Heroes for Healthy Schools Week: Chef in the Classroom Day!

April 05, 2011

Chef_in_the_Classroom

Today was day two of Heroes for Healthy Schools week, a series that HSC is presenting with Chicago Public Schools and the Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to highlight  the role everyone can play in ensuring that all children are able to succeed in school and live healthy lives. After getting the week of to an active start yesterday, we continued the energy today with Chef in the Classroom!

At Mark Sheridan Math and Science Academy this morning, eager and excited third grade students in chef hats were “fist pumping for chefs in training” under the direction of their Chef in the Classroom representative, Chef Lovely.  Chef Lovely shared her recipe for chicken lettuce wraps and fruit kabobs with orange yogurt and granola. She dazzled the class with her jewel encrusted knife set while telling them about healthier ways to prepare their food.

“Sometimes you can use different flavors in your chicken instead of salt. We call them aromatics. Can you say aromatics?” said Chef Lovely. The class loudly repeated: “Aromatics!”

Chef_in_the_Classroom_5

After teaching the students how to make her wraps and kabobs, which she explained are healthier for you than other desserts because they contain natural fruit sugars as opposed to refined ones, she sent the students back to their desks so they could taste-test the healthy treats.

Chef_in_the_Classroom_1

Two of the peer health educators with the Office of Minority Health who traveled to Chicago this week to support Heroes for Healthy Schools  were on site to help Chef Lovely prepare the students’ taste portions.

Jackie, a sophomore from UCLA, is a nursing and pre-med major. She is excited to get out and start helping in schools this week.

“I’m learning a lot being in a different place,” said Jackie. “It’s different reading in your books and actually going somewhere and seeing first-hand.”

Callie, a junior from UNC, is majoring in health policy and management and got involved with the peer health educator program through a friend who knew she was interested in health.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing all of the events in a big city. Chapel Hill is small!” said Callie.

As the students tasted their snacks, positive exclamations could be heard from many students’ mouths.

“Mama mia! This is delicious!” said one student. “Can we have seconds?” said another.

One student even asked Chef Lovely a personal request.

“Can you come to my house and make me a fabulous meal?” he asked.

As Chef Lovely started wrapping up her presentation, she asked the students to give her one last thought about what they had learned today.

“On the count of three, tell me how your food tastes,” said Chef Lovely.

After a count of one, two, three, the students answered with a resounding, “Delicious!”

Chef_in_the_Classroom_3

After a morning in the classroom, chefs and the principals of the schools they visited all gathered for a special luncheon to talk about ways to stay connected and help their schools meet the high standards for nutrition education set by the HealthierUS School Challenge, the program that First Lady Michelle Obama is urging schools to take on.

Stay posted for more updates on Heroes for Healthy Schools!

Photo Credits: John McMullen Photography