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Childhood Nutrition Day, celebrated on, or around Oct. 16, focuses on the need for education about childhood hunger, proper nutrition and obesity issues. Since the campaign’s launch in 1995, by the American Culinary Federation, hundreds of chefs across the nation have participated in events within their local communities to feed hungry children, foster and promote awareness of proper nutrition.

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, Dorchester Career and Technology Culinary Arts Program lead by Chef Charlene Zinnel, member of the American Culinary Federation, Nate Bratko, Nutrition Educator for the University of Maryland Extension Program, Leslie Bishop, Director of MidShore Meals Til Monday, and the Judy Center partnered to facilitate a day long assembly at Sandy Hill Elementary School to highlight the importance of childhood nutrition. During each grade level assembly each student, fitted in their custom-made chef hat, gathered to learn more about the importance of trying new foods and leading a healthy lifestyle. Students were encouraged to sample new foods that were introduced to them during the assembly rotations. Stations were lead by DCTC Culinary Arts students who received food and nutritional training from Mr. Bratko prior to the event. Students in grades kindergarten through second sampled three different types of apples and pumpkin parfait. Students in grades three through five sampled fruit kabobs and strawberry banana smoothies. All children visited Mrs. Bishop’s Cranberry to Craisin & Raisin station to sample the tartness of real cranberries before they become dried cranberries and sampled some dehydrated apples; an alternative to candy. Pre-K classrooms received a special visit from Chef Combo© who encouraged students to try pumpkin parfait.

All students had an opportunity to vote of the new foods that they tried. Below are the results:


  • 100%, All students at Sandy Hill Elementary enjoyed trying new foods!
  • 70% K-2nd grade students enjoyed trying apples!
  • 55% pre-K-2nd grade students enjoyed trying pumpkin!
  • 55% pre-K-2nd grade students enjoyed trying pumpkin!
  • 40% K-2nd grade students enjoyed trying dried cranberries, raisins, grapes and apple snack.
  • 71% 3-5th Grade Students enjoyed Fruit Kabobs as a healthy snack
  • 70% 3-5th grade students enjoyed Fruit Smoothies!
  • 35% 3-5th grade students enjoyed trying dried cranberries,, raisins, grapes and apples.

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