Healthy Foods on School Menus of Washington, D.C.

Out of all the first ladies, I believe Michelle Obama has certainly been the only one who has tirelessly taken the initiatives to fight the obesity in the nation.  Her latest idea is to get the kids off the salty and processed food by introducing the chef to them.  The program called “Chefs Move to Schools,” which encourages chefs to adopt schools, promote healthful eating and educate kids about food and nutrition.

Tim Cipriano, director of food services for the New Haven public schools and one of the first chefs to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative,  is one of a group of local chefs headed to Washington, D.C., yesterday for the launch of the Chefs Move to Schools program. But Cipriano is not just there for moral support; he helped develop the strategy for the program.

In March, Cipriano was one of 10 chefs invited to the White House to meet with Sam Kass, a White House assistant chef and food initiative coordinator, to talk about making “Chefs Move to Schools” a reality. Cipriano became acquainted with Kass through his work with Share Our Strength, an organization that fights childhood hunger.

The chef-to-schools effort is part of the first lady’s broader initiatives to fight childhood obesity and promote healthful food choices for schools.

The idea is to swap real chicken for processed nuggets and fresh fruit for French Fries in the hopes of changing eating patterns among the young.

New Haven public schools are already ahead of the curve in adopting healthful food guidelines for school lunches, thanks to the efforts of Cipriano, as well as a cadre of community groups that have worked at the grassroots level for school lunch reform for years.

Washington, DC. has increased the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables served to students by more than 50 percent in two years.

Other local chefs who will be accompanying Cipriano to Washington, D.C., include Yale Executive Chef Thomas Peterlik and John Turenne, founder of Wallingford-based Sustainable Food Systems.

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3 Responses to Healthy Foods on School Menus of Washington, D.C.

  1. Jon Stout says:

    This is a good idea if healthy food habits are practiced in the home.

  2. Marcus Hines says:

    Jon, I agree that healthy eating habits must be practiced at home as my wife and I do with our two children. That said, for many people, having a respected figurehead to shine light on a problem is required just to get some parents on board with the initiative. The childhood obesity levels in our nation are epidemic. Like you I hope the parents will take heed.

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