The Professional Development section provides educational opportunities such as trainings, workshops, and technical assistance, for those associated with the Child Nutrition Programs including staff, teachers, families, children and others. Many of the opportunities are funded by USDA Team Nutrition grants. Topics include: food safety, food production and presentation, nutritional guidelines, food allergies, team building, marketing and communication in school cafeterias and other areas as needed. We also develop nutrition resources to support our initiatives.
Our Current Grants that we are managing are:
MSDE partners with the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation (RAMEF) and four Maryland school systems to create flavorful, nutritious school menu items. New menu items are developed by a team of school nutrition professionals and local chefs that have participated in intensive culinary boot camps where they enhanced their skills in knife cutting techniques, food presentation and food production management. With these skills, school nutrition professionals will be able to prepare more menu items from scratch that meet USDA nutritional guidelines.
MSDE partners with the University of Maryland Extension to facilitate the creation of ReFresh teams in 6 school systems. Each team will train school foodservice staff to market and increase student selection of fruits and vegetables in the school meals program. Training will be provided to school food nutrition professionals on nudging concepts, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and promoting the HealthierUS Schools Challenge (HUSSC).
Healthier US Challenge
MSDE provides technical assistance and resources to schools in order to overcome identified barriers and submit successful HUSSC applications. Child Nutrition program staff collaborate with Health and Physical Education program supervisors to ensure that all barriers are addressed. School systems receive sub-grants to support the HUSSC application process.
CACFP Wellness/ Start Early, Start Well
MSDE trains licensed child care centers participating in the CACFP program to develop and implement a wellness policy. Maryland Public Television and MSDE develop online training modules for wellness policy introduction and implementation. Child care centers apply for sub-grants to implement activities that support a positive nutrition and physical activity environment.