Child Nutrition Training Academy

Child Nutrition Training Academy ImageThe 2022 Child Nutrition Training Academy occurred in June 2022. The 2023 Child Nutrition Training Academy will be held June 5-9, 2023. Additional information will be available in February 2023.

School Nutrition Association Year 1 & 2 Certification Training

Mission:    To provide training for school nutrition professionals to build accountable, healthy school nutrition environments that promote students’ nutritional well-being and academic achievement.

For 54 years, the Nebraska Department of Education and the University of Nebraska Lincoln have had a history of delivering quality educational experiences for school food service managers and nutrition staff members. This tradition continues to address professional standards and education requirements through the Child Nutrition Training Academy.

The training academy is a learning environment which strengthens professionalism, builds confidence, inspires critical thinking and cultivates creativity through experiential learning. Your district will benefit from a better understanding of program regulations to ensure integrity.  Attendees will create S.M.A.R.T. goals to encourage accountability for changes they would like to implement in their food service operation. The academy is designed to fit the needs of experienced, as well as new school food service professionals by offering three training opportunities:

Year 1

  • Recommended for school food service personnel
  • Prerequisite: Nutrition 101 and Food Safety in Schools (Food Safety in School  or ServSafe must have been taken in the last 5 years)
  • Topics include school nutrition, food safety, kitchen math & recipes, Farm to School, and customer service
  • Coursework eligible for Level 2 School Nutrition Association (SNA) Certification*

*Earn 46 hours – must have high school diploma or equivalent


Year 2

  • Recommended for staff responsible for day-to-day management of school meals program, such as food service managers or directors, supervisors, head cooks, production and service staff and potential managers
  • Prerequisite: Must have attended Year 1 through the Child Nutrition Training Academy or Nebraska Training and Education for Nutrition Teams (NTENT)
  • Topics include management, nutrition, menu planning, and purchasing
  • Provides continuing education hours for School Food Service Managers
  • Coursework eligible for Level 3 SNA Certification*

*Earn 86 hours over 2 year period – must have high school diploma or equivalent


Continuing Education Academy

  • Recommended for school food service personnel
  • Multiple Topics for Professional Development
  • Hours will vary depending on courses selected

School Nutrition Association (SNA) Certification

For more information about SNA Certification visit the National School Nutrition Association’s website at or view the Certificate in School Nutrition Program Guide


Classes are designed to include demonstrations, group activities and lectures. Class content includes federal and state regulations applicable to the school meals program, food safety, menu planning, purchasing and marketing.

Some of the classes we have offered in the past are:

Table Top Food Defense Training : Tabletop Exercise involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. May be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures. Training exercise provides suggestions for preventive measures and various resources for developing food defense and emergency preparedness plans.  Facilitated by Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN).

Managing Personal Conflict: Participants will identify the many factors that may influence the way people interact and/or respond to conflict. Self-reflection is a critical component of this training that aims to help participants identify characteristics of their own personalities and attitudes, in addition to any existing biases and stereotypes they may have. Finally, participants will engage in identifying non-productive behaviors and in building skills that will help promote successful conflict resolution.   Facilitated by Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN).

Mock Food Inspections:  An interactive, activity-based training utilizing the concept of a mock health inspection. Participants will be able to explain why health inspections are conducted at least twice a year in schools and the role of periodic inspections and self-inspections to enhance the effectiveness of food safety management programs. Participants will be able to identify risk-based food safety practices and conduct a risk-based inspection.  Facilitated by Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN)

Fun with Dry Beans: An interactive class on fun ways to introduce dry beans to students.

Norovirus:  Norovirus is very important because more than half of all food-related outbreaks of gastroenteritis is caused by norovirus.  Every school nutrition employee plays an important part in norovirus control to prevent foodborne illness.  Facilitated by Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN)

If any participants require a sign language interpreter, alternate formats of print materials or wheelchair accessibility, please notify our office at least two weeks prior to the workshop date at (402) 471-2488 or (800) 731-2233.

Updated February 14, 2023 11:15am