Outage Update – October 30th, 2017

Update 11/09/2017 10:22pm CST:  As of 10:22 PM CST on November 9th, 2017, all missing data from the KidKare accounting outage has been restored. Please read the following post for more information: https://blog.minutemenu.com/2017/11/10/kidkare-accounting-resolution/

Update 11/08/2017 9:45am CST: The invoices and associated data that were missing from the time period of October 30th, 2017 from 2am – 10am have been restored. We are currently working with our payment vendor to verify that all payment data (including payment status) is accurate. Please continue to monitor this post for more updates.

Update 11/06/2017 5:22pm CST: There are still a small number of invoices and associated payments originating on October 30th, 2017 from 2am – 10am that have not yet been restored. Our team is working on verifying this last section of data before it is fully restored. Tomorrow, November 7th, 2017 we will be working with our payment vendor to verify that all payment data is accurate. Please continue to monitor this post for more updates.

Update 11/06/2017 10:51am CST: Invoices and payment data will be restored over the next few hours. Throughout the day we will be restoring any missing payment information. Please continue to monitor this post for more updates.

Update 11/05/2017 8:16pm CST: Progress with scripts to restore data is still in progress. Our team is working through the night to ensure that the data restored is verified as accurate. We anticipate a final update tomorrow, November 6th, in the early afternoon.

Update 11/03/2017 5:45 CST: Progress with scripts to restore data is currently in progress and testing is going well. Our team is working through the weekend to ensure that the data restored is verified as accurate.

Update 11/2/2017 10:20am CST: The data restoration process for missing KidKare Accounting data has been started. We are verifying the restored data in a test environment today so that we can ensure all data is correctly restored.  This testing will continue through tomorrow so that we can coordinate with our payment processing partner to ensure any payments that were processed are displayed in KidKare and are not duplicated.

We are anticipating having everything restored by the end of the week. If further testing is required tomorrow afternoon, we will continue to restore data over the weekend.

We understand that there may be invoice issues on Friday, November 3rd, and we are prepared to help resolve any issues that our customers are facing.

Update 10/31/2017 10:05am CST: You may still be missing info from last week. This applies to accounting data only such as invoices, payments, and mileage expenses. This does not apply to food program data. You might be seeing invoices marked as unpaid, but they are actually paid; your payments have been processed. This issue does not affect payment processing. No payments were reversed. Our team is still working on restoring your data as quickly as possible.

Update 10/30/2017 4:40pm CST: The process for restoring data from after Friday, October 27th, 2017 is in progress and is scheduled to be completed as soon as possible. Once this process is complete you will have access to all of your data. Please continue to monitor this blog for further updates.

Update 10/30/2017 12:20pm CST: Do not re-enter data that is currently not showing. We are restoring all data from over the weekend. If you re-enter your data you will have duplicate records when the full data restore is complete.

Over the weekend we updated our entire infrastructure. This update was critical for providing a more scalable and reliable environment for customer data. Our data structures, hardware, and physical location of servers were updated during this time. In moving all the data into the new environment we had some anomalies. We want you to know we have not suffered a data loss. All customer data has been retained, the anomalies we are seeing are due to an issue that occurred during the data migration.

Once again, no data has been lost. You may have seen incorrect data, or data that was not visible. This problem is currently being addressed and the complete resolution will happen within approximately 48 hours.

We are currently restoring the data back to Friday evening before the update, which has the most accurate data available. All data you currently see will be correct from that Friday evening state.

Any changes or data entries you have made after Friday will be restored within the next 48 hours. If you have created invoices or added expenses, you will see that data after 48 hours, or once our full data restore has been completed.

We have been receiving a high volume of questions regarding invoices and auto-pay. Auto-pay batches, including recurring invoices, are processed first at 4am, and again at 11am to reconcile any transactions that did not process from the first batch. We have disabled auto pay for today after the 4am batch as a precautionary measure to prevent discrepancies in data entries. This measure should not impact you, but you may temporarily see incorrect data until the full data restore is complete.

