Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council

Cooking Up New and Nutritious Recipes for School Kids

“What’s for lunch?” It’s a common refrain in school cafeterias across the state, and some tasty plans are in the works to provide exciting new and nutritious menu items. Thanks to a special series of events called “Oregon Cooks for Kids,” school cooks are learning new recipes featuring dairy ingredients that they can take back to their schools.

Sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Services, seven statewide culinary trainings are being offered for school nutrition directors and cooks in 2016. This year’s schedule includes trainings in Albany, Hermiston, McMinnville, Central Point, Salem, La Grande and Klamath Falls.

Chef Garrett Berdan, RDN, coaches participants on cooking-from-scratch culinary skills, while preparing and taste testing 15 actual recipes. The preparation of healthy meals for students emphasizes nutrient-rich foods, because studies show that well-nourished kids perform better at school. Participants practice menu planning, weights and measures, knife skills and other culinary techniques.

The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council has supported culinary training events for seven years. Oregon’s 228 dairy farm families and 31 dairy processors are involved with schools across the state — providing nutritious foods to kitchens and cafeterias and leading health and wellness initiatives.

Cafeteria cooks have new tricks up their sleeves

Statewide culinary trainings are improving the quality and variety of meals served in Oregon schools. Learn more about what happens at these special events with this fun story from KGW TV’s Portland Today.   VIDEO

Healthy Meals for Healthy Students Trainings

Trainings are presented in partnership with the Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs and the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. We train school nutrition and frontline staff, giving them ideas and skills to improve their school meal programs with nutrient-rich recipes, featuring ingredients like low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.   VIDEO