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Lunch Box: Simple tips and tricks that can help parents and kids alike pack pathogen-free lunches.



Lunch Box: Simple tips and tricks that can help parents and kids alike pack pathogen-free lunches.

Number one on the list? Handwashing It’s the first step in avoiding foodborne illnesses. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, a recent study by the USDA found that 97 percent of the times study participants should have washed their hands, they did not do so correctly — or at all. Poor hand hygiene by those participants led to cross-contamination of refrigerator handles, spice containers, other foods, and areas of their kitchens.

Additionally, STOP Foodborne Illness reminds parents that “seeing you in the habit of washing your hands before and after preparing or eating food is an invaluable safety lesson for your child.” It also provides an opportunity to explain the importance of proper handwashing to prevent food poisoning. Sometimes the phrase “foodborne illness” is not fully understood by children, so using the term food poisoning can make a stronger impression.

Other food safety measures related to washing include:

  • Packing wet wipes in lunch bags and boxes for use before and after eating;
  • Washing and separating fresh fruits and veggies in plastic containers to keep them away from other foods;
  • Making sure lunch boxes are regularly cleaned and sanitized by washing them each day before packing the next day’s lunch;
  • Encouraging your child to avoid putting food directly on tables by packing a paper towel or some wax paper they can use instead;
  • Explaining the “5-second” myth by teaching your child that when any food touches the floor it needs to be thrown away;
  • Keep all surfaces you’re working on clean, too, because bacteria can live on surfaces for up to 32 hours, making it easy to contaminate sandwich bread or lunch meat.
Temperature does matter At room temperature, bacteria in food can double every 20 minutes. The infamous “Danger Zone” is the temperature range from 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F where bacteria grows rapidly. This can be prevented by using an insulated lunch bag or cooler with freezer packs for lunches that contain perishable food items like lunch meat, eggs, cheese or yogurt.

Here are some simple tips to help keep cold food safe at 40 degrees F or below until lunch time:

  • Use at least two cold sources: ice packs are inexpensive items vital for keeping cold foods cold. You can pick them up for about $1 each;
  • Use an insulated lunch box: Hard-sided or soft, this helps keep cold foods cold until it’s time to eat them. Food safety experts agree that this is a must-have item, and the best option is one with an insulated lining and a pocket for a thin freezer pack;
  • Freeze drinks before packing — frozen milk, juice boxes and water bottles will help keep the drinks cold, along with other cold foods you’ve packed. Frozen beverages will melt during morning classes and be ready to drink by lunch; and
  • Toss leftovers — If not eaten at lunchtime, let your child know to throw away perishables like meat, poultry, or sandwiches. Unopened, room-temperature-safe foods and uneaten fruit can be kept to eat later.
Here are tips to keep hot food safe at 140 degrees F or above:
  • Use insulated containers — If packing a hot lunch, like soup, chili, stew or even mac and cheese, use an insulated container to keep it hot. Tell children to keep the insulated container closed until lunchtime;
  • Pack hot foods while hot — Don’t wait for hot foods to cool down before packing because it will put them in the Danger Zone. Instead, pour piping hot foods like soups immediately into an insulated thermos. Preheat your thermos by filling it with boiling water, letting it sit for a few minutes, pouring out the water, and then adding hot food;
  • Use an insulated lunch box — Just like keeping cold foods cold, an insulated lunch box will also help keep hot foods hot until it’s time to eat them.
  • Toss perishable food — Tell children to discard all leftover heated food when lunchtime is over.
In addition to packing food that needs to be kept cold or hot, pack some room-temperature-safe foods. Not all foods need temperature control to be safe. Peanut butter, jelly, cookies, crackers, chips, dried fruit, and certain whole fruits (bananas, apples, and oranges) can be eaten safely at room temperature. When packing fruits like apples with skins that’ll be eaten, be sure you’ve washed them first. STOP Foodborne Illness has also compiled some food safety tips for kids who eat lunch served by their school cafeterias, rather than taking lunch to school. The non-profit group, founded by parents of children who were victims of food poisoning, urges people to discuss good food safety habits with their kids regardless whether they eat home-packed lunches or those served by school cafeterias. Those habits include:
  • Washing their hands. Your child should wash his/her hands before and after they eat.
  • Avoid putting food on tables. Keep it on the plate, or put a napkin or paper towel on the table.
  • Check for undercooked food. For instance, if hamburger meat looks raw or pink, tell your child to not eat it.
  • Check for food that looks spoiled. For instance, if vegetables or fruits are wilting, have mold, or look discolored, your child shouldn’t eat them.
Not eating lunch at school? Keep lunch at home safe on the weekend by following the USDA’s “Food Safety Basics”
  • Clean: Wash hands with soap and warm water, and surfaces with soap and hot water before and after handling food. Rinse raw produce in water before eating, cutting or cooking.
  • Separate: Avoid spreading bacteria from one food product to another. Use two separate cutting boards — one for raw meat and poultry, and one for produce or ready to eat foods.
  • Cook: The only way to make sure meat and poultry is safe to eat is to ensure it reaches the safe minimum internal temperature needed to destroy harmful bacteria. If sending soups, stews or chili to school, be sure to heat the food to 165 degrees F, as measured by a food thermometer, before pouring it into an insulated container.
  • Chill: To avoid the growth of dangerous bacteria, make sure to chill all perishable foods within two hours — one hour in temperatures above 90 degrees F. Discard any perishable foods that were left at room temperature longer than that.


