2010 Golden Carrot Award Winners
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has named the following winner, runners-up, and honorable mentions in the 2010 Golden Carrot Awards.
The award coincides with this year’s National School Lunch Week, which runs from Oct. 11 to 15. A cash prize to benefit the food service programs accompanies the award for the winner and runners-up. The winner receives $3,000 and the runners-up each receive $1,000.
PCRM established the Golden Carrot Awards in 2004 to recognize food service professionals doing an exceptional job of improving the healthfulness of school lunches. PCRM looks for programs that encourage kids to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and that offers plenty of vegetarian, low-fat, whole grain, and nondairy options.
2010 Golden Carrot Award Winner Vino Mitra, Oceanside, Calif.Oceanside Unified School District
Vino Mitra, Nutrition Services Director
Oceanside Unified School District offers a wide variety of nutritious food and utilizes innovative programs to promote healthy eating. Oceanside’s “Lean and Green” Monday offers environmentally friendly, low-fat, plant-based entrées and an excellent learning opportunity for students. These “green” kid-favorites include soy chick’n tenders, a garden veggie patty, and veggie lo mein. The “Lighthouse Foods” program helped introduce more whole grain foods, fresh fruits, vegetables (including dark green and orange vegetables), and a daily vegetarian entrée option. Oceanside also offers a robust daily salad bar featuring a bean of the day, including garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans, and great northern beans. Oceanside’s cafeterias offer soymilk and a menu completely free of trans fats.
District of Columbia Public Schools
Jeffrey Mills, Director of Food Services
The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) offers a wide variety of nutritious, vegetarian meal options, including curried local fall vegetables with steamed brown rice, Moroccan bean and vegetable stew, and a black bean burger on a whole wheat roll. Fresh salads are offered daily. DCPS has introduced students to a variety of new fruits and vegetables this year through after-school programs and a “Strawberries and Salad Greens Day” to kick off a celebration of fresh, high-quality, local food in school cafeterias.
Prince William County Public Schools
Serena Suthers, Director of School Food and Nutrition Services
Prince William County Public Schools (PWCPS) makes teaching kids healthy habits fun and engaging by holding tasting parties highlighting the fruit or vegetable of the month. It also sponsors a “Lunch and Literate” program that encourages healthy eating habits and highlights new fruits and vegetables. PWCPS offers daily vegetarian and vegan entrée options, including hummus and pita chips, three-bean chili, chik’n nuggets, and black bean empanadas. PWCPS also serves whole grains, including rolls, buns, granola bars, and brown rice, among others, and offers soymilk. PWCPS has also instituted a farm-to-school partnership with a local vendor to provide dark leafy lettuce for PWCPS salads.
Memphis City Schools
Liz Purnell and Kim Stewart, Division of Nutrition Services
Memphis City Schools (MCS) is leading its community toward better health. MCS engages local coalitions, universities, parents, and its dedicated staff to provide students with a healthful menu full of delicious plant-based options. Local chefs helped develop tasty and healthful recipes for traditional southern dishes. Student favorites include baked okra, Mexicali corn, and southern green beans. Other favorites—turnip greens and sweet potatoes—are sourced from local farms. Black bean and corn salsa, veggie burgers, and veggie salads with sesame seeds are among the daily veg-friendly highlights. MCS supports local initiatives including community gardens and walking school buses, and they hope to see these programs expand.
Holy Family Day Home
San Francisco, Calif.
Arthur Reaza, Head Chef
Holy Family Day Home (HFDH) provides hands-on learning that encourages children to eat their fruits and vegetables. Its “Children’s Giving Garden” allows children to see the fruits of their labor and taste healthy soups made with the garden produce, like delicious broccoli or lentil soups. HFDH also highlights a fruit or vegetable each month from the garden and incorporates it into the curriculum through song, art, or dance and discusses various ways to eat the item. HFDH offers fresh, wholesome, made-from-scratch meals, including vegan options, such spaghetti marinara with whole wheat pasta, zucchini, and white beans. Soymilk and almond milk are also available to students each day.
St. Anne School
Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Azmin Ghahreman, Chef
St. Anne’s vegetarian entrées include a veggie and avocado sushi roll with edamame, a ratatouille-filled pita pocket, and a vegetarian teriyaki bowl with broccoli and corn. Chef Ghahreman provides a dynamic educational curriculum that teaches students about the delicious flavors of fresh fruits and vegetables by incorporating them into every meal. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of St. Anne’s lunch program. Nondairy beverages include fresh squeezed apple and orange juice, as well as flavored coconut water.
Weston Public Schools
Jill Paterson, Resident Dietitian, and Andre Santelli, Executive Chef and Director of Dining
Vegetarian entrées are available every day at Weston Public Schools. These include veggie burgers, hummus platters with carrots, celery, and pita, and a salad bar that includes tofu, toasted almonds, and edamame. Weston embraces the “Fruits & Veggies: More Matters” philosophy by offering unlimited portions of fresh fruits and vegetables from their fruit and salad bar: melon, grapes, strawberries, red peppers, carrots, and broccoli florets are just some of the options for students. Nondairy beverages such as soymilk, bottled water, and 100 percent juice are also offered.
Glendale Unified School District
Agnes Lally, Director of Food Services
Glendale Unified School District provides a colorful Garden Bar of fresh fruits and vegetables with a minimum of six different choices. Fruits and vegetables served daily can include apples, strawberries, tangerines, pears, bananas, baby carrots, spinach, and mixed greens. Through the “Harvest of the Month” program, students learn about trying new foods and eating a well-balanced diet.