Students in Ithaca City Schools are tasting new recipes as part of Cool School Food, a program to improve student health. Top rated recipes might even make it onto the regular school menu. Here's what organizer Amie Hamlin has to say about the latest round of tastings:
Cool School Food
Cool beans are good for the environment and for student health! And cool beans are the focus of Cool School Food, the signature program of New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, in partnership with the Ithaca City School District Child Nutrition Program, Moosewood Restaurant, and Cayuga Pure Organics. Beans from Cayuga Pure Organics are used whenever available. Beans are a great source of protein – with no cholesterol, no saturated fat, and lots of fiber and phytonutrients. They are also great for the environment, using many less resources, causing much less pollution, and contributing much less to global warming than animal agriculture. Cool School Food is a program that develops and introduces plant and bean-based recipes, and then conducts tastings in all nine Ithaca elementary schools. The recipes are also served at the two middle schools. Feedback from the tastings is used to modify the recipe if necessary, and determine if the recipe should be added to the menu on an ongoing basis.
The tastings consist of serving samples of the recipe (the most recent is Pasta Fazool) and having children vote and receive stickers for trying the recipe. In addition, all the raw ingredients are displayed so children can see what is in the food. We make it festive by having balloons and music when possible (some schools have music lessons on the stage during lunch, so we can’t always play music).
Volunteers are welcome. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Amie Hamlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to their website, "The New York Coalition for Healthy School Food (NYCHSF) is a statewide nonprofit that works to improve the health and well-being of New York's students by advocating for healthy plant-based foods, including local and organic where possible, farm to school programs, school gardens, the elimination of unhealthy competitive foods in all areas of the school (not just the cafeteria), comprehensive nutrition policy, and education to create food- and health-literate students."
During the experience, students see raw ingredients, taste foods, receive stickers for tasting, and vote on their favorites: