Healthy School Lunch Initiatives is a research and development project in partnership with the Hawai`i Department of Education, and the Hawai`i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS).
The food environment within the school system is critical to children’s health and their ability to learn, as well as their physical development. Hawai`i’s children are the present and future consumers of Hawai`i’s agricultural products, when more of which can be introduced through school lunches.
Research and Development: KCC chef instructors and dieticians research creating healthy school lunch recipes according to the equipment and food sources available to schools. Healthy school lunches must be tasty and appealing to the student customers, while meeting nutritional guidelines. The goal is to increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits in student meals. Locally grown ingredients are used to create these new recipes.
Training: KCC offers training to school food service supervisors and staff in partnership with public and private schools, funded by federal, state and community foundation grants. Training include culinary math, nutrition, healthy cooking, and baking healthy, whole grain bread.
Consultation: KCC, in collaboration with the Hawaii Initiatives for Childhood Obesity Research and Education (HICORE) and the member organizations of Pioneering Healthier Communities initiative, provides consultation to schools for developing healthy food services within the framework of a coordinated school health system. To goal is to help students to attain energy balance, and create an environment conducive to the whole child’s development. Guidelines for School children’s health are available at http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/CSHP/
Food Processing Facility for School Systems: KCC is building a consortium of local partners to create a food processing facility that will add value to locally grown agricultural products, including off-grades, and supply Hawaii schools and other institutions with healthy processed, or semi-processed foods, such as salad mix, sauces for pasta, chili. It is an investment for Hawaii’s future, by connecting Hawaii’s farmers with the largest potential market – Hawaii’s school children, and serving them healthy, tasty, locally grown foods.
Interested partners are welcome – call 734-9473 regarding this project.