Colorado High School Students Cook Up Healthy Change for School Lunch

Colorado High School Students Cook Up Healthy Change for School Lunch

Last week, students from three Denver Public High Schools competed in our fourth annual EatWell@School Cooking Competition at the Culinary Labs at Johnson & Wales University. We can’t wait to tell you who won!

The competition was part of a unique nine-week after-school program that teaches students basic culinary skills and nutritional education to prepare them for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. As the culminating event of the program, the competition challenged students from Bruce Randolph School, Manual High School and KIPP Denver Collegiate High School to create a delicious, nutritious and affordable school lunch that aligns with the USDA's school nutrition guidelines and meets Denver Public Schools' (DPS) budget of less than a dollar per meal.

For the past nine weeks, six culinary students from Johnson & Wales University have served as volunteer mentors to the DPS students in the program. These mentors have instructed the students on a variety of culinary topics including, food safety and sanitation, knife skills, developing a nutritious meal plan, healthy food sourcing and managing a cooking budget.

During the competition, the meals were judged by a panel of culinary experts, including Chef Peter Henkel , culinary professor at Johnson & Wales University; Beth Schwisow , area supervisor with Denver Public Schools Food Service and Nutrition; and Tanya Dillard, health promotion manager for Cigna, Mountain States.

We are very thankful to these individuals for donating their time and expertise. Likewise, we are grateful for our EatWell@School Cooking Competition partners – The Anschutz Foundation, Cigna, DPS and Johnson & Wales University – for making this initiative possible and for helping to drive necessary, sustainable change in our fight against childhood obesity in Colorado.

Taste the winning recipes

While all of the teams prepared delicious meals, we are excited to announce that Manual High School was named the winner of the competition with its chile verde with turkey and brown rice, calabacitas vegetable salad and fruit salad with granola cups

The winning meal will be served at LiveWell Colorado's annual Fundraising Luncheon on December 9 and all three teams will be recognized at the event.

We are so proud of all of these students for their hard work and dedication throughout this program. To support this school food revolution, try the winning meal and recognize these students’ accomplishment at our upcoming luncheon.

If you haven’t done so already, it’s not too late to purchase tickets. Thank you in advance for your support and thank you to our generous Fundraising Luncheon Sponsors:

EatWell@School Fundraising Luncheon Sponsors


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