Childhood Nutrition Day

Childhood Nutrition Day, celebrated on, or around Oct. 16, focuses on the need for education about childhood hunger, proper nutrition and obesity issues. Since the campaign’s launch in 1995, hundreds of chefs across the nation have participated in events within their local communities to feed hungry children, and foster and promote awareness of proper nutrition.

While Childhood Nutrition Day is celebrated only during the month of October, let’s use this excitement to continue to reinforce proper nutrition and healthy choices in school-aged children throughout the year. Use our programs and tools to implement an awareness activity and make a difference in your community.

Childhood Nutrition Day 2017

Thank you for making Childhood Nutrition a success this year! ACF awarded 19 grants to chefs and chapters across the nation, serving more than 2,800 students in 14 states and Guam.

ACF Gulf Coast Association hosted a Childhood Nutrition Day event at W.C. Griggs Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, with 720 students attending. There were ten booths with chefs giving nutrition facts and one main action station. It was truly a delight to see the faces on the kids!

American Culinary Federation Guam Chapter, Inc., in collaboration with Farm-to-Table Guam, taught students at Juan M. Guerrero Elementary School about juicing and eating fruits and vegetables during their annual Childhood Nutrition Day event.

Kimberly Larson, ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of California, worked with student culinary club members at a local high school to make green smoothies and provide samples during school lunch. There was also a display and talk about the Ingredient of the Month: Squash.

Michael Garahan, CEC, ACF Colorado Chefs Association, prepared a Vitamix Green Goddess Smoothie for the kids in local schools during October. The recipe uses spinach, pineapple, banana, green grapes, ice and water. The kids loved the smoothies and even came back for seconds!

Marianne Sanchez, Texas Chefs Association, presented a Childhood Nutrition Day program at the Brownsville Farmers Market at Linear Park, in partnership with the Brownsville Wellness Coalition. Children created their own salad with assorted seed toppings and tasted a natural fruit smoothie made with fresh bananas, grapes and strawberries. The parents were encouraged to take the nutrition information printouts and recipes to try at home.

ACF Central Florida teamed up with Nestle Professional and Worldchefs to present Foods for Healthy Heroes at local schools. Chefs shared the “superpowers” (benefits) that healthy foods have to keep kids strong, healthy and feeling like the superheroes they love.

ACF Professional Chefs Association of South Jersey enjoyed sharing their knowledge with students from local schools. Members had lively interactions and conversations with the students about healthy, nutritional eating, and about making the right choices in food selection. They used fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain pasta to make delicious, healthy meals and snacks that everyone enjoyed.

ACF Greater Buffalo Chapter held a Childhood Nutrition Day event in collaboration with Erie Community College City and North Hospitality Management Departments. There were activity stations for third grade students around arts and crafts, healthy snacks and physical fitness. The team prepared a healthy lunch of a flavorful and satisfying rice bowl that was a big hit. The students had granola and pumpkin cutouts for dessert.

ACF Triad Chapter, in partnership with The Second Harvest Foodbank and The Community Kitchen, held their tenth annual Childhood Nutrition Day breakfast at four locations of Winston-Salem NC Head Start, providing over 1,200 healthy breakfasts to children, parents, teachers, community leaders, college athletes and first responders. Over 50 chefs and culinary students worked together to make this annual event a huge success. College athletes from Salem College and Winston-Salem State Universities also attended and ate breakfast with the children, sharing the need for healthy meals to achieve sport ability.

Laurie Hartfelder, ACF Middle Tennessee Chapter, organized hands-on stations at a local school. One station calculated the number of teaspoons of sugar in sodas using sugar packs. Students were surprised at how much sugar was in one can of soda. At the next station, students made homemade lemonade and were amazed at how little sugar was needed. Students measured ingredients and made pumpkin pancakes at the final station. They took home the recipe to make the pancakes with their families.

ACF Chefs of Charlotte and the Central Piedmont Community College Healthy Futures Team went to a local Head Start to teach children about nutrition, portion size and eating colorful fruits and vegetables through the Five-A-Day the Color Way Program. The chefs introduced fruits and vegetables based on color and described the different textures, smells and tastes of the some of the product. Children were able to sample a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dried peaches, watermelon radishes and oranges.

Kevin Proper, CSC, Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts Inc, helped organize the annual Discovery Path event in West Yellowstone, Montana. Students learned about Yellowstone, recycling, exercise and proper nutrition. The students participated in a chopped challenge and applied what they had learned in their time spent there.

Natalia Garzon, ACF Atlanta Chapter, organized an after-school cooking lesson for 16 children from a local school. From Kindergarten to 5th grade, they took over the school cafeteria and transformed it into a Fresh Smoothie Bar. While preparing smoothies, they talked about sugar, fat and calorie content of foods.

ACF Coastal Virginia Chapter and Virginia Food Trust, Inc. gave 100 preschoolers a Farmer’s Market experience. They learned where each produce grows and in which season, and tasted 12 fruits and vegetables. The kids held the whole and halved versions of each fruit and vegetable, and felt the various textures of each. They tasted raw and cooked versions to expose their taste buds to new flavors. Culminating the class, they enjoyed warm apple cider on the lawn.