Chefs can have big impact on school nutrition

As a kid, assistant White House chef Sam Kass didn’t have much to barter with in his school lunches.

“Nobody ever wanted my food. I had, like, whole wheat sandwiches and a yogurt and fruit,” he said. “It definitely wasn’t my choice. I begged my parents for various sugary things.”

Now the tables have turned. Kass is committed to improving the nutrition of kids in his role as senior policy adviser for healthy food initiatives. Among his other duties, he works with first lady Michelle Obama on the Let’s Move campaign to fight childhood obesity.

Kass was in town for the recent Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids summit at the Culinary Institute of America. The summit, presented by the culinary institute and the National Restaurant Association, brought together food service professionals, educators, dietitians and researchers to discuss ways to improve kids’ health through food education and culinary strategy.

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