WELLNESS IN THE SCHOOLS, (WITS) inspires healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for kids in public schools across the country.

Through meaningful public/private partnerships with school leadership, teachers, chefs, coaches, parents and students, Wellness in the Schools creates healthier schools and families. WITS believes that healthy bodies make healthy minds, in order to shape both we provide hands-on programs like Cook for Kids, Green for Kids and Coach for Kids. These programs create healthier meals, healthier environments and opportunities for regular play and fitness activities.

DID YOU KNOW? We spend $147 billion annually on obesity related illnesses in the United States.

In partnership with local Departments of Education, Wellness in the Schools (WITS) operates the Cook for Kids program in public school cafeterias and classrooms to promote healthy eating and combat childhood obesity.
WITS invests in training culinary graduates who work as partners with cafeteria staff in preparing daily scratch-cooked meals and educating families about the importance of eating healthy food. WITS cooks also teach children and their families how to cook healthy, delicious, and affordable recipes featuring whole, unprocessed foods through our WITS Labs, a series of seasonal cooking classes.

As a member of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools planning team, WITS realizes the importance of engaging the culinary community, and partners with local chefs and restaurants who inspire students, lead special events, and act as wellness ambassadors.

WITS Cafe
Our program within the NYC public school kitchens works to support the implementation of scratch cooking, healthier school lunch recipes and the expansion of salad bars. WITS Cooks work alongside SchoolFood staff in the kitchen, and engage students in conversation around healthy eating, encouraging them to try new foods and menu items.

Wellness Lab
The Wellness Lab is the component of the Cook for Kids program that takes place in the classroom. Interactive cooking and nutrition demonstrations are incorporated into the school day for children and in some schools supplemental classes are offered during the evening for parents. In the Wellness Lab for children, we introduce children to seasonal produce and have them prepare and taste the produce in a variety of ways: raw, roasted and in a recipe.

WITS BITS
WITS BITS are simple and short (20 minute) classroom experiences that focus on teaching children nutrition-based lessons. WITS Cooks bring demonstrations into the classroom to teach students hands-on lessons about healthy food and eating that allow them to learn by seeing, listening, and doing.

Check out what else WITS is up to on their website.

The Veggiecation Program, empowering children for the love of vegetables.

Veggiecation offers cooking classes that are educational, fun, healthy, and tasty! Cooking experiences make a positive and lasting impact and we now have the ability to bring a variety of Veggiecation activities and cooking classes to a larger spectrum of events!

Big changes start small. The beginning of your children’s lifelong healthy habits can start with a simple nibble from the veggies they will learn about, work with while preparing meals, and most importantly, have fun with!

A Perfect Healthy and Educational Activity for:

  • School Classroom Visits
  • School Assemblies
  • After-school Programs
  • Summer Camps
  • Girl Scouts
  • Boy Scouts
  • 4-H Clubs
  • Birthday Parties
  • Youth Farmer’s Markets
  • Health & Environment Fairs
  • Family Reunions
  • Community Block Parties
  • Community Picnics
  • Religious Gatherings
  • Veggiecation Parties

If you do not see anything that describes your event on the list above, do not hesitate to contact us, we will try our hardest to supply your children with a tasty and life-changing experience. Big or small, we will work with all!

Currently, we are available in all of New York City, Northeastern New Jersey, and Southwestern Connecticut. Contact us if you are interested in becoming a part of growing team of national Veggiecators!

Healthy School Food asked schools to offer plant-based entrees as a healthy option, provide nutrition education that includes information on multi-cultural and plant-based eating patterns, promote farm to school programs, and more.


Schools are the place where students go to learn, and part of what they learn about, at least in certain grades, is nutrition. While what they are taught about nutrition is influenced by the food industry, and is therefore less than ideal, it is at least far better than how most American’s are eating these days. When schools offer foods and beverages that are inconsistent with what students are being taught, the hypocrisy is not lost on students. Schools act “in loco parentis” (in place of parents) and when children pass through the front doors of a school, parents expect that their child will be cared for and protected while they are at school. The school food environment is a microcosm of the food environment in our society, and it contributes not just to obesity, but also to setting children up for heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, behavioral problems, and poor health regardless of whether the student is overweight or not.

Cool School Food in New York City and Ithaca are partnerships between the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, the school districts, businesses and organizations to develop, test, and implement plant-based, made from scratch, international bean-based recipes in school cafeterias. The program seeks to introduce the recipes with promotional events and educational materials designed to make trying new foods and learning about their health benefits both fun and exciting. In Ithaca, Cool School Food is also a Farm to School Program, featuring locally grown, organic beans and grains grown at Cayuga Pure Organics!

Veggiecate the Nation!

Veggiecation

The Veggiecation Program is a nutrition education program that was designed to help educators easily integrate nutrition, cooking, and gardening concepts into their established academic lesson plans. A Certified Nutritionist and school food service expert, Lisa Suriano, created the program after recognizing a need to educate about and market vegetables to young children.   She sought out the expertise of a team of elementary teachers and school food chefs to develop resources that were effective and accessible to a broad range of educators.

Veggiecation lessons and materials can be used in a variety of settings: school classrooms, lunchrooms, after school programs, summer camps, hospital clinics, health fairs, personal homes and now Whole Foods Markets!

The program offers standards-based lesson suggestions, simple recipes & supporting academic materials to increase acceptance and consumption of vegetables among students.  These meaningful interventions such as tastings, classroom lessons, activities and food preparation expose students to vegetables increasing the number of daily vegetable servings consumed.

The Veggiecation Program is now active in 29 states across the nation including 100s of schools in NYC and is on a mission to “Veggiecate the Nation!”