June 11, 2013
Students from George Washington High School won an honorable mention for best presentation in the “Cooking up Change” Healthy Cooking National Finals. Held at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C. the students competed against seven other teams from across the county in the preparation of healthy, tasty and creative school lunches that meet the nutritional standards and cost structure of CPS school food service staff.
“We are proud to have George Washington High School represent our City in the Cooking UpChange National Finals, serving a delicious and nutritious dish that I enjoyed,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Whether in the kitchen or the classroom we are providing our children with the opportunity to explore their passions and discover their dreams so they can succeed.”
To qualify for the national finals the George Washington High School students competed against 11 other CPS high schools and took first place in the competition with their menu of chicken rancheros, elotes, a Spanish corn with spices and cheese, and tropical fruit salad. The winning meal was served to more than 300,000 students across CPS.
“I congratulate the George Washington High School culinary students who have worked to develop a delicious and nutritional meal that their peers can enjoy,” said CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “CPS is at the forefront of school health and wellness nationally, raising the bar for our school communities and ensuring that every student has access to a healthy environment in which to learn and thrive.”
In October 2012, CPS set new guidelines and requirements for students in nutrition, nutrition education and physical activity with updates to the District’s Local School Wellness policy. The standards are clearly outlined in the policy and place strict limits in areas such as calories per serving, saturated fat and sodium and include:
- No more than 35 percent of total calories from fat per serving, and zero transfats
- Less than 230 mg of sodium for a snack or side dish
- Milk must be either low-fat or no fat, and limited to 8 fluid ounces
- Juice serving sizes are restricted to 6 ounces in elementary schools and 8 ounces in high schools.
Last week, before heading to the national competition, the students gave Mayor Rahm Emanuel a preview of their culinary skills by preparing a sampling of dishes and sitting down for lunch with him at City Hall.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.