CMTS April Newsletter
How have you been moving this month? Spring is bringing warmer weather, and it's time to get outside! April is National Gardening Month, a perfect time to begin planting.

A few weeks ago, First Lady Michelle Obama replanted the White House Garden with help from some local elementary school students. The garden is in its third year, and includes spinach, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, peas, broccoli, raspberries, blueberries and other vegetables and herbs. Watch a video of the First Lady's remarks and check out a map of the garden.

(Right) First Lady Michelle Obama replants the White House garden with students from Bancroft Elementary and Harriet Tubman Elementary Schools in Washington, D.C.

  First Lady Michelle Obama

Chef John Tesar


As part of Chefs Move to Schools, Chef John Tesar led Stonewall Jackson Elementary School students in a salad-making demonstration featuring beet greens and turnip greens freshly harvested from the school garden in Dallas, Texas. Each student has his or her own plant in the school's 20,000 square foot garden, which adds to the excitement surrounding fresh vegetables. Science teacher Mark Painter brings classroom learning to the garden, where he has students measuring wind, temperature, and vegetable growth. The students participate actively in this outdoor science lab, where tasting activities are highly anticipated.

(Left) Dallas Chef John Tesar demonstrates how to make a salad with greens grown in the school garden.

    Chefs and schools are vital to the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, and they have been generating excitement about nutritious foods through school gardens, after-school cooking clubs, and taste-testing events. Now is a great time to get energized and spring into action!
  1. Join us for the April Chefs Move to Schools Q&A Webinar on Thursday, April 14 from 2:30 to 3:30 PM EST. The Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) invites you to participate in this free one-hour webinar.  Sign up to participate.
  2. View the February Chefs Move to Schools Webinar Recording – The Chefs Move to Schools website has been updated to include the February 24 webinar recording, as well as materials, handouts and presentations from the webinar.
  3. Prepare some of the semi-finalist recipes from the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition.   

From among the 340 entries submitted, five semi-finalists have been selected in each of three categories: whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and dry beans and peas.

  The public can vote for their favorite recipe on the Recipes for Healthy Kids website until May 31st.  The recipe with the most votes will receive the Popular Choice award.  Get students involved in picking their favorite recipe, or host your own recipe contest.
Recipes for Healthy Kids
  Also, stay tuned for more information about the next phase of the competition.  Between April and May 25, 2011, recipe category judges will visit the semi-finalist schools to meet the recipe competition team and taste the recipes prepared as part of the school’s lunch for that day. The judges will score the recipes on the taste and flavor profile, appeal to students, creativity and originality, and appearance and presentation. Judging teams will evaluate the recipes and choose the first and second place finalists for each recipe category.  Look for updates in the USDA Blog about these events.
  The teams of the recipes chosen as the First Place Finalist in each category will compete in a national cook-off to determine the Grand Prize winner at the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Conference in Grapevine, Texas on Monday, July 25, 2011. 
4. Celebrate National Family Week and Teacher Appreciation Week (May 1 to May 7). Host family fun night with physical activity, games, and cooking.  Plan chef demos and hands-on healthy snack preparation activities at Open Houses. Organize a theme lunch for kids to enjoy with teachers, such as “Apples with Teachers”.  FNS provides many nutrition education materials for parents that you can use at your events.
5. Get matched and get cooking! Reach out and form a chef-school partnership and announce your match!
6. Take the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC).  Work with your school's wellness committee, the school cafeteria, and students to see if your school meets HUSSC criteria.
Want more ideas?
Join ChefTalk, our e-mail discussion group,
to discuss other ways chefs and schools are working together.


Thank you for joining Let's Move! We look forward to hearing from you.

-Chefs Move to Schools Team