Chefs Team Up With Home Cooks For A Healthy Eating Challenge

Healthy eating is a growing concern for many Americans, and organizations across the country are doing their part to encourage lifestyle changes. Companies label their products and ingredients with more detail, schools are required to include more vegetables in student lunches, and now organizations are hosting competitions to promote healthy eating awareness.

The James Beard Foundation and the Clinton Foundation have teamed up to host America Cooks with Chefs: The 800 Calorie Challenge. As a student of an online cooking school, you may be interested to know more about this culinary event.

The competition
America Cooks with Chefs: The 800 Calorie Challenge will team up six American home cooks with James Beard Award-winning chefs who will teach them the basics of creating healthy meals. The escapades of each pair will air online in a weekly series posted on the JBF blog page. At the end of the competition, each cook will attend the 2015 Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) conference in La Quinta, Calif., where they will have to show off their new skills. The home cook with the most nutrient-dense meal under 800 calories will win.

Why it matters
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in three American adults is considered obese. Many families don’t know how to cook nutritious meals after a lifetime of living off processed products. When parents don’t know how to eat well, they pass poor habits on to their children. However, the cycle can end with education. If parents and kids alike can learn how to cook well by watching the calorie challenge program, then hopefully they can take control of their health.

“We all know that today’s families, whether they are single parents, retirees or young couples, want to eat better but often don’t know how. The goal of this multi-phase program and contest is to help educate and inspire people to cook healthier under the guidance of award-winning chefs,” Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, said in a statement.

Start in your home
You don’t have to wait for the launch of America Cooks with Chefs: The 800 Calorie Challenge to start serving healthy food options to your diners. Investigate local food sources, buy organic products and load your meals with produce. Host your own 800-calorie challenge by designing a meal with the same parameters that the contestants will have. With a little creativity, cooking a nutritious dinner with fewer than 800 calories should be simple.

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