Chef Jamie Paquin creates 'fresh' menu for Whitehall and Montague schools

8:00 AM, Aug 27, 2013   |    comments
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Montague, which is home to the elementary school that created a healthier version of the traditional burger in honor Michelle Obama, is now creating more healthy options for young students.

MONTAGUE, Mich.-- Some healthy, new foods will grace the lunch menu at elementary schools in Montague and Whitehall when classes begin September 3.

This summer, Chef Jamie Paquin, owner of Mia and Grace in Muskegon, is training the schools' kitchen staff on how to make alternative, healthier foods, including:  penne pasta with chicken and parmesan, hummus with vegetables and pita chips, roasted chicken salad sandwiches, southwest chipotle wraps, rotini pasta with broccoli and chicken, chicken taco salad wraps, and quinoa with roasted chicken, cranberries and apples.

Paquin already works with Reeths Puffer Schools.  All of the new foods at Whitehall and Montague schools are part of her "fresh" school lunch menu.  Food service director Dan Gorman says the goal is to create a perfect school menu that may eventually eliminate processed chicken, including chicken nuggets, chicken patties and chicken fries. The new foods will be offered once a week. 

In 2009, R.R. Oehrli Elementary School  in Montague was the only school in the state to receive the Healthier Us School Challenge Award Gold Star from the USDA.   That year, students helped create the Obama Burger, a healthier version of the traditional burger in honor of First Lady Michelle Obama, who has led a campaign pushing for more exercise and better foods in schools.

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