You may recall the school lunches of your youth. If they were anything like mine / ours, the word “glop” may come to mind. Here in Eagle County, glop is a thing of the past. Eagle County Schools has developed kid friendly and kid-tested lunch menus.
Eagle County Schools’ has created a menu of scratch-cooked items and fresh produce to replace highly-processed food options. Currently the Fresh Approach program is being offered at Brush Creek Elementary through a special grant from the school district. Lunch participation is up 25%. The food gets rave reviews from students, teachers, and parents, and the cost of a student lunch is still $3.00.
But, as we know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Fresh produce, scratch cooking and the labor to prepare them results in higher costs. In order to keep the Fresh Approach initiative and expand it to all schools, funding is needed. A group of parents, school district staff and local restaurants is hosting a series of Chef Dinners throughout the valley to raise needed funds. In addition, the Fresh Approach team imagines that healthier foods at school will provide healthy habits to model at home, giving our children new behaviors for healthy living.
Let’s reinvent the school lunch, and make those mystery meals of our childhood a distant memory. Please make a financial contribution to Fresh Approach or join us at a Fresh Approach Chef Dinner to provide fresh, healthy foods in the schools.
• New Wellness Policy adopted for ECS!
• TV8 Video: Chef Douglas Dodd & Tara Van Dernoot, 4-23-11
• Vail Daily: A Fresh Approach to school lunches, 4-17-11
• Videos: Tricia Swenson, Natalie Rooney and Anne Heckman, 4-11-11
• #1 Tara van Dernoot
• #2 Anne Heckmann
• #3 Ray Edel
• #4 Tony Cardona
• #5 Anne Heckmann
“Scratch cooking has changed lunch at our school. A kindergartner was overheard saying, "I hear this school has a pretty good restaurant!" To see children go back for seconds on fresh fruits and vegetables speaks volumes! The stealth cooking approach has children eating and enjoying squash in the mac and cheese and zucchini in their spaghetti. Having healthy foods at school has made a big difference to our students in learning to be healthy!”
- Anne Heckman, Principal, Brush Creek Elementary
“Every morning before school we look at the lunch menu. Most of the time, my children are very excited to eat at school, now that the menu is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables and more “homemade” meals. When the kids buy lunch, I feel like it’s a vacation day for me!”
- Natalie Rooney, Parent, Brush Creek Elementary
“Vail Resorts is excited to be partnering with Eagle County Schools to host a series of Chef Dinners in support of fresh, healthy food for students. As a corporate partner to the Fresh Approach Initiative, we are proud to be working with parents and schools to help students learn healthy eating habits by providing our restaurants and Chefs for these events. We hope to see both local residents and guests to the Valley participate in a Chef Dinner and sample healthy cuisine in our finer restaurants!”
- Pete Hayda, Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, RockResorts Legendary Lodging Mountain Collection