In today’s post, Amy Myrdal Miller describes an array of activities being implemented by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), as part of their broad commitment to child nutrition. I have had the opportunity to participate in some of the CIA’s school nutrition events over the past few years and can attest to the quality of presentations and excitement of the audience.
By Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, Senior Director of Programs and Culinary Nutrition
The Culinary Institute of America
In 2010 The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) made a commitment to develop a national initiative that would support the creation of a wider variety of healthful, flavorful foods for kids. We launched the first Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids National Leadership Summit in May 2011; we’ve continued to expand our work in this area since that time.
The annual Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids National Leadership Summit is now part of a larger CIA Healthy Kids initiative. In addition to the annual leadership summit, which attracts a national audience of 200 school nutrition leaders from across the country, the CIA is also developing and/or sharing recipes, training tools, and culinary education resources for school nutrition professionals.
The success of this initiative is due to the fact that we have been working with some phenomenal partners, including USDA, the National School Foodservice Management Institute (NFSMI), a 10-member National School Foodservice Advisory Council, nutrition and health leaders, commodity boards, manufacturers, and others who are eager to enhance the flavor and quality of foods made available in our nation’s schools.
Some of this work focuses on enhancing the culinary knowledge and skills of school nutrition professionals through the annual invitational leadership summit and through our website. Other components of this initiative focus on the creation of new products that meet the operational, budget, and regulatory needs of schools while also meeting the flavor demands of K-12 students.
CIA Healthy Kids is part of The Culinary Institute of America’s larger commitment to health and wellness. Each year we plan and host a series of national leadership events for professionals from a variety of disciplines and settings. These events include our annual Worlds of Healthy Flavors Leadership Retreat (for volume foodservice professionals), Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives® (for healthcare professionals), and Menus of Change® (for food, foodservice, and culinary professionals). All of these events focus on the creation and promotion of healthful, flavorful foods. We highlight the expertise of world cuisines experts, culinary and nutrition leaders, and other professionals who are committed to the health of our nation.
We know that we at the CIA have so much more to share that will inspire and empower school nutrition professionals to continue to do good work. The options for healthy, flavorful school meals are limitless when drawing inspiration from world cuisines, drawing ingredients from U.S. producers, and drawing on the expertise and passion of leaders and partners committed to making a difference in the lives of children in this country!