Students and staff returning to school this fall at St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel, Calif., won't see any mystery meat on the menu as local chef/restaurateur Azmin Ghahreman has taken over the school's dining program with the launch of a healthy dining program called Every Child is My Child. Ghahreman, chef of Sapphire Laguna, conceived of the idea to prepare healthy breakfast, lunch and snack choices for students in response to the Obama administration's increased focus on better nutrition for schoolchildren. Ghahreman is a father of three young children, which also contributed to his commitment to healthy eating in kids.
Each day, he will prepare and deliver healthy hot lunches, á la carte breakfast and lunch choices and healthy snacks to the 800 students in kindergarten through middle school and staff with help from the staff at Sapphire. His menus are based on the Mediterranean Food Pyramid, which emphasizes a balance of protein, grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and healthy oils. Ghahreman and the Sapphire staff worked closely with pediatric specialists and a registered dietitian to develop the menus, which include items like turkey bolognese with whole wheat pasta, albacore tuna salad pinwheels, breakfast burritos, salads, wraps, pita pizza and all-natural snacks.
"We believe more and more schools will jump on the healthy food bandwagon," Ghahreman said in a press statement. "And we are positioning our program to be at the forefront of school lunch reform."
Ghahreman also provides health-conscious items for the hot lunch program at St. Margaret's Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano. He has plans to implement Every Child is My Child in other nearby Southern California communities and schools. For more information about the meal program at St. Anne School or Chef Ghahreman, visit www.st-anne.org or www.sapphirelaguna.com.