DCSS makes healthier food for students - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

DCSS makes healthier food for students

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28 kitchen managers from Dougherty County Schools showed up at Monroe High today in Albany to participate in Iron Manager.

The event is a spin off from the hit TV show Iron Chef.

Prizes were up for grabs for the top chef, but the grand prize is the most important of all, children's health.

The chefs were cooking healthy meals to combat childhood obesity.

"We, in child nutrition, want to counteract that. We want to turn our kitchen into laboratories for nutritional education," said Manager Peter Bridges.

Dougherty County School System Nutrition Director Vanessa Hayes says eating healthy starts at school.

"We need to help them make great choices here. We feel that this will carry over with them at home. If they learn the wonderful things to choose here then when they get home they will choose those wonderful things there, so that what were excited about," said Hayes.

The county school system is changing the menu from the ground up.

"We are adding more grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, more green vegetables, more fiber and iron. We're taking their favorites and sneaking in the goods on them," said Hayes.

Hayes says the meals children eat at school have a crucial impact on their life.

"Research has shown that they consume 50% of their calories with us. So if we can highly impact them then we have a fighting chance," said Hayes.

Only one team could win the competition today, but overall there was one big winner… the children.

The managers were divided into four teams for today's competition.

Each team put their spin on several dishes that will be served in schools this year.

The winners got a cash prize and aprons and chef hats that say iron manager.

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