With the national emphasis on better school nutrition and more exercise in schools, many school districts are working to improve the cafeteria offerings. Chicago is trying to go further than the USDA’s new school food recommendations.
Walsh Elementary School was recently honored as one of nineteen Chicago Public Schools to achieve the “Go for the Gold” program, a local version of the national “Healthier US School Challenge”.
The Healthier US School Challenge started in 2004 to recognize schools that put forth the extra effort to promote nutrition and physical activity. The challenge offers monetary awards for schools that meet the criteria – up to $2000 for a qualifying school.
The Chicago public school system created the Go for the Gold program to help Chicago schools meet the requirements of the national challenge. The guidelines for Go for the Gold are a little stricter than those of the USDA and include serving a different vegetable every day, limiting starchy vegetables like potatoes, and eliminating too-sweet breakfast items.
You can see what the kids are eating at Walsh Elementary in the video below. The kids seem to like most of the food on their plate, with the exception of the sweet potatoes. One kid complains that the sweet potatoes are too much like baby food. I can sympathize with that complaint. I, too, prefer my sweet potatoes and white potatoes unmashed.