Carol is one of our National Nutrition Advisors and she is ready to support your efforts to improve your program.
Connect with Carol
Head over to our Training Center where you can learn about new trends from Carol and share your ideas and best practices with other school leaders.
1. What is it that you really do at the Alliance?
Great question, pretty much whatever I am told to do! Actually, I have been designated as the resident expert on school food and nutrition services since I spent the last 14 years of my life in that arena. I provide information and assistance to anyone and everyone who wishes to know details on school foods and services from buying good quality foods to working with manufacturers of food products and equipment to school districts needing assistance in doing all of that; federal regulations pertaining to the programs; nutrition education for students, staff and parents; writing and developing new resources for stakeholders use and Alliance staff and networking across the country to spread the message of the Alliance and how we can support the quest for excellence in food and nutrition services for children.
2. What has brought you and kept you in this line of work?
My passion for food and nutrition. Food nourishes bodies and minds, it is awesome to be able to put that together and create change for people to take care of themselves in making that connection. Literally, “you are what you eat and…what you do with what you eat!”
3. Why schools or out-of-school time?
Children are our future, schools or out –of-school time gives you an environment to capture time with them as “captive audiences.” Knowing that knowledge is power, being able to empower kids in a learning environment is the key to changing their health status, attitudes and skills to become healthy adults.
4. On the rare, almost nonexistent, occurrence when you’re not being healthy, what is your guilty pleasure?
I am a carbs person, so freshly baked bread and “real butter” is something that gets me every time!
5. Are there any changes or developments in the school or out-of-school time health space that have caught your attention and you are excited to see continued?
Though difficult in implementation, the changes in federal regulations that are mandating healthier foods for schools has me excited. We know that children should eat healthier, there are so many choices and challenges in the food “world” that can really sabotage your health and of course are usually much more appealing to the eyes and even tastes. Mandates that serves to “make schools do the right thing for the health of our kids” is great, because it moves the needle from dollars to sense!
6. If you were just starting to make healthy change at your school or out-of-school time setting, what would be the first thing on your to do list?
Teach the kids about health and nutrition and making choices that impact their health, with moderation and balance “all foods can fit.” So the foods that we fondly call “ junk,” which are the most enticing, can fit into a balanced and moderate diet and lifestyle. Pizza every day is not balance or moderation, but occasionally it's fine.
7. Do you have any “unique” physical activity practices (e.g. do you partake in roller derby)?
No, I am not that daring, but I do dance marathons occasionally!
8. What is your favorite part of your job?
Meeting people and sharing my knowledge and skills to help to make a difference!
Or Content Support Manager, Dana Roberts