Summer Initiative Foodservice Training (SIFT) was first administered to 111 school foodservice operators and managers of South Carolina during the summer of 2009 in one eight-hour training session for cooks. The main objective of the training is to impact the eating and cooking habits of cooks by encouraging vegetable and fruit consumption, lowering sodium usage, decreasing fats, and increasing whole grains. By working alongside professionals utilizing the CWC program, the school foodservice operators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare healthy, tasteful foods for themselves as well as their schools.
Children consume a significant portion of their daily calories at school; therefore, special care and attention is needed in schools to ensure children are at the very least offered foods that meet their nutritional needs. Since foodservice personnel play a direct role in ordering, preparing, and serving food in schools, teaching them the fundamentals of culinary nutrition may be an effective way to facilitate menu changes to incorporate more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains into school meals for children. Providing a hands-on nutrition intervention to school foodservice operators may also improve attitudes, behaviors, and self-efficacy regarding healthy eating behaviors.