Although we had limited information available over the weekend while the outage was being diagnosed, we encourage you to follow us on social media or keep watching our blog for more updates.

Our entire development and support team have been working over the weekend and through the night to get this issue resolved. The support tickets, emails, calls, messages, and comments on social media are not going unheard. We understand your frustration and do not take any outage lightly. We are also working diligently to prevent future outages and improve communication.

We thank you for your patience and hope to have this issue resolved as soon as we possibly can.

Thank you,

The Minute Menu Team

Notice for System Upgrade

To meet growing consumer demand, Minute Menu is excited to announce that we will be performing infrastructure upgrades. Upgrading our infrastructure will commence Saturday, October 28th, at 2:00 a.m. CST and is planned to conclude Saturday, October 28th, at 9:00 p.m. CST. This upgrade requires the suspension of services during this maintenance window. We will send an update once maintenance has concluded.

Follow us on social media for updates regarding future releases.

Updating and Saving in Minute Menu CX

Updating Minute Menu CX

If your Minute Menu CX update won’t complete, try shutting down and restarting your computer before trying again.

Saving information in Minute Menu CX

If you are unable to see the button to save your information inside CX, you will need to auto-hide the Windows task bar at the bottom of the screen.

To auto-hide your task bar:

  1. Right click on any blank space in your task bar
  2. Select Properties
  3. On the next screen, check the box for “Auto-hide the task bar”
  4. Click “OK” to save

Then you will be able to see the Save button hidden behind the task bar.

What will Monday morning look like for users of Minute Menu CX?

In an effort to make day 1 of the new meal pattern changes as painless as possible for centers, there will be no new version to download on that day.  The new version can be downloaded on Friday, so that it’s ready to go Monday morning. Here is what the timeline will look like:

Thursday night, September 28th. There will be a mandatory release of CX (version 14.0)  that will contain all of the changes for the new meal pattern. Minute Menu CX users will update on Friday morning.

Sunday morning, October 1st.  We will switch all users over to the new pattern, convert the menus, and then stop all open sessions so that all users will log in fresh Monday morning.

Monday morning, October 2nd.  All users will log in and see all of the new changes without the need to spend any time updating.

Are your centers curious about what the new meal pattern changes will look like? Please click here to view/download a 2 page PDF describing the main changes to the center side of the Minute Menu CX program. Feel free to print, email, and share this with your centers!

Copying menus. What Centers and Center Sponsors need to know before Oct. 1st.

 

Copy. And Paste. But do it now.

Copy and paste any menus that you plan to reuse (such as cycle menus or seasonal menus) to future months now, while you still can. Those menus will be merged into the new meal pattern on Oct. 1st.

Copying and pasting from the old meal pattern to the new meal pattern will NOT be available after Oct. 1st.

Starting on Oct. 1st, it will not be possible to copy and paste menus from prior months. On Oct. 1st, center accounts will be converted to the new meal pattern. Menus made on the new meal pattern can be copied and pasted to future months.

Menus on the old meal pattern cannot be copied and pasted to the new meal pattern, after October 1st.

Review.

Review scheduled menus to make sure that they meet the new meal pattern requirements.

Make sure that…

  • Juice is planned for no more than once per day.
  • There is a vegetable at each lunch and dinner.
  • A whole grain-rich food is planned at least once per day.
  • Grain based desserts have been removed.

Mark your calendar for Oct. 1st to check for missing components by looking for lowercase letters on the Menu Calendar screen.

Some meals may lose components during the merge process (such as lunches and dinners that had 2 fruits, 1 fruit will be lost during the merge process). On Oct. 1st or after, check the Menu Calendar screen. Any scheduled menu that is missing a component will be listed with a lowercase letter (balpde). These are most likely lunches and dinners that included 2 fruits OR food items that are no longer approved (such as grain based desserts).

