Submitted by Beth Kretschmar, Marketing Manager
As a food service company, one of the joys of working directly with college students is helping to instill a healthy eating mindset in young people who are living independently for the first time. But reaching kids at even younger ages can be helpful in preventing bad habits from really taking hold.
Not long ago, Jim O’Brien, resident district manager at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, learned that kindergarten and first grade students at nearby Stepstone Academy were in “academic emergency.” Wanting to help, he identified an opportunity to do so with the healthy eating portion of the curriculum. Case Western hosted a special lunch visit in which Stepstone students, staff members, and parent volunteers could learn about the basics of healthy cooking and eating while also getting to know a higher-learning institution in their own neighborhood. Jim, as well as Sous Chefs Victor Lane and Robbie Washington and Resident Dietitian Dayna Einheit, presented on fast and simple yet healthy meal preparations.
Stepstone Academy is one of the first charter schools in the United States to integrate an aspirational, no-excuses culture with learning supports such as behavioral health, parenting/family skill building, and workforce preparation, so a field trip to CWRU was a perfect addition to the curriculum. Bon Appétit was thrilled to contribute the part of culinary knowledge, skills, and habits, in addition to a hot and healthy lunch.