix or fruit leathers.

Scaringly-Sensible Treat Recipes:

coconut banana 2Boo-nanas
• Bananas
• Orange juice
• Shredded coconut
• Raisins or chocolate chips
• Wooden craft sticks
1. Cut banana in half.
2. Dip the peeled bananas in orange juice, then roll in shredded coconut.
3. Add raisins or chocolate chips for eyes, then insert wooden craft stick for a handle into each ½ banana.
4. Serve ½ a boo-nana as-is or frozen.

pumpkin drinkPumpkin Smoothie
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
¾ cup low-fat/non-fat milk or vanilla yogurt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 ice cubes
1. Combine ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
2. Pour ½ cup of the smoothie into glass and serve.

Remember Halloween is a single day, if your family eats healthier during the rest of the year, it will have a greater impact than a few days of overindulging.

Visit Learning ZoneXpress to see all of our nutrition education resources.

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November is American Diabetes Month®!

This year’s theme for American Diabetes Month® is “Eat Well, America!” This November, the American Diabetes Association will show our nation how easy and joyful healthy eating can be.adm-2015-banner-300x250-african-american

Each week, the Association will share nutritious recipes for every meal of the day. They will also teach you how to choose, prepare, serve and eat healthy food that is both delicious and nutritious.

Week One (11/1-11/7) Breakfast
Delicious breakfast recipes that motivate you to get your busy day off to the right start.
Week Two (11/8-11/14) Snacks
Easy and satisfying snack recipe.
Week Three (11/15-11/21) Lunch, including National Healthy Lunch Day
Lunch recipes that you get you through the midday hump and keep you on track through the rest of the day.
Week Four (11/22-11/28) Dinner
Seasonal dinner recipes that ensure you don’t miss out on the autumn and holiday flavors you love.
Week Five (11/29-12/5) Special Occasion Foods
Healthy special occasion options, including sweets.

What is Diabetes?470010
Your body and brain need sugar from the foods you eat. Diabetes is a medical condition where you have too much sugar in your blood (called blood glucose). Eating well, getting regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking prescribed medicines can help manage diabetes.

Diabetes Diet Tips:

  • Eat meals and snacks at about the same time every day, eating every 3-4 hours.
  • Avoid skipping meals.
  • Watch your portion size. Use a smaller plate, cup, or bowl and portion out foods before eating.
  • Choose water, unsweetened coffee, tea, or diet soft drinks with meals.

We applaud the efforts of the American Diabetes Association as they show people living with diabetes and others who want to lead a healthy lifestyle how to enjoy foods that are both delicious and nutritious.

Visit Learning ZoneXpress for Diabetes nutrition education resources.

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Learning ZoneXpress’ Londa Arnfelt Joins School Nutrition Association’s National Industry Council

LondaNYSNAWe are so excited to tell you that our own Londa Arnfelt has been appointed to the Industry Advisory Council for the School Nutrition Association (SNA). Londa has been at Learning ZoneXpress for 9 years. She passionately serves the school nutrition industry with educational messages and product solutions for those serving our students.

Recognized as the authority on school nutrition, SNA has been advancing the availability, quality and acceptance of school nutrition programs in education since 1946.  The SNA Industry Advisory Council (IAC) supports the Association’s mission and vision by providing input and recommendations from an industry perspective, and serves as a liaison to the industry membership in support of the priority issues of the Association.

It is a significant honor for Arnfelt to be selected to represent Learning ZoneXpress on SNA’s industry council along with members from General Mills, ConAgra and Land O’Lakes. Arnfelt states, “I am excited to be in a position of collaborating with other industry partners in providing leadership and recommendations.”

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