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Annual Conference

Conference Session

"Food Wars: Traversing the Myths, Facts and Future of Healthy Eating in Schools"
Key Areas: Nutrition
Session: Session A - Friday November 10, 2017: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. - 204

Speaker(s): Shannan Young, RDN, SNS - Sr. Project Manager, Dairy Council of California
Brenda Lightfoot-Handy, MA - Child Nutrition Director, Castro Valley Unified School District
Lori Hoolihan, PhD, RDN - Manager of Nutrition Research, Dairy Council of California
Sandee Larsen - Director Child Nutrition, San Lorenzo Unified School District
Rachel Gekas - Assistant Director, Child Nutrition, San Lorenzo Unified

Objectives: Participants will identify the myths surrounding food choices for healthy eating, hear the latest research on dietary recommendations, and learn how school foodservice directors can engage their school community in learning how to make healthy eating easier.

Description: This session is for everyone, school foodserivce, vendors and partners. As an expert supporting child nutrition it is important to stay abreast of the latest research. It is also important to keep foods costs healthy. Join us as we traverse the latest research on fat, sugar and salt and the report from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee. We will also explore healthy eating facts and myths, including the perception that healthy foods cost more, and hear from directors on how they are engaging their school community in learning how to make healthy eating easier.



Speaker Bio(s):
Shannan Young, RDN, SNS - Sr. Project Manager
Dairy Council of California

Shannan Young is the Food Systems Program Manager for the Dairy Council of California. She is a registered dietitian and credentialed as a school nutrition specialist through School Nutrition Association and received her Bachelor of Science degree in community nutrition from University of California, Davis. She is passionate about the important role nutrition and physical activity play in supporting healthy active living and has created numerous nutrition education materials and trainings, and is an accomplished speaker regularly presenting at state and national conferences.

Shannan has over 18 years' experience in providing state and local level leadership in building comprehensive nutrition education programs in California schools. Prior to moving to the Dairy Council of California she worked for the California Department of Education (CDE) as a Nutrition Education Consultant in the Nutrition Services Division. Through her work with child nutrition staff, teachers, school administrators, family, and community partners she helped schools throughout California create healthy school environment that supports children's health and readiness to learn. Before working for the CDE, she worked as the Nutrition Specialist for the Elk Grove Unified School District developing and implementing their SHAPE program supporting the wellness and academic success of the 63,000 students in the district.

Brenda Lightfoot-Handy, MA - Child Nutrition Director
Castro Valley Unified School District

Brenda Lightfood-Handy is the Director of Child Nutrition for Castro Valley USD. Brenda graduated from City College of San Francisco's Culinary Program, holds a BA in Organizational Leadership, a MA in Education: Administration and Supervision and is certified by the School Nutrition Association. A member of both CSNA and CASBO, Brenda strives to bring the best in wellness and nutrition to all students in the school districts she serves.

Lori Hoolihan, PhD, RDN - Manager of Nutrition Research
Dairy Council of California

Lori Hoolihan is the Manger of Nutrition Research at the Dairy Council of California. She received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry and doctoral degree in Nutritional Sciences, both from the University of California, Berkeley. Her current position involves coordinating symposia at national nutrition and food industry conferences; organizing expert coalitions, industry task forces, advisory panels and focus groups on topics of interest to the health professional and industry communities; developing webinars and CE courses for the health professional; interpreting and translating scientific literature into nutrition and health education materials for health professionals and consumers; and overseeing research projects.

Lori has 25 years of experience in nutrition sciences devoted to research and the application of research, with the goal of optimizing health and preventing disease. Her experience in metabolic research, clinical dietetics, and private practice forms the basis for a strong behavior-oriented, individualized approach to reach this goal. Serving the past 18 years in a food industry-affiliated role has provided her with additional experience in communicating consumer needs to the industry and industry challenges to the health professional and consumer.

Well connected in the academic and industry arenas, Lori is a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of nutrition, health and disease. She is a professional member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), American Society of Nutrition (ASN) and Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) where she is active in the Nutrition and Dairy Divisions.

Sandee Larsen - Director Child Nutrition
San Lorenzo Unified School District

Sandee Larsen has a BS degree from Purdue University in Hotel Restaurant, Institutional Management with a Minor in Nutrition (which she thought she would never use!) She started her career out in Hotels and County Clubs and quickly changed course when she moved to Northern California where she became a food broker concentrating in School Nutrition. In 1992, she started what was to be a one year stint working as a consultant for San Lorenzo USD. Twenty-three years later, Sandee is still there! She was promoted to Assistant Director in 1993 and then promoted again in 2005 to Director of Child Nutrition, where she currently remains. She has held many leadership positions throughout her career - she is currently the CASBO Nor Cal Section President, and has previously held the positions of CASBO State Prof Development Chair, CASBO Conference Food and Beverage Chair and has been on the Professional Development Committee since 1993. She has also been heavily involved in CSNA, both as a member and holding positions including Public Policy and Legislative Chair and Ways and Means Chair.

Rachel Gekas - Assistant Director, Child Nutrition
San Lorenzo Unified

Rachel Gekas' interest in nutrition began when she blindly enrolled in a Nutrition course in community college. Realizing she loved the subject, it led her down the path of pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis, Master's Degree in Food & Nutrition Science from San Jose State University and becoming a Registered Dietitian. Rachel had no real love for food service until she interned at her current District, San Lorenzo Unified. Thoroughly enjoying the school atmosphere and camaraderie she experienced, she was happy to change course from Clinical and settle into the world of Food Service. Rachel now holds the position of Assistant Director, Child Nutrition in San Lorenzo Unified where she has worked for 9 years.
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