No Time to Train: Short Lessons for School Nutrition Assistants

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No Time to Train provides short lessons for busy school nutrition assistants. The format for No Time to Train lessons includes an overview, preparation checklist, lesson at a glance with timeline for conducting the lesson, reference and instructor's script. The manager / instructor will use the script to present each lesson to the participants. The script gives directions to the manager / instructor - DO, SAY, ASK, LISTEN, and ACTIVITY - to deliver each lesson. No special audiovisual or electronic equipment is needed to conduct the lessons. They can be presented in the cafeteria, media center, or classroom.

Teachers and others in the school or child care setting may wish to participate. Lessons could also be used to integrate nutrition education in the classroom. With some modifications, the lessons could be used with middle and secondary students. Published 2008. ET88-08

For online courses based on the No Time to Train lessons, go to the Child Nutrition page of NFSMI's Online Courses section.


Lesson 1 - Five Steps for Food-Safe Taste Testing
This lesson explains the importance of using food-safe taste testing to assure quality standards are met for customers. Published 2008.
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Lesson 2 - Effect of Batch Cooking on Food Quality
This lesson defines batch cooking and specifies reasons to batch cook. Participants work through a real-life situation in a school cafeteria to apply principles of batch cooking that illustrate how batch cooking can improve quality. Published 2008.
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Lesson 3 - Determining When to Batch Cook
This lesson describes how holding foods can harm food quality. Participants apply principles of batch cooking to determine which foods should be batch cooked. It is recommended that the Lesson 2 - "Effect of Batch Cooking on Food Quality" be taught before this lesson. Published 2008.
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Lesson 4 - Receiving Affects Customer Satisfaction
This lesson identifies key points of receiving a delivery. A practice-based activity is used to identify how receiving affects customer satisfaction. Published 2008.
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Lesson 5 - Identifying and Preserving Quality in Value-Added Products
This lesson defines food quality with respect to value-added products. An activity is used to identify individual food quality characteristics using quality scorecards. The lesson is designed for managers to teach school nutrition assistants/technicians. Published 2008.
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Lesson 6 - Best Practices Affect Quality of Value-Added Products
This lesson describes the meaning of food quality in value-added products. Participants use an activity to identify best practices in preparation of value-added products and to describe how quality is affected by handling of the food. It is recommended that the lesson "Identifying and Preserving Quality in Value-Added Products" should be taught before this lesson. Published 2008.
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Lesson 7 - Food Production Records - Why?
This lesson explains the importance of using food production records for menu planning. The activity is used to introduce the food production record and the use of the information. Published 2008.
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Lesson 8 - Food Production Records - What and Where?
This lesson explains the importance of using food production records for menu planning. The activity is used to introduce the required information on a food production record. Published 2008.
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Lesson 9 - Food Production Records - Who and When?
This lesson explains the importance of using food production records. The instructor will discuss the food production record and the information in includes. The activity is used to introduce who should assist in completing the food production record and when the food production record is to be completed. Published 2008.
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Lesson 10 - How Foods Are Portioned
This lesson explains how various foods are portioned for service. The activity is used to determine how some foods are portioned in one or more common portioning units for service. Published 2008.
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Lesson 11 - Combine Multiple Servings - by Count
This lesson explains combining multiple serving sizes for the purpose of determining the amount of food to purchase and prepare. An instructor-led activity is used to guide participants to combine multiple serving sizes by count. Published 2008.
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Lesson 12 - Combine Multiple Servings - by Volume
This lesson explains the steps for combining two or more volume measured serving sizes for the purpose of determining the amount of food to purchase and prepare. Published 2008.
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Lesson 13 - Combine Multiple Servings - by Weight
This lesson explains the steps for combining two or more weighted servings for the purpose of determining the amount of food to purchase and prepare. An instructor-led activity is used to guide participants through an exercise to combine multiple servings. Published 2008.
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Lesson 14 - School Wellness
"School wellness" is one of the buzz words in our schools today. Everyone including school superintendents, administrators, principals, teachers, counselors, nurses, coaches, and school nutrition personnel is talking about wellness. Most school districts have developed and implemented wellness policies. In this lesson, school nutrition personnel will learn what wellness means and why it is so important. Published 2008.
