Last month, Culinary Arts Professor Mike McGreal visited the White House to participate in the “Chefs Move to Schools” leadership team meeting, a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” healthy lifestyle initiative for school children. Chef McGreal is the only post-secondary educator on the team, which also includes members from various divisions of the USDA, the Institute of Child Nutrition, School Nutrition Association and a corporate chef from General Mills.
“It was a great experience. I felt our team made a lot of progress in our plan to address the need for more nutritious food in schools across the nation, and how to inspire children to make smarter and healthier choices.” said McGreal. “We spent part of the day with the First Lady, discussing the work we have already accomplished, and what we need to address in the future.”
As part of his work on the “Chefs Move” leadership team, McGreal currently serves as a consulting chef for the USDA and the Institute of Child Nutrition. He has worked with school foodservice staff across the nation teaching culinary techniques, and also how they can incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes into daily meal preparation.
“One of the things that stands out to me the most when I meet and work with school cafeteria staff is that these folks care very much about the children they serve,” said McGreal. “They realize that the school cafeteria meal may be the only hot, nutritious meal some kids get in a day, and they are passionate about giving them the best food possible. It’s really inspiring to see the progress we can make toward a healthier nation when we work together.”