Want to know where to get the healthiest meal in town? Head to the school cafeteria! School lunches have had a bad rep for being unhealthy, but a growing number of cafeterias are sending workers to “lunch lady boot camp. ” There they learn how to cook everything from scratch -from whole wheat pizza, to mac and cheese.
 
For decades, cafeterias were under fire for serving mass-produced, fatty foods, like chicken nuggets, and Sloppy Joe’s. But the surge in childhood obesity is causing school kitchens across North America to go old school and make healthy, low-cal meals from scratch.

But there’s a problem. A lot of cafeteria workers don’t know how to make meals from scratch. For years, the M.O. was to simply to reheat pre-cooked meals. So, schools are now sending workers to “lunch lady boot camp,” where they get a crash course in everything from healthy menu planning to kitchen math. For example, how to figure out the exact number of ingredients they need to make say, mac and cheese to serve 300.

And cafeteria meals made from scratch aren’t just a healthy move. They’re also a good money move. Kate Adamick is the co-founder of CookforAmerica, which runs a healthy-cafeteria-food boot camp. And she says that making meals from scratch is cheaper than buying pre-made meals. That’s because schools need such a huge quantity of ingredients, that they can score deep discounts from suppliers.

So it’s a winning situation all around.

If you want your kid’s school to get on the healthy food bandwagon, go to Cook For America.com to find out how to get involved.