August 2017

What's in a Name?

We finally have an answer to this age old question asked by Juliet in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Researchers observed 27,933 student customers over 46 days to learn whether a carrot by any other name would taste as sweet. What they learned may help boost participation in school and child care center meals.

The study design was simple. Researchers compared consumption habits based on three different naming parameters.

1. Healthful, but somewhat stern ("carrots with sugar-free citrus dressing")

2. Health conscious, but friendly ("smart-choice vitamin C citrus carrots")
3. Restaurant-menu worthy ("twisted citrus-glazed carrots")

The recipe stayed the same, but students preferred the restaurant-menu worthy named carrots 41% more than the healthful, but somewhat stern named carrots. Use this research backed information when naming your own locally grown menu items. Read the full article here.

Farm Fresh recommendations:
* Include the name of the farm or the farmer in the name.
* Include the name of the unique variety you're serving, such as Ruby Red Grapefruit or Pecos Cantaloupe.
* Make sure it is labeled "Texas Grown" on your menu and on the serving line.

Farm to School Spotlight
USDA Releases Updated Planning Guide
USDA's Farm to Child Nutrition Programs: Planning Guide directs you through questions to consider when starting or growing a Farm to School, Farm to CACFP, or Farm to Summer program. This planning guide should be used as a supplemental tool to the Farm to School Planning Toolkit . Now is the perfect time to plan your farm to school activities for next school year!

Don't Miss the Opportunity: Participate in the 2017 Local Products Challenge!

TDA challenges schools to use more Texas products in cafeteria meals during October, and will recognize participants that complete the challenge. 

Participating schools will receive a toolkit of Farm Fresh Fridays supportive materials, including buttons, stickers and static clings. There are many resources available online to help you plan and implement successful Farm Fresh Fridays activities and participate in the Local Products Challenge. 

Farm to Child Care Spotlight

New chef developed and kid-approved recipes fit the updated CACFP meal pattern and focus on summer produce. Make them at your family child care home or center. Recipes include yields for 6, 25 and 50 servings, and crediting information is provided. View these recipes and many more from USDA Food and Nutrition Services .
For more information on what's in season in Texas each month, visit TDA's interactive online Seasonality Wheel  !

Farm to Summer Spotlight

During the summer, libraries can offer more than air conditioning and a quiet place to read. Many organizations that partner with libraries for their summer meal programs report overwhelmingly positive feedback. Local libraries also offer unique opportunities for Farm to Summer enrichment activities. If you need a quiet activity on a hot day, pick a book to read with participants with a healthy, food focused message to get them excited about local foods!

Contact TDA
Alyssa Herold
Coordinator for Farm Fresh Initiatives
Emilee Case
Farm Fresh Specialist

Email us or call
(877) TEX-MEAL
Connect with Others
Texas Statewide Network
This LinkedIn Group is an online network connecting schools, child and adult care centers, producers, support organizations and community members with important information about expanding local food efforts in Texas.
Join Today!

Texas Farm Fresh Network
Use this tool to connect with Texas food companies that currently sell or are interested in selling to schools, child care centers and summer meal programs. Company listings include contact information, product availability and distribution radius.
Funding Opportunities
Financial support from organizations may help establish or advance local Farm Fresh initiatives.
Go here  for a list of opportunities from TDA, USDA and other organizations.