Miami-Dade schools joins alliance for healthy food
MIAMI (WSVN) -- No more mystery meat or cardboard pizzas. There are more healthy choices now on the menu at South Florida schools.
The change is part of a lesson plan that includes celebrity chefs.
Though you might cook healthy at home, your kids might not always eat healthy at school. Representatives from several school districts across the nation are now coming together to make that happen.
Smoothies, rice and beans, chicken and veggies will soon be some common items on the school menu, as students now getting a healthier choice in the cafeteria. It's all part of a cross-country coalition to drive food costs down and quality up -- ultimately giving kids better options for school meals. Julie Frans, chef at Essenia Restaurant, said, "It's important to me that kids are developing a taste for real food with herbs and real spices and not so much processed food."
The six largest school districts in the country are coming together to form the Urban School Food Alliance, which ensures kids receive delicious and nutritious meals and exceed USDA guidelines. Carol Chong Director of the Food and Menu Management at Miami-Dade County Public Schools said, "We hope to continue collectively to bring healthy foods and high quality products to our customers, our students, in all our districts."
Schools right here in Miami-Dade County are partnering up with celebrity chefs-- including that of Heat superstar Dwayne Wade-- to help this dream become a reality. Celebrity Chef Richard Ingraham is happy to send a positive message to students about the significance of nutrition. "It's very, very, very important that they know that good cooking, healthy cooking is good for you, and it does a lot for your body."
Celebrity Chef Julie Frans of the Essensia Restaurant at the Palms Hotel and Spa on Miami Beach is also offering her talents. "This school district is phenomenal. The directors and all the people that I work with in the department are so forward thinking, and they don't just want to sit with the status quo. They really want to improve the food."
Serving more than 2.5 million meals a day among the six districts, some of their nutrient recommendations include whole grain products, low fat dairy and fresh produce.
To show solidarity, the alliance will be serving the same lunch at all six districts on Wednesday, March 20.
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