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Cafe Staff Receive Healthy Cuisine for Kids Training

 Oxford, Mississippi (June 19, 2019) — Oxford School District (OSD) Cafe Teams received culinary training in early June as part of the Good Food for Oxford School Child Nutrition program. The goal for this training for our café team was to increase the number of scratch-made dishes served in the cafeterias and incorporate fresh and local ingredients. This training was made possible by the efforts of Assistant Director of Child Nutrition & Registered Dietician, Jeannette Clements and Good Food for Oxford Schools program director, Eleanor Green.

The culinary training provided classroom and hands-on experiences for learning healthy cooking methods. Preparation techniques, like knife skills, and a variety of cooking methods were demonstrated and practiced. Culinary techniques that yield quality products were learned in order to prepare recipes meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Culinary labs included, topics such as culinary basics of preparing fruits, vegetables, whole grain rich Foods, and meat/meat alternates. Additionally, teams learned about Mise en Place a French term for organizing your station, ingredients and other items prepped and ready before you begin to cook.

The funds for this training were provided by a grant received from Move on Up Mississippi (MOUMS), in partnership with the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) to enable thirty OSD café team members to participate. Move on Up Mississippi is the local foundation of Chef John Currence, that inspires and funds educational youth initiatives focused on health, well being and physical activity.

The Institute of Child Nutrition is national training center for school districts across the country; it is located on the campus of The University of Mississippi and districts from far and wide come to Oxford to learn about school food. The course, Healthy Cuisine for Kids, utilized a team of consultants featuring both a chef and registered dietician and was held in the Oxford High School kitchen.

About the Trainers

Chef Robert Rhymes hails from Clarksdale, Mississippi and is a graduate of Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi, with a B.S. Degree in Chemistry and Le Cordon Bleu Chicago. He serves as the Executive Chef/Program Coordinator for Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Illinois. Prior to that he served as Executive Chef for Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where he performed demonstration cooking, lectures, and individualized hands-on instruction for students.

Bernadette Paul, Ph.D is a registered dietician. Dr. Paul is originally from Guyana, South America and currently lives in Wooster, Ohio. She holds a masters degree in Food and Nutrition and Ph.D. in Public Health, specializing in health promotion and community education, and has more than 30 years experience teaching. Dr. Paul teaches at the University of Akron and is the CEO of her consulting business Health Savvy Consulting LLC.