Scroll to:
Scroll to:

School Food Institute

School Food Institute (SFI) is a set of online courses that provide professional development and comprehensive training on the key components of successful scratch-cook operations in schools.

See how our signature program ties into our Theory of Change here.

School Food Institute

School Food Institute (SFI) is a set of online courses that provide professional development and comprehensive training on the key components of successful scratch-cook operations in schools.

See how our signature program ties into our Theory of Change here.

31 million children eat school lunch every day and for many students, the school meal is the most nutritious of the day. Yet too many students are served highly processed and high-calorie meals in school. There is a growing need for professional development and training opportunities focused on scratch cooked meals made with whole ingredients.

Through SFI courses, food service professionals can participate in a dynamic online professional development experience with community discussion boards, interactive homework assignments, and office hours with the instructor, Chef Ann Cooper.

31 million children eat school lunch every day and for many students, the school meal is the most nutritious of the day. Yet too many students are served highly processed and high-calorie meals in school. There is a growing need for professional development and training opportunities focused on scratch cooked meals made with whole ingredients.

Through SFI courses, food service professionals can participate in a dynamic online professional development experience with community discussion boards, interactive homework assignments, and office hours with the instructor, Chef Ann Cooper.

SFI offers:

  • Training for school food service professionals on the best practices for scratch-cook operations
  • In-depth professional development focused on scratch cooking that satisfies USDA annual training requirements for school food service professionals
  • Practical knowledge for parents, administrators and school nutrition advocates about school food operations, history, regulations, policy, and funding that will enable them to be informed advocates for healthier school food
1150+

course seat enrollments

95%

of students feel they can identify and implement fresh and healthy changes in their food service program

1150+

course seat enrollments

95%

of students feel they can identify and implement fresh and healthy changes in their food service program

Program Targeted Outcomes

1

Increase knowledge surrounding scratch cooking

2

Increase participants ability to apply operational knowledge

3

Support districts’ implementation of changes to support scratch cooking

Program Details

Taught by Chef Ann Cooper - internationally recognized author, chef, educator, public speaker, and advocate of healthy food for all children - the School Food Institute offers a series of video-based online courses covering key operational areas of school food.

SFI courses include:

  • Engaging lectures that let you learn at your own pace
  • Real-world assignments and learning activities
  • Guest lectures from topic experts in school food
  • Supplemental resources for more exploration
  • Office hours with Chef Ann
  • Optional Certificate Program

Course Offerings

School Food 101

Our most popular course and a perfect introduction to school food. Learn about school food history, regulations, policy, and funding. Beneficial for new school food professionals, food organizations and nonprofits, healthy food advocates, and anyone looking to learn more about healthier food in schools.


Mission, Vision and Strategic Planning

Follow an expert through the process of planning for systemic, sustainable change in school meal programs.


School Food Operational Models

Learn how each operational model affects the food on the lunch tray, and untangle the complicated web of school food operations.


School Food Finance

Walk through the revenues and expenses involved in school meal programs. Includes an explanation of fundamental tools to track financials throughout the year, and how to develop an annual and multi-year budget for a program.


Recipes and Menu Development

Discover why recipes are vital for sustainable scratch-cooking, what makes a good recipe for school food, and how to incrementally transition popular menu items to scratch-cook.


School Food Procurement

Find out why procurement is so important in school food, and how to align procurement practices with the mission and vision of the meal program.


Salad Bars in Schools

An in-depth look at planning and assessment for salad bar implementation, as well as the complex operational issues of recipe development, production records, and procurement.


Marketing and Lunchroom Education

Engage students and school communities with clever, attractive marketing tactics and lunchroom education events.


Sustainable Lunchrooms

Looking to go green? Learn more about the ever-increasing importance of reducing environmental impact, as well as achievable tactics to create a sustainable school food program.


Plant Forward

Discover the health, environmental, and financial benefits of eating plant-based proteins. Also learn how to serve more plant forward meals in your school.


Ingredients for Healthier Kids

Not all ingredients are created equal. Find out which common unhealthy ingredients are sneaking into our food, and learn how to reduce and eliminate them from school menus.

Enroll

Visit School Food Institute to learn more and enroll in courses. Please contact info@schoolfoodinstitute.org with any questions.

Enroll

Visit School Food Institute to learn more and enroll in courses. Please contact info@schoolfoodinstitute.org with any questions.

Program Flyer

Would you like to post information about the School Food Institute? Download our program one pager now!


Discover More

Get Schools Cooking

Get Schools Cooking (GSC) is an intensive 3-year assessment and strategic planning program that provides schools with the operational knowledge to transition from a heat & serve to scratch cook operational model.

SALAD BARS TO SCHOOLS

Salad Bars to Schools (SB2S) supports schools in expanding their commitment to serving fresh fruits and vegetables by donating salad bars to school districts across the United States.

The Lunch Box

The Lunch Box is an online resource that is dedicated to supporting school districts and food service teams in transitioning their food programs from relying on processed foods to incorporating scratch cooking and fresh ingredients.

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?

Sign Up for our Newsletter

Thank you for signing up for our newsletter!

There was an error, please try again.