Ethnic Food and Healthy Eating

In today’s world, eating right and being healthy is a conscious choice, but often for students they face the dilemma of wanting  the goodness of a true home cooked meal without sacrificing too many calories or nutritional value. This was the goal of Northwood High School’s Food Day event with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI’s Fourth Annual Food Day took place on October 24th with events occurring all over the country. Food Day is movement started by CSPI to educate and advocate for a change to the American food system and to increase education and advocacy for healthy eating. Food Day promotes education on healthy eating such as conducting cooking classes and planting a school garden and advocacy efforts such as encouraging local officials to adopt better local food policies.

To commemorate Food Day, Northwood High School’s SBHC had students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds submit some of their favorite recipes. The recipes were then sent over to CSPI’s head chef, Kate Sherwood. Chef Kate and her team reworked the recipes to be healthier by taking out or substituting fatty ingredients (using chicken instead of red meat), modifying how the meal is cooked (pan frying instead of deep frying), and/or increasing the nutritional value of dish (adding additional vegetables, like cauliflower to macaroni and cheese). Recipes were submitted from all over the world: Bangladesh, Guinea, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and Bolivia. To test out these new recipes, on Friday October 31st participating students took a field trip from Northwood High in Silver Spring, MD to CSPI headquarters in Washington, DC to cook with Chef Kate and others from CSPI. The morning was full of conversation on cooking techniques, safety in the kitchen, and how to make your meals healthier when at home. Students talked about the biggest take away from the experience being that you don’t always have to follow the recipes and you can always change it to make it healthier. After the recipes were prepared and cooked, everyone sat down to taste all the wonderful dishes.  The photo album belows shows the students at work, preparation of meals, and the final product.

Northwood High’s Food Day is made possible by Hallways to Health and Catholic University’s School of Nursing.

For more information on CSPI visit their website


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