The Culinary Institute of America has launched a new website to provide important information, statistics, and recipe solutions related to the growing problem of childhood obesity in the United States. Titled Menu for Healthy Kids: Fostering Positive Change in Our Schools, it can be found at http://healthykids.ciachef.edu.
The site is geared for utilization by five key audiences: school administrators, food service directors, foodservice industry, teachers, and parents and kids.
"This dynamic, ever-evolving website is dedicated to creating positive change, one school at a time," says Rico Griffone, consultant for Menu for Healthy Kids. "By providing crucial information and resources that are easy to understand and centrally located, the CIA website strives to improve school food. Healthier, more flavorful student meals will reduce obesity levels and related chronic diseases."
Content on the site will be updated regularly, keeping pace with scientific advancements. Links to other informational sources will also be kept current. The site will provide live news feed as well, guaranteeing updates on nutritional breakthroughs. A link to YouTube CIA cooking videos offers healthy menus instruction. There will be scientific content from the CIA's research arm, The Menu Research and Flavor Discovery Institute. People can sign up to receive e-mail updates. A coordinating Facebook page has been launched, and podcasts are planned with prominent school lunch reformers.
The website was established to achieve several key objectives, said the CIA's Rico Griffone. They include...
• Increase collaboration and dialog among individuals, institutions, and industry working to improve school food.
• Identify and promote best practices that are currently working in school foodservice.
• Create a dynamic virtual community for exchanging information and resources about food and food practices in schools and at home that lead to improved child health.
The Menu for Healthy Kids website is the latest component of a larger, initiative launched by the CIA to address the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. In May, the school's prestigious San Antonio campus hosted the Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids conference, which brought together 200 diverse professionals from around the country, including Assistant White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass and Dr. Janey Thornton, USDA deputy under secretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services.