 

 

 

Update Your Master Menus to Increase Vegetables and Whole Grains

Master Menus are a fantastic tool that sponsors can use with both homes and centers to give them easy-to-use meals that, when served in the right quantities, are always compliant and reimbursable.  With the new meal pattern changes coming, don’t forget to update your Master Menus to reflect the new requirement for at least 1 vegetable at lunch and dinner and 1 serving of whole grains per day.

Go ahead and update your lunch and dinner master menus now.  Make sure that each one has at least one vegetable planned.  And while you’re at it, consider making half or more of them contain a whole grain for the bread/bread alternate. You might even cut down on the number of Master Menus that contain juice, so that your sites are less likely to serve it more than once per day.  Updating and upgrading your Master Menus now means one less thing to worry about as the deadline approaches in 2017.

The same goes for Cycle Menus and EZ Menus.  Update them and have your sites serving compliant meals long before you have to worry about disallowing.

New CACFP Meal Patterns and Minute Menu Systems

It’s an exciting time in the CACFP! The new meal pattern has finally been announced.  And the good news is that it’s pretty reasonable—both in the changes it makes for better child nutrition and in the implementation timeline.

Whether you use Minute Menu HX or Minute Menu CX, we know that you have questions about how and when our software will be able to accommodate the new meal pattern.  Some of those questions we can answer and even do now. Some of those questions are going to require research, planning, and software changes to implement.

In each and every case, the software that you, your providers, and your centers use will be fully compliant before the implementation date of October 1, 2017.

And as always, we’ll be providing training videos and other materials to help make this transition as smooth as possible for your internal team and for your providers and centers.

Early Implementation

USDA released a memo on early implementation of the new meal pattern, and we are in the process of discerning which portions of the meal pattern you’ll be able to switch to early and which portions will need to wait on new software development to comply.  In the meantime, it’s important to remember that early implementation is always voluntary and meals cannot be disallowed for following the current meal pattern prior to October 1, 2017.

If your state informs your office that it will choose to opt-in to some or all of the changes that are eligible for early implementation, please pass along that communication to us as soon as you receive it.  We will be able to use that information to determine the priority for making any necessary changes to our software.

Individual Allowances for Early Implementation

Fortunately, it looks like most of the individual allowances that can be implemented early will be simple additions to your food lists once your State Agency authorizes those changes.  This includes:

  • Reimbursing infant meals when the mother breastfeeds on-site (no change required)
  • Allowing yogurt, whole eggs, and ready-to-eat cereals under the infant meal pattern (simple additions and changes to your custom food list)
  • Counting tofu and soy yogurts as a meat alternate (simple additions to your custom food list)

We are working on a plan for early implementation of the meat and meat alternate at breakfast allowance and whether that item can be made available prior to completing all of the other changes needed for the full meal pattern update.

Full Meal Pattern Update Early Implementation

We’ll be working on our plan for rolling out the full meal pattern changes, in which we hope to include some enhancements to the software that will make dealing with foods and nutrition analysis easier for you.  In the meantime, we are anticipating further guidance from USDA over the coming months on what they will be requiring from a record-keeping standpoint and a monitoring standpoint.  Until the full requirements and expectations for implementing the updated meal patterns are understood, we are in planning-only mode.  We have no doubt that USDA will supply CACFP operators and participants with detailed requirements and operational instructions in plenty of time to make these changes in the software for the effective date of October 1, 2017.  Until we see more information, however, we will not be able to announce when or if early implementation of the entire new meal pattern will be possible.

Summer Safety

child_eating_sandwich

Summertime means fun and adventure! Before you dive into your summer vacation, take a minute to consider the safety risks associated with exciting summer activities. As partners in creating healthy and happy environments for children, Minute Menu offers the following reminders for summer safety.

