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News Thu Apr 30 2009

Healthy & Tasty School Lunch for Lawmakers, Designed by Kids

On May 5, lawmakers Washington D.C. will have an opportunity to eat school lunch in the Capitol Hill Cafeteria. But they need not fear: we are not talking about oil-coated cardboard pizza with watery skim milk here.

The lawmakers will be served what could be the future of school lunch, designed, and hopefully cooked, by Chicago-area high school students in culinary art programs. Back in October, the Healthy Schools Campaign, an NPO dedicated to the improvement of healthy overall environment in schools, held Cooking Up Change contest. (Photo from HSC.)Six students from Richards Career Academy High School won the first prize in the healthy school lunch division, and theirs will be the menu served to the lawmakers, with the help of White House Chef Sam Kass. The same menu will be served in more than 40,000 students across the country.

Their winning menu includes carrot quesadilla, chilles rellenos with chorizo, and refrescante. It already sounds yummy, but it gets even more impressive when you realize that this menu meets the nutritional guideline, and even comes under the cost requirement set for the Chicago Public Schools--the one that supposedly justifies the aforementioned cardboard pizza. HSC is hoping that the lawmakers who experience this possible future will push for a better guideline for school nutrition.

Now, you might be wondering why I said the students will "hopefully" prepare the meal they designed. That's because they still need funds to travel to the D.C. Pitch in if you can afford it--donation starts from $25. They're also asking us to urge the lawmakers to actually eat the school lunch on May 5. If I was one, I would definitely try the menu; it sounds healthy in a way that's fun and not too stoic (no sprouts, no turkey breasts, no skim milk).

Tara / June 18, 2009 10:34 AM

Thanks to everyone who helped send the student chefs to DC! You can check out photos of the students preparing their healthy school meal with Sam Kass here and check out the remarks of one student chef who spoke at a policy briefing on the future of school food here.

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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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