From The Nutritionist


      Kate Williams, RDN, Jen McQuillan, NDTR, SNS

Campbell’s Foodservice & Schools: Partnering for Nutrition Solutions




In 2018, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) provided over 4.8 billion meals to students in nearly 100,000 schools. Additionally, the School Breakfast Program (SBP) delivered 2.4 billion meals to students in nearly 90,000 schools.1 The current federal reimbursement rates are often not enough to cover the costs of these free and reduced cost meals. As a result, many districts face a deficit in their school nutrition budget and need to be creative in how they develop menus and prepare food for students. Foodservice operators rely on partnerships with manufacturers and nutrition experts to help them balance the need for cost-effective, easy to execute, nutritious and kid-friendly solutions. A member of our Campbell Nutrition team, Jennifer McQuillan, NDTR, School Nutrition Specialist (SNS), works passionately with foodservice operations to provide meal solutions that meet their demands. I sat down with McQuillan to learn more about how she advocates to improve the nutritional quality of foodservice offerings and partners with school nutrition programs.

McQuillan first became interested in school nutrition programs when her children were early school aged. She recalls, “We had a veggie garden in our yard and my kids, along with other young neighbors, would grow, and pick veggies, then create recipes and snacks in my kitchen. I was able to introduce and provide a positive experience while trying new foods. This grew my passion to be a part of providing nutrition while away from home.”

Unique Needs of School Nutrition Programs

The National School Lunch Program works to provide low-cost, balanced meals that fuel students for success. Other programs, including breakfast and snacks, also have specific requirements. Participating schools must serve meals that meet federal nutrition and strict food safety standards while staying on a tight budget. McQuillan states, “The most challenging part of working as an expert in school nutrition is developing products and meal solutions that fit within these constraints and meet taste and visual appeal expectations. We also need to monitor current trends, changes in policy, and new technologies that can help foodservice operators be successful."

Providing Products and Meal Solutions

School nutrition experts like McQuillan are an essential part of the product development process. During product formulation, she uses her expertise to evaluate opportunities to increase vegetable and whole grain servings and decrease nutrients like sodium and added sugars. Once products are finalized, McQuillan establishes labeled nutrition data, recommends product claims and calculates child nutrition meal contributions. This and other detailed information is shared in our K-12 Foodservice Product Guide to ease menu planning and purchasing for operators and School Food Authorities.

McQuillan’s nutrition expertise makes her an important resource for schools beyond providing correct and accurate information. She speaks directly with key stakeholders in schools at the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference to get feedback on our products and meal solutions. This information and McQuillan’s partnership help Campbell adapt to the market, improve products, and innovate.

Recipe Development Teamwork

It’s not enough to provide products that meet school nutrition criteria. We also develop innovative and simple meal solutions, to help operators be successful with our products. McQuillan’s favorite part of her job is working with our culinary experts in the Campbell Test Kitchens. During recipe projects she participates in recipe tastings, establishes nutrition targets, shares industry trends, calculates meal contributions, conducts nutritional analyses and even prepares recipes for photo shoots! She shares, “It’s important to keep in mind operator constraints, including limited space and resources, when building recipes. Something as simple as providing our culinary team with a list of commodity food items that schools typically have on hand, can make the process easier and more effective. The recipes need to be easy to prepare, budget-friendly and of course, kid-friendly.” With changing trends in meal distribution needs, McQuillan participates in the ideation process to create recipes that fit different service methods, such as combinations for breakfast in the classroom and grab and go options for lunch.

Connect with Us

McQuillan wraps up our conversation with this thought, “As trends, policies and meal distribution processes change, we provide solutions that are nutritious, delicious and easy to serve. If you are a health professional working in any foodservice segment, we are here to help and partner with you.” Reach out to us with any questions, concerns or recommendations for our team, chances are that Jennifer McQuillan will be one of the experts that helps you.


Cheers,

Kate & Jennifer


Bios

Kate Williams received her bachelor's degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware and completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has over ten years of experience in a variety of nutrition-related practice areas including clinical nutrition, weight management counseling, health and wellness and nutrition education. Kate has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Campbell Soup Company since 2005.

Jennifer works as a Senior Nutrition Analyst with the Nutrition team at Campbell’s, where she has worked since 2012. She provides nutrition support and collaborates with culinary, product development as well as sales and marketing partners within Foodservice business units. Her responsibilities include calculating and upholding documents essential for child nutrition programs and customer requests, assessing products to provide nutritional guidance during product development, and recipe development while maintaining the central recipe management system used for company-wide recipe projects. Jennifer has experience in a variety of nutrition-related jobs, including hospital menu management implementation, product nutrition database development, child nutrition and customer service. She received her Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition from Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ. Jennifer is a Registered Dietetic Technician and School Nutrition Specialist.

Reference

  1. School Meal Trends & Stats Accessed June 29th, 2020.

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.