“The best food can be the most healthy:” Students Design Healthy School Lunch

February 05, 2009 | Written By:

by Sara Klinzing, Manager of External Affairs

Last week, we had the honor of eating lunch with culinary students at Richards High School on the day that the healthy school lunch they designed was served to more than 20,000 students in 90 Chicago public high schools. (The students won this honor when their team placed first in HSC’s Cooking up Change Healthy Cooking Contest.) The student-designed meal, inspired by Hispanic Heritage Month, included:

• Carrotquedilla – a healthy quesadilla filled with shredded carrots
• Chorizo Relleno – a tasty stuffed pepper with turkey chorizo
• Refrescante – a fresh salad with cucumbers, citrus, apples and cilantro

The meal met nutrition requirements for school meals and was created on a budget comparable to that available to school food service directors, about a dollar per meal for ingredients.

 It was a tasty, hearty reminder of the power of student engagement, and we were all excited to know that so many thousands of students around the city were enjoying a meal that their peers designed.

Check out some of the comments that the student chefs on the winning team shared:

 “Our teachers and our school supported us and we were all working together as a team.”
~ Alvaro Aguilar

“We were able to do better than we expected. Healthy food can be good.”
~ Emmanuel Sandoval

“Healthy eating is not just something you have to do but a way of living.”
~ Jose Tena

“The best food can be the most healthy.”
~ Mike Martinez

 “I like to invent my own recipe –  or change  recipe, to make it my own.”
~ Rafael Ruiz

“I learn new skills that will help me in the culinary arts industry and the value of team work, which is the key term to success.”
~ Marquice Kent

 Now, we are working on plans to serve the school meal to others who care about children’s nutrition at school. Stay posted for more details!

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