A look back: The Urban School Food Alliance 2024 Cooking for Healthy Kids training

On April 22-26, the Urban School Food Alliance hosted its second Cooking for Healthy Kids culinary skills training at the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio Campus. School nutrition staff, including chefs, dietitians, and culinary trainers, from 14 districts attended the five-day event.

The curriculum was designed by school nutrition professionals for school nutrition professionals. The culinary techniques, recipes, tips, and strategies shared throughout the week were specific for the school kitchen. The training was led by Chef Cathy Powers and Chef Samantha Gasbarro. Chef Powers is chair of the CIA Healthy Kids Collaborative, partner with Culinary Nutrition Associates LLC, and former faculty member at the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Gasbarro is a culinary nutrition graduate of Johnson & Wales University, former chef and nutrition coordinator for Windham-Raymond School District in Maine, and executive chef for HealthySchoolRecipes.com.

Take a look back at what our attendees learned during the innovative training and how our members are transforming school meals with new skills and new ideas.

Day 1: Monday
Members reviewed culinary basics like mise en place, knife skills, and measures and weights by practicing with fresh fruits and vegetables. In the afternoon, participants attended a session on dietary guidelines and nutrition standards in school meals.

Day 2: Tuesday
Members focused on cooking vegetables for greater student appeal! Teams prepared delicious roasted, steamed, and chilled vegetable dishes and plant-based proteins alongside culinary trainers. In the afternoon, participants attended a session on reducing sugar.

Day 3: Wednesday
Members created elevated whole-grain recipes like a chicken carnitas and sorghum burrito bowl, citrus couscous salad, Alaska pollock quinoa bowl, and brown rice edamame salad! In the afternoon, participants explored reducing kitchen inventory by maximizing ingredient versatility.

Day 4: Thursday
Members prepared delicious, innovative sandwiches, pickles, and dips for lunch. In the afternoon, attendees explored herbs and spices and strategies to reduce sodium while enhancing flavor.

Day 5: Friday
On the final day of the weeklong event, participants focused on building success with salad bars! Each team prepared an entree salad, a side salad, and a salad dressing that showcased fresh vegetables and bold flavors.

Credit: Urban School Food Alliance

Credit: Mary Tyranski

Credit: Urban School Food Alliance


Credit: Betty Torres

Credit: Samantha Gasbarro

Credit: Urban School Food Alliance

Join the Conversation

Latest NewsLatest News

The latest news and headlines from Urban School Food Alliance

Pin It on Pinterest