Sapphire at School relies on the healthier approach of the Mediterranean Food Pyramid to prepare meals -- breakfast, lunch, snacks, and concession stand items for sports events -- for kids (and staff) at schools. The program is a result of Chef Azmin's determination to DO something about the issue everyone else was talking about: a diet of junk food for kids in our schools -- and even in our homes -- across the nation, leading to childhood obesity in epidemic proportions, as well as a variety of other disorders that can be traced directly to poor nutrition. As a chef, he knows how to make foods taste good. As a father, he wants to share his knowledge with other families. And as a businessman, he knew he could provide a school meal program that wouldn't necessarily cost less than what many schools are paying today for mystery meat and processed french fries, but it certainly wouldn't cost any MORE.
However, we can do more than serve students great things to eat . We can also teach them about food as fuel. About why eating well means feeling fantastic. And about balance and portion control, and the bright, natural flavors of fresh fruits and vegetables without additives or preservatives. We can show them the difference between processed meat products and pure, lean proteins, like hormone-free poultry. We can offer them intelligent alternatives to fatty snacks, like dried strawberries instead of potato chips. We can demonstrate the importance of sustainable farming, as well as the positive health impact of eating locally produced foods — not to mention the positive financial impact it has on the local business community. We can host “field” trips to farms, ranches, and bee-keepers, where children can touch, smell, and taste the natural goodness of the foods we use in the meals we make. And we can expand their horizons,
teaching them about how food influences — and is influenced by — our cultures, and about how different people eat, and why. We can even help teach children (and their parents) how to shop for groceries — to accommodate a balanced budget as well as a balanced diet.
So, you see, Sapphire at School isn't simply a "school lunch plan." It's a comprehensive program designed to do nothing less than help this nation turn the troubling statistics about childhood obesity and malnutrition around, and improve the knowledge, the health, and the very lives of our children, for generations to come.