School Food: ‘Clearest Route for Effecting Positive Change’ in Kids

[ 0 ] September 17, 2012 |

Kate Adamick

Kate Adamick, a food systems consultant and co-founder of Cook for America, has put the adage “a penny saved is a penny earned” to work in hundreds of school districts nationwide through her Lunch Teachers culinary boot camps. It’s at these events that Adamick teaches food service staff how to most efficiently manage their limited budgets and provide students with freshly prepared, whole foods-based meals.

Related: Back to School – Healthy Meals for Kids, With Kate Adamick

Adamick’s new book, Lunch Money: Serving Healthy School Food in a Sick Economy, captures those strategies for food service directors trying to revamp menus in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new school rules and determining how best to utilize an additional subsidy of 6 cents per meal. Did you know that food service directors still often have little more than $1 to spend on food per meal?! It takes a lot of creativity to figure out how to offer kids the best lunch on that tight budget.

Adamick recently talk to‘s Erin Sirianni about why she went from being a chef in a four-star restaurant to healthy school lunch advocate, the new federal lunch rules, chocolate milk, and the role of “lunch ladies.”

Related: School Food Isn’t Entirely to Blame for Childhood Obesity

“School food turned out to be — at least for me — the clearest route for effecting positive change in the lives of as many children as possible,” Adamick says. Click here for the interview in its entirety

Adamick also recently talked to about her latest book, Lunch Money, saying she wrote it because she has been “dismayed by the fact that most educators and policy makers still struggle to understand how schools can afford to replace their existing processed convenience foods with healthier cooked-from-scratch meals.”

“The key to financial success for most school food service operations lies in putting down the box cutters and can openers, and picking up calculators and pencils,” she said. 

Lunch Money is a “how-to” book packed with money-saving and revenue-generating tools for use in any school kitchen or cafeteria.

“I included as many practical examples, diagrams, charts, mathematical formulas, and worksheets as possible to help uncloak the mysteries of funding cooked-from-scratch school meals within the confines of ever shrinking school budgets,” Adamick says. “And, because I know that math can be intimidating for many people, I tried to be as entertaining as possible to help alleviate any anxieties the reader may be having about working with numbers. After all, life is a lot more pleasant when work is fun.”

Related: Quick, Healthy Back-to-School Food Ideas & Tips for Moms

Profits from the sale of the book are being donated by Adamick’s consulting firm, Food Systems Solutions® LLC, to the Children’s Health Foundation.

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Category: Food & Wine, Lifestyle

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About Kate Adamick: Kate Adamick, Principal of Food Systems Solutions LLC, is a New York City-based consultant specializing in integrating operational changes, site-based programming, and public-private partnerships to implement, reinforce and support the healthful transformation of institutional meals [...]
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