Chefs Move to Schools

May is upon us, and the end of the school year is fast approaching. Now is the time to engage your community in the effort to collaboratively educate kids about food and proper nutrition through Chefs Move to Schools. Let's all reach out to students next month at least one more time before summer recess begins. Check out the great work of chefs and schools across the country highlighted in this month's newsletter.

We hope you are inspired by the stories and articles below. Please send us your great recipes, successes, videos, pictures, and tools for us to publicize in the months to come by visiting the Chefs Move to Schools website or emailing

Chef for a Day Program
American Culinary Federation   Chefs Move to Schools Grants Available for Participating Chefs

The ACF is offering $250 grants to chefs participating in the national Chefs Move to Schools program. Two granting opportunities are still available in 2012, with the next application deadline August 30.. Chefs interested in applying must be registered with the NEW Chefs Move to Schools website, be matched with a school and have volunteered twice within a year. Applicants are not required to be ACF members. Download the grant application to apply. Email for questions or additional information.

Success Stories
Visiting Chef Cooks Healthy Meal for Kids in Kansas City

Thanks to the Color My Tray program, distinguished Kansas City area chefs are sharing a new recipe with kindergarten students during lunch at Ingels and Dobbs Elementary School. Chef Dan Sowders from Julian restaurant visited Dobbs Elementary School. So, what's on the menu? Zucchini Parmesan!

Chef Dan prepared and offered samples of the new school menu item and talked to a group of kindergarten students about the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, how they are grown, and how to make them part of meals every day. "We are really excited about the partnerships we are developing with the chefs," said Leah Schmidt, the district's nutrition service director. "Our department has used The Culinary Center of Kanses City for several of our professional development programs over the last five years and the staff just loves going there and now, we're equally excited to team with Julian and its owner, Chef Tio."

  Color My Tray
Chef Dan Sowders from Julian restaurant visited Dobbs Elementary School

Made possible thanks to a grant from the Office of Minority Health, the Color My Tray program reinforces the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and their accompanying health benefits. Schmidt said the grant also enhances the district's use of the USDA's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), which enables schools to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to students. FFVP has been successful in introducing school children to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample. Kindergarten students will also receive zucchini as an afternoon snack in "raw" form through the FFVP.

"It's exciting to see all of the elements of the Color My Tray program come together," Schmidt said. "I can't help but believe this program will make a positive impact on fruit and vegetable consumption at school and hopefully at home, too."

Students from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools

  Festival for the Taste Buds at Child Nutrition Services Food Show

Wednesday's second annual Child Nutrition Services Food Show was a festival for the taste buds at Bank of America Stadium for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools. About 200 students lined up with plates in hand, ready to try turkey corndogs, bean and cheese chalupas, veggie quesadillas, and more. The event showcased 23 new, healthier recipe options for consideration on next year's CMS high school lunch menus. The menu additions would be decided by the students.

"One of the key things to eating healthier is to get students involved with the menu for the upcoming school year," said Chefs Move to Schools volunteer Chef Jason Wolf of Hope Haven, Inc. "We are interested in hearing what they have to say. We want to make sure the right items are bought for what they'll want to eat."

Students in grades eight, nine and ten were selected from middle and high schools across the district. Each principal selected five students who had interests in food and nutrition or participated in the school's culinary arts program.

After tasting a variety of foods, students chose the foods that most excited their palates and marked a survey with their favorites. Different products are then chosen from the vendors with the best taste, acceptance rate, and price.

Tenth-grade Independence student Ureil Simon said he doesn't usually eat at school because he doesn't like the taste of the foods. "Here, the bread is all whole grain and whole wheat. The cheese is real cheese, not the fake stuff," said Ureil. "Foods here would make me change my mind about buying school lunches."

Get a taste of what the Food Show was like this year with exclusive video.

  Students from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools
Recipe of the Month
Vegetable Chili with Bell Peppers and Beans

This recipe was created by
Kathryn Guylay
School name: Community School of Sun Valley, Idaho

Recently, Kathryn Guylay visited her partner school in Sun Valley, Idaho, to teach students how to cook Vegetable Chili. The students enjoyed samples of the chili, which was served on brown steamed rice and topped with shredded cheese. For more classroom recipes and healthy food ideas, visit Guylay's blog The Healthy Kids Idea Exchange.

  Vegetable Chili with Bell Peppers and Beans

1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 – 28 oz. can tomato sauce
1 – 28 oz. can diced tomatoes

  3 – 15 oz. can beans, kidney, white, pinto, black or great northern, any mix, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Salt/pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to slow cooker, stir to combine, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Stove top method: Cook on medium heat for approximately 45-60 minutes, until flavors combine.
Serve over cooked brown rice, quinoa, or another whole grain. Top with a tablespoon of sour cream and/or shredded cheese. Makes 10 cups.

Want more ideas?
Join ChefTalk, our e-mail discussion group,
to discuss other ways chefs and schools are working together.


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We forward to working with you!

-Chefs Move to Schools Team

Chefs Move to School Website