Empower kids and they can solve problems themselves.
Last year, Super Chef reported on the documentary, School Line (see Lunch Line: Battle for Child Nutrition), which followed a group of students from an inner-city Chicago school who participated in Cooking Up Change, a nationwide competition to come up with school lunches for $1 a meal that fit the USDA requirements.
Last week, six teams of high school students from around the country came to Capitol Hill for another State of the Plate Issue Briefing. Just like last year, the students offered their creative solutions for making healthy, tasty, and relatively cheap meals of school kids. Senators and Representatives met to discuss the Pew Health Group and Healthy Schools Campaign. The panel included Rochelle Davis, President of the Healthy Schools Campaign, Jessica Donze Black, with the Pew Charitable Trusts, Karen Duncan, co-chair of Cooking for Change and wife of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
The kids served Caribbean crunch salad, chicken with orange-infused brown rice, North Carolina-style pulled chicken BBQ sandwiches, and yogurt parfaits. According to Food Safety News, Jackonsonville‘s team took the grand prize with a Caribbean-inspired beef rib salad with Moroccan rice and a sweet potato corn bread muffin.
The USDA needs ensure funding so schools have equipment and staffs to serve students nationwide.
There are plenty of imaginative ways to raise healthier kids – only money and the will to accomplish the task are lacking.