Dietitians get information on how HISD plans meals for students

Houston-area dietitians converged on Houston ISD Nutrition Services Support Facility in February for the monthly Houston Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (HAND) meeting.

dietitiansThe 25 HAND members were invited by HISD dietitians who provided insight and education on how they plan school meals according to federal nutritional standards.

“Many dietitians are not familiar with what dietitians who work for school districts do,” said Community Outreach Dietitian Nan Cramer. “This was a great way to introduce them to the school nutrition dietitian opportunities and to help them understand the complexities of planning meals for kids under a system of strict nutrition standards and cost limitations.”

At the meeting, each Nutrition Services staff dietitian discussed their specific role and job responsibilities. Cramer presented an overview of the Nutrition Services department, and explained the federal and state nutrition requirements for school meals and snacks. The group then toured the state-of-the-art food production facility where school meals are prepared every day.

“HISD Nutrition Services recognizes the value and importance of a diverse, specialized team of dietitians for a successful school food services organization,” said Jennifer Lengyel, Nutrition Education Dietitian who also chairs the HAND Legislative Committee. “It was a great experience to share this information with other Houston-area dietitians, interns, and students and spread the word about all of the innovative, health-focused efforts of our department.”

Houston Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the local chapter of the national Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Members are local dietitians and dietetic interns, including HISD’s dietitians.