To promote economical healthier options in US school lunches the USDA is hosting a recipe competition for programs that participate in the National School Lunch Program. Teams consist of at least 4 people (school nutrition professional, chef, student, and a community member) and submit recipes that can be made in a commercial school kitchen following NSLP guidelines in one of three categories – Whole Grains, Dark Green and Orange vegetables, or Dry Beans and Peas.
The top 30 will be used in a cookbook to be published in December 2011. The top 15 semi-finalist will be visited by the judging panel for an on site presentation of their recipe(s) as part of a regular food service. The finalist will compete head to head in a cook off at a date to be announced.
Voting is now open for the popular choice at – Recipes for Healthy Kids – until May 15, 2011.
The USDA has also created the Chefs Move to School program helping Chef’s and schools connect for a better school lunch.
Give a change a chance!
300+ submission are listed in addition to the semi-finalists. All recipes provide both 6 and 50 serving ingredient lists. Here are some suggestions for substitutes of some American classics that both adults and kids can enjoy:
Berry Delicious Salad (Wisconsin) – In season fruit, chicken, and poppyseed dressing.
Hippie Stix (North Carolina) – Baked Sweet Potato alternatives to french fries.
Cajun Yam Chips/Cooling Dip (California) – Baked yam chips and cool yogurt dip.
Pizza Roll (Florida) – Hummus tortilla roll for a vegetarian pizza option.
Sweet Potato-Blueberry Oat Squares (North Carolina) – Healthy grab and go sweet.
Cinnamon Apple Quinoa (Oklahoma) – Warm and hearty breakfast for lunch.
What is a School Lunch around the world?
Here are some great resources for learning about the differences in public school lunch around the world:
School Dinners around the World (BBC)
Overview of France, USA, Norway and Ukraine school lunch systems and challenges.
What is for School Lunch
Blog dedicated to pictures and descriptions of school lunches around the world.
Healthy Lunch Advocates:
Fed Up with Lunch – Teacher and parent turned to blogger and advocate that provides pictures from the cafeteria and what they now both carry for lunch from home.
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution – From England to Australia Jamie has worked to help parents and kids have fresh healthy choices in school and at home.
Slow Food San Fransisco – Report on the local efforts to introduce gardens and better food to the San Fransisco area
Lunch Suggestion Bloggers:
Images used under Creative Commons and come from: