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Becky Kwasteniet

Chef Becky is helping kids learn to make good food choices right from the start! 

The 2016 Michigan Good Food Summit was held on October 28, 2016 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. Our nearly 500 attendees engaged and networked with others, celebrated good food achievements, learned and shared practices and ideas, enjoyed delicious meals, and reflected on and developed strategies for our theme: “Good Food For All: The Road to 2020.” 

During the morning "Lightning Sesssions," Becky Kwasteniet, Food Program Manager at Baxter Child Development Center, shared her approach to putting local on the menu for pre-schoolers ages 0-5 years old in West Michigan. Before Becky joined the team about 18 months ago, Baxter students and teachers were served entirely processed foods. Now, Becky is proud to say that 70-80% of snacks and meals served are  locally sourced, primarily through the West Michigan Farm Link and Cherry Capital Foods. 

A great example of the new menu is the popular Sloppy Joes, which feature Michigan tomatoes, local grass-fed beef, and buns from a local bakery. Preparing a majoirty of menu items from scratch minimizes waste and allows for foods to be prepared daily based on the amount needed. Becky tracks her local purchasing progress through Cultivate Michigan, and offers great examples of how early childhood programs and other institutions can make menu changes toward local, scratch made food!

You can learn more about the 2016 Good Food Summit and download Becky's sample menu here: http://www.michiganfood.org/summits


To learn more about Becky's work, follow her tasty creations on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lapetiteculinarian/ and visit http://www.wearebaxter.org/cdc/