School Community Learns to Eat Right Now

Since 2002, Calhoun School’s award-winning Eat Right Now program, led by Chef Bobo, has promoted healthier attitudes about food and nutrition that have affected the entire school community. The key: All dishes are prepared from scratch with fresh ingredients and great flavor—bought locally and in season—offered in portion-controlled servings.

The excitement began with the realization that kids could actually be taught to enjoy nutritious, well-prepared food. But the program’s lasting success became apparent as the study of food and nutrition began to enter the school’s curriculum, exploring how what we eat impacts our physical and mental well-being.

Today, chefs frequently offer classroom cooking demonstrations focusing on health and nutrition, science-oriented lessons about herbs and chemistry, and introductions to ethnic foods related to world cultures studies. Chef Bobo’s Upper School Politics of Food class turns research into social activism. Chef Andrew and an Upper School biology teacher offer a lesson on the anatomy of a pig, followed by a crash course in preparing pork delicacies; every part of the pig makes it onto the menu.

The program has promoted a deep appreciation for sustainability and the Farm-to-Table movement. Chefs work with student groups to harvest herbs and greens from the school’s Green Roof gardens; sustainability clubs promote composting while maintaining indoor Aeroponic tower gardens to supplement the salad bars.

Calhoun’s approach to healthy school lunches has been successfully replicated at numerous public and private schools. Several sous chefs have begun similar programs at other schools, while chefs and representatives from around the country are frequent interns in Chef Bobo’s kitchen.

Does your school do something similar?

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