Celebrity Chef Aria Kagan Visits McNicol Middle to Teach Kids Healthy Habits

Broward County Public Schools Food & Nutrition Services in conjunction with the national Wellness in the Schools (WITS) nonprofit will brought Celebrity Chef Aria Kagan from The Food Network’s “The Next Food Network Star” to McNicol Middle School in Hollywood as part of the ongoing initiative, “Chefs Move to Broward.” Chef Aria Kagan will introduce her famous Pesto Panini to Broward County Public Schools’ students.

Chef Aria Kagan prepared her farm fresh Pesto Panini to a crowd of admiring students.

Cesar Castaneda, a 6th-grade student from McNicol Middle School, and Mikalah Higgs, a 7th-grade student at McNicol Middle School, were among the students interviewed who loved the new concept.

So far, two celebrity chefs have visited the program at McNicol. “The panini today has been a hit. I think it’s great that the students get to try different ingredients that they may not have tried at home or at school,” said teacher Linda Lopez. “One of the initiatives that we have going on is getting these new, healthy items to be a part of our everyday lunch menu.”

This initiative is a part of an ongoing partnership with Broward County Public Schools and WITS. Each month, a local chef introduces a new menu item for the Broward County Public School’s lunch menu in a continued effort to serve healthy meals to students. A WITS chef will prepare the featured menu items and train Broward cooks to prepare the food for continued implementation.

IMG 1302
Cesar Castaneda, 6th-grade student from McNicol Middle School



IMG 4357
Chef Aria Kagan with her famous Pesto Paninis

About Wellness in the Schools

Wellness in the Schools is a national non-profit that teaches kids healthy habits to learn and live better. They partner with public schools to provide nutrition and fitness education, healthy scratch-cooked meals and active recess periods. Trained culinary graduates partner with cafeteria staff to feed kids real food, and fitness coaches encourage schools to let kids play. Our approach improves student outcomes and drives systemic, long-term change, shifting school cultures and ultimately fighting the childhood obesity epidemic.

Picture of Author: Amanda Jones
Author: Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones specializes in social media marketing. She holds a Master's degree in Social Media Management from the University of Florida and a Social Media Professional Certificate from the University of Miami.


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news directly in your email inbox.