This post is sponsored by Kid Healthy. All opinions are my own.
Cooking up Change® provides high school students the opportunity to transform the school lunch menu, develop valuable culinary arts skills, & become leaders in school food reform. In addition, it encourages them to seek a secondary education and utilize their knowledge in a career as a chef or in the field of nutrition sciences.
I had the honor of attending the 7th annual Cooking up Change® April 26, 2018, at Northgate Gonzalez Market Headquarters in Anaheim CA.
What a joy to see all the hard work and dedication these local high school students put into their creative unique cooking competition entries. You could feel the teamwork and competitive spirit of this competition, and we were able to taste the creative school lunches at the event.
Cooking Competition Challenge:
Each student team is challenged to create a new lunch menu following the high standards school food service professionals face every day including; utilizing only ingredients commonly found in a school cafeteria, a budget of $1.40 per serving, all while making it creative, great tasting and nutritious. Each team presents their meal to an esteemed panel of judges.
Cooking Competition Winners:
The winning team then travels to Washington, DC to compete on a national level. Our Orange County teams hold the title for six 1st place finishes in the Cooking up Change National Finals. While in Washington, D.C. students are given the opportunity to speak in a committee meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives, share their views & advocate for more funding for school lunches, as well as meet their local representatives. This event is part of Healthy Schools Campaign’s National Cooking up Change® Series.
1rst Place – Valley HS and Best After School Snack
2nd place – Sonora HS and Best Table Presentation
3rd place – La Habra HS
- Education in nutrition, meal-planning, meal budgeting, food resourcing, USDA dietary guidelines, and public speaking
- Hands-on training with a professional chef mentor
- Participation in a regional and national cooking contest
- Opportunity to receive a 2-year scholarship to a local culinary school
- Opportunity to gain internships with local restaurant and food service professionals
What is the Kid Healthy mission?
Kid Healthy works to improve health, wellness and nutrition by engaging school children and families from the most underserved communities of Southern California through culturally appropriate health and wellness programs that measurably increase nutrition and fitness levels.
Launched in 2003, our first effort became one of the largest obesity prevention campaigns in California.
The Steps to Healthy Living campaign engaged over 95,000 students, parents, and teachers in 4 counties. Its 10-year successful integration into the school environment allowed Kid Healthy to focus on the development of its two newer outreach programs. In 2009, Kid Healthy initiated Padres en Acción, an innovative parent-led structured recess program.
Kid Healthy created a hands-on training course that empowers parents to engage in school wellness policy, advocacy, and directly increase the level of physical activity through the structured recess component with a regular presence of parent volunteers every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.