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#8 Food Trend for 2011: Chefs in Schools

Living up to their pledge, chefs join the cafeteria crews

This is one of The Food Channel's Top 10 Food Trends for 2011, based on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves®, the International Food Futurists® and Mintel International. For the full list, click here.


Living up to their pledge, chefs join the cafeteria crews. This will be the year we finally get really serious about feeding our children healthier, better quality foods. We’re no longer just talking about childhood obesity, we’re doing something about it. Jamie Oliver came with TV cameras to the “unhealthiest city in America” and showed what a difference one person can make. In 2011 thousands of chefs will be working with school districts to get better, fresher foods on the kids’ trays.

Cities are taking action, too, saying “no more” to new construction of fast food restaurants—and even banning toys from Happy Meals to dampen their kid appeal.

We expect to see more parents visiting school have lunch with their child and see what’s being dished out in the cafeteria line. And they’ll be thinking a little harder about what they’re putting on the table at home, too.

Last summer, more than 400 chefs gathered on the south lawn at the White House at the request of First Lady Michelle Obama. The white-coated culinary artists pledged to work with local schools to improve what’s being served in the cafeterias and to commit to her initiative’s lofty goal: ending childhood obesity within a generation.

In the coming year, we’ll see schools following the lead of the Berkeley, Calif., school district, now that a study has shown its groundbreaking “Edible Schoolyard” program has data to prove it works. A food-centric curriculum including schoolyard gardens and nutritional lesson plans has upped kids’ food knowledge and improved their diets. We’re guessing some of this learning will rub off on parents, too. Read the full top ten food trends. To view our Top Ten Foods to Watch in 2011, click here.

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Jamie Oliver Brings Food Revolution to Network TV

First Lady Asks Restaurants to Do More in Fight vs. Childhood Obesity

White House Meeting on Childhood Obesity Focuses on School Lunch