Picture of NHS Culinary students and instructors at School Board meeting.

Niceville HS Culinary Students Win Healthy School Recipe Competition

Niceville High School Culinary students, Karson Goldbach, Sarah Mountain, and Kenneth Manual, were the winners of the District’s School Health Advisory Council’s Healthy School recipe and video competition. The students along with their instructors, Chef Dave Mason and Chef Dominic Pannelli, were recognized at the May 8th School Board meeting.

The OCSD School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) meets quarterly throughout the school year to support our coordinated healthy schools program.   Each year the SHAC adopts a project that involves students participating in activities that promote wellness.   This year their idea was to combine efforts, knowledge and requirements of the ASPIRE program, District Healthy School Teams, and the high school Culinary Institute students.   

The concept was for high school Culinary students, in their respective programs (Crestview, Niceville, CHOICE HS), to create recipes for healthy snacks.   Snack recipes would need to have three basic requirements:  relatively simple, ingredients readily available at major grocery outlets (seasonal), and reasonably priced.   The target audience for snack preparation was K-5 elementary, low income students in the ASPIRE after school program.  

Culinary students would then create "how to" videos of creating their recipes.   The videos could be made in conjunction with other high school students in Choice IT programs or by the Culinary students.  Each program would hold a contest to see which snack recipe is submitted from their respective program.   

The winning recipe videos would then be provided to the healthy school teams at various district schools.   These short videos (3-5 minutes) would be shown during each school's allotted time to disperse healthy school team news/information.

Students in the ASPIRE program at Elliott Point, Wright, Edwins, and Baker Schools receive after school snacks with food provided by the District's Food Service Contractor, The Nutrition Group.  Winning healthy snack recipes would be provided to each ASPIRE school team.   The Nutrition Group would provide the ingredients and ASPIRE students would watch the instructional video and assemble their healthy snack.  ASPIRE students would then get to enjoy eating their creation.

More specifics regarding the competition:

  1. Recipes could not require the use of any electronic equipment.  The ASPIRE students at Edwins, Wright, Baker, and Elliott Point would be assembling the snack in their afternoon program in May and would not have access to electronic equipment (ovens, toasters, microwaves, kitchen tools, etc.)  
  1. The ASPIRE students would also not have the ability to freeze a snack.   They would be provided the ingredients required for the recipe and they would assemble after viewing the video, and then eat the healthy snack.
  1. The videos needed to show the required ingredients as well as how to assemble the healthy snack, and ideally discuss the ingredients nutritional value and importance in maintaining a healthy lifestyle – ie proteins help provide energy, low sugar ingredients help prevent diabetes, etc. something elementary to high school age students could relate to.
  1. More than one entry from each program was acceptable.   All recipes that were entered would be shared via the healthy school teams, newsletters, and website.  
  1. A single winning recipe/video entry was selected by the SHAC and the students with the winning entry would be recognized at a School Board meeting in May.

SHAC members ranked entries based on 5 categories:  Healthiness, Simplicity/Accessibility, Creativity, Kid Friendliness and Video.

“The SHAC was very impressed with all of the entries and would like to share the videos and recipes online,” said committee member and School Board Member, Melissa Thrush.  “Each entry was unique and we are appreciative of the effort that the students and your respective programs contributed.  We also want to personally present a certificate of participation to all students.”