Stay Safe in the Water

As temperatures rise children and adults spend more time in water. When heading to the pool, lake, beach or other water destination, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Have a plan for supervising children swimming or playing in the water. Make sure enough adults are available to supervise the number of children present. Consider using a visual reminder such as lanyards or small flags for adults and children to know who is in charge at any given time.
  • Swim with a buddy. Drowning can oftenlook like swimming or playing in the water, and the person drowning might not make any noise. Each swimmer should have a buddy who is in the water and can watch for signs of distress. Read more here.
  • Never swim in unfamiliar water. Talk with children about the dangers of playing in or near irrigation ditches, overflow drains, or unfamiliar bodies of water, including flood waters. Bodies of water can have varied depths and currents, both of which can be dangerous or deadly.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen. Apply sunscreen and then wait about 30 minutes before going into the water. This gives the skin time to absorb the sunscreen. Remember to reapply after swimming. Read more tips on choosing, applying, and using sunscreen properly here.

Stay Hydrated

Staying safe in the heat means staying hydrated. Dehydration occurs when the body’s fluid levels are too low. This can happen quickly, especially when exercising or playing outdoors in higher temperatures. To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of fluids, and choose water over sodas, sports drinks, or other sugary beverages. Water helps you stay hydrated without the added sugar and sodium in other beverages. Learn more about the benefits of drinking water here. Visit this page to learn more about dehydration in children.

Know the Signs of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a very serious and life threatening condition, and knowing the signs can save a life. Someone suffering heat stroke might appear flushed, out of breath, confused or irritated, begin vomiting or get a sudden headache, and might not be sweating even though they are in the heat. If you suspect a child or adult is suffering heat stroke, contact 911 immediately, get them into a shaded area, and begin cooling them down using fans, ice packs, or cool water. Learn more about heat stroke here.

Protect Skin to Reduce Bug Bites

Summer is a great time for exploring nature. Exploring new areas means encountering new insects and critters, many of which are harmless. Using insect repellent, tucking pants legs into socks, and wearing closed shoes are effective and easy ways to reduce bug bites. Try not to scratch bug bites if you get them, and use topical creams or gels to relieve irritation. If you discover a tick on a child or adult, remember the tick has most likely burrowed into the skin and you will need medical assistance to remove it. Learn more about preventing and treating insect bites here.

All of us at Minute Menu hope you enjoy a fun and safe summer!

Have a summer activity you really enjoy? Share it with us in the comments section below.
References:

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning by Mario Vittone; Herald Tribune Online; 2013.

Sunscreen: How to Select, Apply, and Use It Correctly; Centers for Disease Control report; 2002.

Drink Water Instead of Soda or Juice; http://www.chalkcenter.org .

Dehydration; KidsHealth.org .

Heatstroke; MayoClinic.org

Avoid Bug Bites; Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Additional Resources:
Flood Safety; National Weather Service

Water Safety; TeensHealth; KidsHealth.org

Heat Stroke: Symptoms and Treatment; WebMD.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Three Ways to Get Picky Eaters to Try New Foods

Three Ways to Get Picky Eaters to Try New Foods

We all know how much kids love trying new foods, right? Anyone who has spent time negotiating with toddlers to get something green and healthy in their mouths can attest to how difficult it can be to introduce children to new fruits, boy and cooked vegetablesvegetables, and other foods. Still, there’s hope. All you need is a little imagination and determination.

Minute Menu is dedicated to helping you provide nutritious meals to children, and we have some ideas for getting picky eaters to venture outside of their culinary comfort-zone. While no single technique will work for every child, we have found that three popular methods seem to bring the most success. Read more of this post

Wishing You a Healthy Thanksgiving Menu!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? There are many to choose from: turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and candied sweet potatoes. While all of these are yummy foods we look forward to all year long, they probably are not the healthiest of menu items. This Thanksgiving you can explore delicious and healthy alternatives or additions to your Thanksgiving menu.

Thanksgiving and Harvest Festivals Around the World

One way to engage children in trying new foods and exploring new cultures is to look at harvest festivals, similar to Thanksgiving, from around the world. Harvest festivals traditionally celebrate the first, and sometimes the last, crops of a season. Although the dishes vary by region, they tend to focus on grains, vegetables, and fruits. Let’s take a look at some Harvest Festival activities and recipes: Read more of this post