Childhood Nutrition Day 2012

In 2012, Chef & Child partnered with the makers of Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dressings and dips to make Childhood Nutrition a success. ACF chapters and members combined efforts and promoted healthier eating among children and families through Lunch Break for Kids fundraisers and outreach events during the month of October. Our goal was achieved! Over 1,000 chefs participated in a variety of activities, from fundraisers to school demos to city proclamations, reaching an amazing 10,000 family members across the country with the message of proper childhood nutrition. The ACF chapter in each region that made the biggest impact for Childhood Nutrition Day won $10,000, made possible by a generous donation from Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dressings and dips.

Southeast Region

National and regional winner ACF North Carolina Chapter participated in Childhood Nutrition Day by providing a nutritious breakfast to students, parents, teachers, community leaders and local college athletes at five Head Start locations on Oct. 16. The chapter also held fundraisers and healthy demos throughout the month, and received a proclamation by the City of Winston-Salem.

ACF Kentucky Chapter hosted several events supporting Childhood Nutrition Day. Throughout the month, chef volunteers demonstrated healthy and cost effective snacks and meals at family events hosted at a local elementary school. In addition, the chapter has organized an after-school program with students meeting once a week for five weeks to learn about nutrition and healthy ways to prepare food. The culminating event is a dinner prepared by the students for their families.

ACF Chefs of the Low Country hosted an educational booth focusing on MyPlate and healthy fruits and vegetables at a local elementary school. The kids had a great time and the event was extremely successful. Watch Video

ACF Greater Atlanta Chapter chefs and students stepped up to the challenge of promoting Childhood Nutrition Day and Lunch Break for Kids and a good time educating children in healthy eating. Chapter members volunteered their time and food to participate in Africa’s Children’s Fund’s fundraiser. As ongoing projects, chapter volunteers go into schools to teach children about healthy eating, and also pass out bags filled with nutritious food and snacks on Fridays to provide students with food over the weekend.

ACF Middle Tennessee Chapter organized an event in collaboration with the school nutrition committee of Alignment Nashville in support of Childhood Nutrition Day. 100 Chefs in 100 Schools was a city-wide event with chefs providing nutritional education and conducting cooking demos in over 60 schools. Kids and parents received recipes, stickers and community resources on healthy foods.

ACF Palm Beach County Chefs Association supported Childhood Nutrition Day with their annual outreach event at an elementary school’s after school program taking regular foods the children love to eat and making them healthier. Chef volunteers introduced healthy eating habits to over 150 students, parents and school staff under the theme “Food Trucks and Street Food Made Healthy.” The chapter also received a county proclamation naming Oct. 16 as National Nutrition Day in Palm Beach County.

ACF Southwestern Virginia Chapter hosted several events during October to raise childhood nutrition awareness in their community. The chapter held a fundraiser, “The Star City Embraces TRAINing Kids for Good Health,” where local elementary school students prepared the hors d’oeuvres for the black tie dinner. Volunteers also participated in a walk-a-thon and went to several schools with interactive demos making healthy snacks and meals.

ACF Tampa Bay Culinary Association supported Childhood Nutrition Day by providing fresh salad bars in a local elementary school, as well as engaging the students and giving them tips on healthy eating. In another elementary school, the chapter offered students guacamole made with fresh avocados and chips as an alternative snack.

Fort Lauderdale ACF, Inc. held a Lunch Break for Kids fundraiser at one of the local school’s “Spirit Day,” serving Crudités Shots with Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® dressing. In addition, the chapter participated in the local Harvest event, educating students and parents on eating and growing vegetables. This is part of an ongoing project with the school that began with the students planting seeds in their very own vertical growing hydroponic system. Chefs created special recipes for the day using the planted vegetables.

Central Region

Regional winner ACF Louis Joliet Chapter took on the challenge to spread the world about Childhood Nutrition Day and Lunch Break for Kids events by adorning the bulletin boards of Joliet Junior College with articles, recipes and tips on eating hallways. Instructors stressed healthy versions of what they were cooking that week in their classrooms. Culinary students produced over 500 healthy meals for families in low-income communities. Chapter volunteers taught the importance of making healthy choices to high schools students, and gave hands-on demos to special needs students, as well as for a Make-a-Wish Foundation event.

Members of ACF Greater Indianapolis Chapter and The Chef’s Academy were in public schools in Indianapolis talking about healthier eating options and after-school snacks. In addition, volunteers went into several post-secondary and prepared a healthier option for something the schools were already serving, without changing anything about the menu or what would need to be ordered.

ACF South Bend Chefs and Cooks collaborates with community organizations to promote healthy eating and educate families on sanitation, safety, and nutrition. In support of Childhood Nutrition Day, the chapter went into schools to showcase an Asian pasta stir fry, fresh fruit cutting demo, and a MyPlate hands-on exercise during October. The chapter also hosted two stations at Unity Garden’s Harvest Celebration. In addition, the chapter meeting that month focused on hunger awareness, with a tour of Northern Indiana Food Bank and presentation about world hunger.

ACF West Michigan Lakeshore Chapter hosted a Lunch Break for Kids fundraisers, as well as a canned food drive, in support of Childhood Nutrition Day. In addition, chapter volunteers participated in a five-week program for fifth and sixth graders promoting physical health, leadership and team building. The program ended with a dinner prepared by the students for their parents.

Northeast Region

Regional winner The ACF Jersey Shore Chefs Association, in collaboration with The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean, participated in a several events in support of Childhood Nutrition Day. Elementary school classes from different schools enjoyed a fun day visiting stations about smoothies, nutritional hop-scotch, gardening and fruit and vegetable carving. In addition, chef volunteers provided nutritious meals at various local child feeding programs, and the chapter also received a proclamation by the state of New Jersey.

ACF Eastern Long Island Chefs Chapter celebrated Childhood Nutrition Day during October with a series of community events as part of Lunch Break for Kids. The events ranged from working with girl scouts on badges to visiting schools for hands-on food demonstrations, all designed to showcase how simple food high in nutrition can make healthier bodies.

ACF Epicurean Club of Boston sponsored Childhood Nutrition Day at “Camp Sunshine” supporting children with life threatening diseases and families. Chapter volunteers provided nutrition education and hands-on demos showing kids that eating healthy can be fun.

ACF Professional Chefs/Cooks Assn of Rochester teamed up with Foodlink, a regional food bank, to support Childhood Nutrition Day. Their activities centered on reaching underserved kids and their parents through Cooking Matters® classes and lunch lines hosted by BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) culinary arts students. The goal was to enable kids to cook for and model healthy eating habits to other kids.

Western Region

Regional winner ACF Chefs Las Vegas supported Childhood Nutrition Day with an outreach event at a local elementary school by serving a healthy meal and providing education about the importance of a well-balanced diet and exercise. The chapter also hosted a golf tournament benefitting Chefs for Kids, putting the last hole with a spatula.

ACF Chefs Assn. of Southern Arizona Tucson held a variety of outreach events during October in support of Childhood Nutrition Day, as well as a Lunch Break for Kids fundraiser. School activities were a focus with volunteers teaching healthy cooking in after-school programs. The chapter also participated in an event for local high school culinary students showcasing demos on healthy cuisine and garden opportunities. During the annual community event, Tucson Meet Yourself, the chapter hosted a booth to advocate for smart choices in nutrition.

Chefs de Cuisine Association of San Diego went into several schools in the community and hosted health fair events in support of Lunch Break for Kids and Childhood Nutrition Day. The chapter put together salad bars and healthy snacks for kids to sample, as well as presented interactive stations on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy drinks and growing a garden.