E-Funds Step-by-Step Guide for Parents



E-Funds Step-by-Step Guide for Parents
          CREATING A NEW ACCOUNT
  1. Visit the website that was provided to you by your school   Site:  https://payments.efundsforschools.com/v3/districts/56181
  2. Click on Create an Account.
  3. Provide Requested Information.
  4. Click Create Account.
ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT – STUDENTS
  1. Log into your account.
  2. Select Manage Students under Manage Account.
  3. Enter student Last Name and Family or Student ID#.
  4. Select Add Student(s).
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 to add additional students
ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT - PAYMENT INFORMATION
  1. Log into your Account
  2. Select Payment Methods under Payment Settings.
  3. Select New Credit Card or New Direct Debit to add new payment
  4. After entering all required information, read Consent and select Add to save information to
MAKE A PAYMENT
  1. Select type of payment you would like to
  2. Select
  3. Enter amount of
  4. Select Begin Checkout.
  5. Choose payment method or enter new
  6. Review items and
  7. Select Pay Now.


2018 Summer Meals Program



2018 Summer Meals Program

For many kids, summer time means food, friends and fun. For families who count on school breakfast and lunch, however, the summer months can be stressful and family food budgets have to be stretched even further. Free summer meals, funded by the USDA, are available to kids and teens ages 18 and younger at two summer meals sites in Brown County.  Summer meals sites offer kids and teens a healthy lunch while being with friends.

Free Summer Meal Program Details:
  • Lunch is FREE to ALL children and teens ages 18 and younger who come to a summer meals site
  • Free summer meals will help families save money and stretch their already tight food budgets
  • Food served is healthy and follows USDA nutrition guidelines
  • Summer meals sites are at fun, safe places for kids and teens
  • No application or proof of income needed
  • Meals are prepared and sponsored by Brown County Schools Food Service Department


School Breakfast is Cool!



School Breakfast is Cool!
As the summer approaches, kids often become more restless and distracted at school. You can help to make sure that their last weeks of school are productive by ensuring that they begin the day with a nutritious breakfast. Studies show a good breakfast makes kids more alert, less distractible, and better behaved in school; it can even improve their test scores! Let’s keep our students focused by making sure they begin every school day with a balanced meal at home or at the School Breakfast Program.


School Breakfast facts



School Breakfast facts
A great breakfast program is offered at school every day! Here are some fun facts about school breakfast:
  • It’s easy! Instead of running around in the morning trying to make sure your children eat a healthy meal, let us do the work. They can get a great breakfast at school, and there will be no dishes for you to wash!
  • It’s affordable! If qualified, your child may be able to get breakfast at a reduced price or for free. If your child already eats a free or reduced price lunch, they automatically qualify for a free or reduced price breakfast.
  • It’s tasty! Schools now have more variety to choose from when deciding what to offer your children for breakfast.  Request a menu so you can view what your child may be eating at school.
  • It’s good for the brain! Research suggests that not having breakfast can affect children’s intellectual performance (CDC).


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!



HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year and the best time to celebrate. Experience the joy of this wonderful time with loved ones, family and friends. May your holiday's sparkle with moments of love, laughter, and goodwill. May the year ahead be full of contentment and joy. We will look forward to seeing you in the new year! Brown County County Eagle's Cafe Staff


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!



HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
The Brown County Food Staff would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!
Here is a recipe for a two layer Pumpkin Cake is topped off perfectly with a fluffy cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans. The cake is spiced with a combination of ginger and cinnamon. This moist, delicious cake would make a fabulous dessert for your Thanksgiving menu, or bake it for a fall event.

What You'll Need

  • For the Cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (9 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (or cooked mashed pumpkin, canned is fine)
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups before sifting)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

How to Make It:

  1. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Heat the oven to 350° F (180° C/Gas 4).
  2. Combine sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl; mix until smooth and well blended.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and then stir to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the eggs and oil mixture and beat until well blended. Add the pumpkin puree and blend well.
  4. Pour the batter into two greased and floured 9-inch round layer cake pans.
  1. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
  2. Cool in the pans on racks for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto racks to cool.
  3. Frost the pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting (directions below) and sprinkle with the chopped pecans.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Sift the confectioners' sugar into a bowl.
  2. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the 1/4 cup of butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the sifted confectioners' sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla; beat until smooth.
Make-Ahead Tip Bake the cake and cool the layers on the rack. Move the cooled cake layers to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze the layers until solid and then wrap in plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for up to 2 to 3 months. Remove the cake from the freezer, unwrap it, and then thaw, frost, and serve.


School Breakfast – Good for Kids and Good for Parents!



School Breakfast – Good for Kids and Good for Parents!
For parents with busy schedules, it can be hard to make sure that kids are eating a healthy breakfast before they go to school in the morning. Sometimes children aren’t hungry right after waking up, and it’s hard to find food they like to eat that is also healthy. Also, some kids refuse breakfast at home, but are hungry when they arrive at school. Fortunately, we have a great breakfast program for all students, and it’s available at school every day. If morning meals are difficult for your family, let the Brown County School Breakfast Program help you out!


New on-line payment



  The Brown County School District is pleased to introduce a new program called e~Funds for Schools. This program offers various options for parents/guardians who choose to make payments online and is extremely user friendly. Not only will you have the ability to have various school fees and lunch payments electronically withdrawn from your checking account or charged to your credit card, you also have the flexibility to make a payment at any time through the school's website. The e~Funds for Schools service is offered to you by a third party service provider and they charge for processing your payment(s), similar to other online banking services. The district does not request or keep records of family checking or credit card account information. The e~Funds for Schools electronic payment service is provided to the school by a third party service provider. The service provider has a nominal fee for their service. There is a $1.00 transaction convenience fee for each electronic checking payment that you make. The system carries a Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) charge if the payment is “bad.” For payments made by credit or debit card, there is a convenience fee of $2.65 per each $100 increment in the transaction. When you set up your account, please review your options carefully. You are in full control of your account and can make a payment at any time that is convenient for you. No payments will be allowed without your knowledge and authorization through this secure payment system. By providing your home and/or work email address, an email notification informing you of the student’s name, purpose of the payment, and the amount of the item, will be sent to you each time that a payment is to be processed. The e~Funds for Schools site is secure and uses industry standard data encryption.   Make payments through Skyward Family Access Getting Started with Online Payments   How does e-Funds for Schools work?  
  • o Families set up and maintain their own logins, passwords, and payment preferences. Your account information is retained in a password-protected file.
  • o e~Funds for Schools will help to eliminate last minute check writing hassles, improve efficiencies, and help cut costs for both you and the school district
  • o Online payments will help eliminate the worry that your children could lose or forget the money intended for school items or that it might be spent on other non-school related items.
  • o Payments from a credit card or checking account may easily be set up.
  • o Parents/guardians may establish a reoccurring payment or may opt to make a one-time payment.


End of the school year



Dear Parents, The end of the school year is fast approaching and Brown County Food Service  would like to send a friendly reminder to you that all negative cafeteria dues must be paid off prior to May 12th. NO CHARGING is allowed after the 12th of May.  Please check your student’s account balance and make a payment, if necessary, by logging into your MyPaymentsPlus account at www.MyPaymentsPlus.com.