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Chefs on the Move to Help Improve Child Nutrition

Last June, First Lady Michelle Obama along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched a call to action for chefs across the nation to join the battle against childhood obesity. The program, called Chefs Move to Schools, helps to partner chefs with local schools in their communities as part of the Let’s Move! initiative. Since June, we have seen chefs and schools across the country form new friendships and develop delicious meals in an effort to improve nutrition.

Chef John Tesar demonstrates how to make a salad with greens grown at Stonewall Jackson Elementary School’s Garden.

To that end, the focus of the Chefs Move to Schools program is to facilitate partnerships like Chef Raquel Rivera-Pablo’s in New York City where willing chefs work with teachers, parents, school nutritionists and administrators to create healthy meals that meet the schools’ dietary guidelines and budgets, while teaching young people about nutrition and making balanced and healthy choices. From chef Kimberley Stakal working with the Academy for Global Citizenship in Chicago to chef John Tesar at Stonewall Jackson Elementary in Dallas, the results have been great. Chefs Move to Schools has had over 1,700 schools sign up to connect with a chef through the program. And as word of this instrumental program spreads, we look forward to many more. With more than 31 million children participating in the National School Lunch Program and more than 11 million participating in the School Breakfast Program, good nutrition at school is more important than ever. By taking advantage of the creativity of chefs like those at the California Culinary Academy and the chef D’Aun Carrell’s in St. Louis, we can bring about real change and set our kids on the right path to healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. On the heels of so many advances on the school nutrition front, we must leverage that momentum and fully commit to these essential Chefs Move to Schools partnerships. So, I encourage both chefs and schools to make this happen today so we can raise a healthier generation of children. Let’s make this New Year count!

A child helps make the salad before sampling.