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Lesson 15 - Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
This lesson is designed to introduce and explain the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010." These guidelines are the foundation for nutrition education for Americans. The USDA used the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010" as the basis for the "MyPlate" icon. This information is vital to the process of menu planning, food production, nutrition education, and overall wellness of our customer. Published 2011.
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Lesson 16 - MyPlate - The "New Generation" Food Icon.
This lesson explains the MyPlate icon. It will provide specific information about the MyPlate icon and a brief explanation of the significance of each part of the design. The USDA developed the MyPlate icon to remind people about healthy eating. This information is vital to the menu planning process and for providing nutrition and health education to consistent with Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. This lesson serves as an introduction to the following lessons on MyPlate. Published 2011.
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Lesson 17 - MyPlate - Focus on Fruits.
This lesson explains the fruits group represented in the MyPlate icon. Participants will learn why fruits are an important part of the daily diet and identify foods that are fruit sources. Published 2011.
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Lesson 18 - MyPlate - Let's Talk Vegetables!
This lesson explains the vegetable group represented in the MyPlate icon. Participants will learn why vegetables are an important part of the daily diet and identify foods from the different vegetable subgroups. Published 2011.
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Lesson 19 - MyPlate - A Look at Grains.
This lesson is designed to explain the grain food group represented in the MyPlate icon. Participants will learn why grains are an important part of the daily diet and identify foods from the grain group that are whole grains and refined grains. Published 2011.
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Lesson 20 - MyPlate - Dairy Matters.
This lesson is designed to explain the dairy group represented in the MyPlate icon. Participants will learn why dairy is an important part of the daily diet and identify foods from the dairy group. Published 2011.
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Lesson 21 - MyPlate - Protein Foods.
This lesson is designed to explain the protein foods group represented in the MyPlate icon. Participants will learn why protein foods are an important part of the daily diet and identify foods from the protein foods group. Published 2011.
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Lesson 22 - Let's Talk Oils and Fats!
This lesson explains the recommendations for oils and fats found on the MyPlate website. Participants will learn why certain oils and fats in limited amounts are an important part of the daily diet and identify oil and fat food sources. Published 2011.
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Lesson 23 - Physical Activity!
This lesson explains the recommendations for physical activity found on the MyPlate website. Participants will learn why physical activity is an important part of their daily lives and some possible ways to be more active. Published 2011.
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Lesson 24 - Hot and Cold Foods Temperatures
At the completion of the lesson, participants will be able to take active steps to reduce the amount of time food is held in the temperature danger zone. Published 2009.
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Lesson 25 - Preventing Accidents in the Kitchen
This lesson covers accident prevention in a school nutrition environment. Published 2010.
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Lesson 26 - Identifying Kitchen Area Work Hazards
Learn to work safely in a school nutrition environment and about the importance of personal responsibility to consistently identify workplace hazards. Published 2010.
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Lesson 27 - Using a Metal Stem Thermometer
Learn to use a metal stem thermometer to take accurate internal food temperatures in a school nutrition environment. Published 2010.
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Lesson 29 - Portioning Matters
This lesson states the importance of serving students planned portion sizes to ensure nutritional values. Published 2011.
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Lesson 30 - Protecting Quality Through the Flow of Food
In this lesson, school nutrition assistants/technicians will identify procedures for protecting food quality. Published 2011.
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Lesson 31: Quality Standards: A Cafeteria Checklist
This lesson discusses the importance of quality standards for customer service in a school nutrition environment. Published 2011.
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Lesson 32 - Identifying the Parts of a USDA Quantity Recipe
This lesson explains the differences between a recipe, a quantity recipe, and a standardized recipe. Participants will complete activities that will identify abbreviations used in recipes and the parts of a recipe from USDA Recipes for Schools. Published 2012.
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Lesson 33 - Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings
This lesson discusses herbs, spices, and seasonings used to enhance flavor in food preparation. Published 2012.
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Lesson 34 - Adjusting a Recipe with Herbs and Spices
This lesson reviews the factoring method to adjust a recipe, including guidelines for adjusting a recipe for herbs and spices. Published 2012.
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