School Lunches

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chef Jorge Collazo, the Executive Chef for New York Public Schools, and Chef Bill Telepan, owner of Telepan restaurant, who volunteers as a cook in public school cafeterias, how to create fresher, healthier meals for young students.


Jorge Collazo and Bill Telepan

Comments [20]

part 2 please from

"... how to create fresher, healthier meals for young students."

er, how?

Jan. 20 2010 08:36 AM
WM from NYC

The organization that Bill Telepan mentions and works with is called Wellness in the Schools (WITS). Their URL is

Jan. 19 2010 03:30 PM
JJ from




Jan. 19 2010 01:32 PM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

students of all ages often respond to new foods by being involved in their creation. when i was in high school, there were programs there that saw students who were considering culinary careers involved in school catering (given, this was a well-funded school). how about considering their participation in the solution, for those schools that have kitchen facilities, or can accommodate a cooperative credit for them if central kitchens are created. this is not unlike the performing arts students who train outside their public schools in anticipating of following dance careers, for example.

Jan. 19 2010 01:28 PM
Talia from New York

My 5-year-old son discovered that, at school, he doesn't *have to* eat his fruits and vegetables at school. So he has been choosing taco meat and taco shells, sans veggies, or chicken nuggets, hamburger meat and a bun, and pizza. He's not picky at home, but somehow this new-found freedom to choose is turning him into a beige-food eater (as opposed to green, red, yellow, purple, etc.). Is there any way fruits and veggies could be incorporated, mh, actually hidden, into chicken nuggets or hamburgers? That way parents can kiss their children good-bye when they go to school without feelings of anxiety about their eating habits outside of the home.

Jan. 19 2010 01:26 PM
df from

with the massive influx of fundamental muslim families the school knocked pork off the menu.

the handful of jews who don't eat pork also benefitted!

Jan. 19 2010 01:26 PM
Mary from manhattan

That window of good will even extends to nuggets and hambergers -- I understand the need to serve "kid friendly" food - every kid at school loves pizza day - but I tasted those nuggets and that hamburger recently and was so sorry I let my kids eat school lunch -- The "chicken" nugget was cardboard covered in sawdust and the hamburger was about the same -- the quality or amount of actual meat....Why not chicken tenders? actual chop meat for cafeteria to make into patties? No wonder my kids want to eat as soon as I pick them up at 3pm!

ALSO: personnel is key: we used to have a woman on the staff who had her own recipes and make roasted chicken once a week - once she left it was back to pre-fab food and waterlogged veggies. My kids happily eat string beans, cauliflower, broccoli, corn and carrots at home BUT NOT AT SCHOOl cos they are just boiled til they are water logged and tasteless.


Jan. 19 2010 01:26 PM
adsf from

how do you match the federal requirements for protein minimum guys?

Jan. 19 2010 01:17 PM
Amy from Manhattan

They use Styrofoam trays in school cafeterias?! What happened to GreeNYC? Not only are they environmentally unfriendly in their manufacture & disposal, they can't last very long! More sustainable choices are available--let's use them! (Guess I'd better call 311. Unless Leonard was joking....)

Jan. 19 2010 01:16 PM
Gary from Upper Left Side

Leonard, please ask your guests if there has ever been an effort to invite the kids into the school kitchen before school starts to teach them not only cooking skills but also food safety and teamwork skills?

Jan. 19 2010 01:14 PM
kate from washington heights

Don't fool yourselves, kids usually eat salad or raw vegetables only as a foil for ranch dressing.

Jan. 19 2010 01:14 PM
ert from

But how do you negotiate with the private contractors who serve the food and have their own ways of doing things?

Jan. 19 2010 01:13 PM
face from

A dollar a day for lunch!? Couldn't that money be better spent on laptops?

Jan. 19 2010 01:12 PM
sr from NJ

A heathy lunch at school is a good, but what the point if they don't have enough time to eat. i have been a lunch room helper for many years and i see most kids dont have the time to eat one whole apple after standing in line to get their tray. sorry, i have always wanted to make a documentary of all the food wasted and into the trash every lunch period. we need a whole new outlook towards eating.

Jan. 19 2010 01:11 PM
Tigersfan from Brooklyn

My son is a vegetarian middle schooler in Brooklyn. The school lunch lady has lost his confidence early in the year. He insists there is nothing for him to eat, and has his mother make his lunch for him at home everyday. The window of good will that kids give you is very short at the beginning of the year, you have to win them over quickly or loose them.

Jan. 19 2010 01:09 PM
tt from

average meal cost? sample menues? changes necessary (for example, ovens/stoves added)?

most traditional contracted food service firms say healthier, better can't be done.

Jan. 19 2010 01:07 PM
Mickey from New York

Curious what the guests know of the Cookshop program, which our daughter is involved in at her public school. Michael Lomonaco is heavily involved in it and it brings healthy choices to the classroom by showing the kids how to shop for healthy food and how to prepare it.

Jan. 19 2010 01:05 PM
twe from

is this

Jan. 19 2010 01:02 PM
Betty Anne from UES

My niece's public school allows students to purchase additional items with their lunch. Things like gummy bears and cookies are readily available with the swipe of a card. It's as if there is an anticipation that the child should be hungry after a full meal. The cafeteria also serves corn dogs, french fries and cheeseburgers regularly. My niece is only in second grade. Even if she could make healthy choices, why should there be any real choice? I can see giving them a choice between carrots and peas but not HFCS-laden chocolate milk vs. regular, something is seriously wrong here.

Jan. 19 2010 12:52 PM
asdf from Somerset County, NJ

Our kids' school private food company states their only regulation is MINIMUM protein requirements, cost and popularity of the meal. Farm fresh? The reply was that the cost is too high for the amount they get for their meals (2.50, w half the meals paid for by the taxpayer). What's the reply to THAT?

Jan. 19 2010 12:39 PM

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