We interviewed Briana Cates from Berea School District to learn about the impact Health-e Pro has made with her program. What’s been valuable and made for a smoother menu planning process, and which reports does she use the most? Let’s see what she had to say:
What has your experience with Health-e Pro been?
I am a new FS director, I took over for a director that was here for 39 years, so I had some big shoes to fill. I worked with Health-e Pro a a couple years ago, so when I became the director here this year, I decided I needed the program, it is amazing. We actually just started our new menus this week which was so fitting. Our lunch count went up significantly. Just recently, we served about 200 more meals than the average daily, to give a rough estimate; that is the easiness of the meal program: being able to look up different recipes and using all the shared recipes I can incorporate into my meal pattern. It is amazing being able to offer different fruits and vegetables you wouldn’t think about–like the lemon caesar pasta salad we served Monday. The kids loved it. They were raving about it.
Do you think meal counts increased because you had the flexibility of having new recipes and being able to switch out for new ones?
Do you use the online menus?
Our menus are up to show nutritional information, but I also have separate menus for parents to print out because that is very familiar to them. I am also activating the mobile app so parents can see everything.
How was your nutrition department before you had Health-e Meal Planner vs after? You mentioned participation increasing; would you say that is the biggest change?
Oh yes, just the amount of variety we have access to with Health-e Meal Planner. In our elementary schools, we were having chicken nuggets and juice almost everyday. I am shying away from that and now I am serving fresh fruits and veggies. We are serving carrot sticks with ranch dressing and we ran out it was so popular in our high school. But that is okay because we are going to forecast from here on out and we will be able to use Production to help us do that. Just think about all these different options we have on our menu now!
What is the easiest part about Health-e Meal Planner?
Honestly, whatever my thought is just typing it in the recipe box and seeing a recipe I can use. Sometimes I will look at different districts that I know use Health-e Meal Planner and see what they are serving to get new ideas and brainstorm because we aren’t in competition, we are here to help each other.
(Note: This is a feature unique to districts managed by a management company; districts using Health-e Meal Planner can have use Global Recipes in a similar way)
What has exceeded your expectations since using Health-e Meal Planner?
Everything that you offer: production records, on-site production records, EZ Admin Review Report, and that you can choose one day and the meal components are laid out for you. Everything is laid out for you. There are so many aspects of the program that make my daily workday easier with menu planning.
Another thing is the reporting. This is a huge one! I put together monthly binders for our nurses with the carbohydrate report in it for their schools and menus. Our district nurse called me letting me know one of the other nurses really loved the carb count binder. They also can see it on My School Menus; they said it was the most helpful thing for their diabetic students, so that was very assuring that I was able to do that.
Are there any other reports that stand out to you?
Besides the carb count report, the production one is really helpful.
How has your staff done with production records?
The staff really likes it. They have been really helpful for all my managers and cooks.
What do you like the most about the production records?
The flexibility of exporting it and being able to customize it so it is clear to my managers. There is so much new being thrown at them, so I love how Health-e Pro gives me the flexibility to print them.