Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

Chefs Move to Schools - Orange County Public Schools Event

ocps chef hat logo

What do you get when you mix together a dedicated school food and nutrition service director, a supportive school district administration, motivated food service managers, creative culinary professional chefs, national, state, and local community partners; THEN, stir in Healthy Kids Challenge® , a nonprofit offering simple solutions for getting kids and families eating healthy and moving more? A recipe for SUCCESS! 

Orange County Public Schools, (OCPS), Orlando, Florida and Healthy Kids Challenge     have been Partners in Health for several years now. From energizing school wellness teams to offering creative ways to get kids excited about school meals through the HKC Ready, Set, Cook and Eat  event, to showcasing how to integrate nutrition education into science and math curriculum, many success stories exist together. 

The most recent and the most honoring for all involved is the Healthy Kids Challenge involvement with OCPS in their Chefs Move to Schools program and event which features their achievements so far this school year. Healthy Kids Challenge served as a partner for the initiative planning committee and our director, Vickie L. James, RD, LD was honored to serve as the MC for the Chefs Move to Schools event that was recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama and her Let’s Move! initiative with the presence of White House Assistant Chef and Food Initiative Coordinator Chef Sam Kass and Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary, Food, Nutrition & Consumer Services of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) both in attendance. Since that time, the OCPS efforts have received many accolades including the following words:

 Chef Kass and Orange County Public School kids cooking“I saw the vision of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to reduce childhood obesity at work today through the Chefs Move to Schools program in Orange County Public Schools. The creative partnership of the chefs, the food managers and the inclusion of the students is a model that should be duplicated nationwide,” said Chef Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and Food Initiative Coordinator.

“This was a phenomenal event! To see the passion and dedication of all involved to positively impact child nutrition was inspiring. I look forward to expanding this program across the country,” said Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary, Food, Nutrition & Consumer Services of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

To enjoy this recipe for success even more, enjoy the news article and Let’s Move! blog and video from the Chefs Move to Schools event.

“This is an amazing effort that is just gaining momentum at OCPS. I’ve seen this success coming with all the wonderful time, energy, and effort invested by Food and Nutrition Service Director Lora Gilbert and her fabulous team and partners. HKC is excited to be a partner and grow the vision to create a model for schools to offer the best school meal and nutrition education program possible for kids,” said Vickie L. James, RD, LD, Healthy Kids Challenge Director.

Hats off to Orange County Public Schools from Healthy Kids Challenge! Just one example of how creative partnerships can mastermind simple solutions to health. Contact Healthy Kids Challenge if you’re looking for project development, training, and program implementation for your school nutrition education and food service initiatives.


To hear more about the foodservice background and success at Orange County Public Schools, read this FoodManagement article.