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Posts tagged: HealthierUS School Challenge

USDA Food and Nutrition Initiatives Thrive in the Windy City

Chicago SFSP partners kick off the city’s summer feeding season.

Chicago SFSP partners kick off the city’s summer feeding season.

During my recent trip to Chicago, I had the great fortune to visit several places that were doing tremendous work with many of USDA’s nutrition programs.  One of the first stops was to a local school where children were really excited to learn more about where their food comes from.  Read more »

Chicago Celebrates “Go for the Gold” in Food and Fitness

How many mascots does it take to turn a school assembly into a celebration?  Well, on June 7, not one, not two, but a total of SEVEN mascots rocked the Chicago Public Schools’ “Go for the Gold” HealthierUS School Challenge celebration at Walsh Elementary School. Three major Chicago sports teams sent their mascots to delight the kids and support the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. Benny the Bull of the Chicago Bulls, Staley Da Bear (Chicago Bears) and DIBS (De Paul University Blue Demons basketball) brought down the house, with Benny shooting a basket from clear across the gym and Staley and DIBS battling it out on the drums.

Joining the merriment were USDA’s Power Panther and three mascots from Chartwells Hospitality (CPS school meals provider). Univision TV reporter Enrique Rodriguez and emcee extraordinaire kept the mascots on their toes and had the entire gym shouting “Eat Smart…Play Hard…Let’s Move!…Go for the Gold!” Read more »

Big Day in the Big D – 154 schools receive HealthierUS School Challenge awards

Students from Thomas A. Edison Middle Learning Center perform the dance/exercise routine they did during the recent Let's Move! national event.

Students from Thomas A. Edison Middle Learning Center perform the dance/exercise routine they did during the recent Let's Move! national event.

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog.

May 25 was a fabulous day in Dallas as I presented 154 HealthierUS School Challenge awards to schools of the Dallas Independent School District – the greatest number to a single school district thus far. 78 schools received gold awards and another 76 earned bronze level awards.  And, Texas leads the nation with 228 out of 1155 schools in 42 states that have earned awards. Read more »

California Chef Helps Schools Go for Gold!

Salida Union School District’s Child Nutrition Services Director, Chef Billy Reid (right), Tammy Zeiger (left), a member of his team, and several students demonstrate how to cook a healthy school lunch using USDA Foods.

Salida Union School District’s Child Nutrition Services Director, Chef Billy Reid (right), Tammy Zeiger (left), a member of his team, and several students demonstrate how to cook a healthy school lunch using USDA Foods.

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Chef Billy Reid, manager of child nutrition services at Salida Union School District, is an advocate of the Chefs Move to Schools initiative. Chef Reid has been using his expertise to make sure students in his District eat meals that are both healthy and tasty. Read more »

Michigan Chef Embraces First Lady’s “Chefs Move to Schools” Initiative

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

In March 2011, USDA Special Nutrition Programs Regional Director Julie Mikkelson and I met Chef Paul Penney at a HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) award celebration in Canton, Michigan. Chef Paul, a volunteer with the First Lady’s Chefs Move to Schools initiative, was in the kitchen at Dodson Elementary School helping school foodservice staff prepare mashed sweet potatoes and apples and Michigan cherry chili.

Both dishes, recipes he created for the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, were making their debut at Dodson that day. At the lunchroom entrance, Chef Paul greeted each student and handed out 2 ounce “tasting cups” of the chili and the sweet potatoes. (He credits Plymouth-Canton foodservice director Kristen Hennessey with the idea.) Read more »

Champions of Change: Moving Chefs to School in New Haven, Connecticut

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to join 5 chefs from across the country, all of us being recognized as a Champion of Change. Working together as a team the six of us joined in a discussion with Under Secretary Kevin Concannon and Chef Sam Kass to discuss opportunities and challenges of the Chefs Move to Schools, a program of the Let’s Move! initiative.

The true spirit of Chefs Move to Schools (CMTS) is to engage children in their classroom through food. The program has morphed into a fun and educational program benefitting both school children and school nutrition professionals. One practice that is becoming popular is to have the program benefit both these groups; first by getting kids excited by a chef demo then having the chef step into the school kitchen, not to comment about the food, rather to work hands on with the kitchen staff to help re-educate them on basic kitchen skills. This quick educational lesson is often welcomed by the staff who see it as an opportunity to network with a local chef. Engaging organizations is important to seeing through with the success of CMTS. The American Culinary Federation, School Nutrition Association and Share Our Strength are the top three organizations involved to see through with the success of CMTS. Read more »