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My BFF Chef Cat Cora

The other day I took the kids over to celebrity Chef Cat Cora’s house, it was late in the afternoon and the kids were all getting whiny. All of a sudden she busts out this beautiful crudites with low fat Hidden Valley Ranch dipping sauce and we all immediately gathered around, kids calmed and wonderful conversations began flowing. Ok, that’s not exactly what happened, but that’s how it felt interviewing her and that warm southern welcoming feeling she exudes. Why was I interviewing Chef Cat Cora? Well, she is part of the Chefs Move To School and Lunch Break for Schools fundraiser that kicks off this Monday, February 27th. Cat Cora and several other chefs are going to be making lunches in a city near you and the proceeds go to support nutrition education and outreach for kids. Slam dunk, get a gourmet lunch and help educate kids on eating well. Cat also gave me loads of tips on getting your kids to eat veggies (hooray!), so take the jump and get her secrets…

The Lunch Break For Schools that Cat Cora is heading up provides much needed funding for kids education on healthy eating. Chefs go into the classroom and give demonstrations and presentations on veggies and fruit.  They show kids how to tell the difference between a cucumber and a zucchini and talk about gardening and creating awareness – like the fact that carrots grow in the ground, not in plastic bags at the grocery store!

Some programs have even started gardens at schools, allowing kids the opportunity to grow veggies they will eat. And guess what?! These kids are taking pride in their mini harvest and wanting to eat the veggies and fruit they took such great care of.

This is also helping schools create better lunch options for kids. In the past it was sloppy joes with french fries. With funding and education kids will have options like BBQ pulled chicken and black bean quesadilla served with crudités.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Lunch Break For Kids and see how you can help our kids future.

Chef Cat Cora has great ups for getting your own munchkins excited about your veggies too. Most days in her home they have a ‘happy hour’ where the family gathers in the kitchen for a snack and beverage. A big hit at her house is crudités. Surprise, surprise, most kid love their veggies raw. Think cherry tomatoes, cucumber sticks, bell peppers, celery, carrots, broccoli, edamame, snap peas, zucchini sticks and so on. This brings the family together to talk about their day and share and laugh and have a healthy snack – if Cat Cora has time for it then anyone can make it happen.

Cat also suggests giving kids choices, like what type of veggies, carrots or broccoli? serve salad with baby lettuces and spinach because they are more manageable and let kids decide what to top their lettuce with. Give kids ideas like corn, tomatoes, fruit, nuts.

Two must serve veggies are edamame – in the shell or pre shelled – and artichokes.

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