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Elmo Doesn't Fear Obama's School Lunch
Take the Whole Grain Hero Challenge!

Get students and employees excited about eating right with the Whole Grain Heroes Challenge, developed by Doug Wordell, Director of Nutrition Services for the Spokane, WA School District. The promotion encourages children to commit to eating whole grains, like brown rice, every day and to start making healthier food choices. Here's how it works:

Goals: Educate kids and staff about the nutritional benefits of whole grain-rich foods; increase whole grain consumption and raise awareness of the health benefits offered through your school meal program.


Step 1: Plan out school meals and highlight daily whole grain offerings. Determine prizes appropriate for different grade levels and order Whole Grain Hero T-shirts.


Step 2: Develop student contracts that outline their daily whole grain consumption at school and/or home. After one week, have a teacher and/or parent verify they completed the challenge.


Step 3: Elementary school classes with the highest percentage of Whole Grain Heroes (those recording a whole grain item consumed each day of each contest week) are awarded Whole Grain Hero T-shirts. Middle and high school heroes can be selected by random drawing. Prizes can vary and are up to the discretion of the program planners. Doug Wordell's promotion features more than a dozen whole grain items and encourages thousands of students in the Spokane district to choose whole grain-rich foods. Let us help you get started by adding these whole grain brown rice recipes to your menu or check out this simple recipe for the perfect brown rice.

Send us photos of your Whole Grain Heroes and be featured on

USA Rice Recognizes Exemplary Schools and People Making a Difference

USA Rice Federation's "K-12 Foodservice Recognition Program" acknowledges the efforts of school foodservice professionals and school districts that actively work to provide students with wholesome balanced meals using nutrient-rich ingredients like enriched white and whole grain brown rice. Read more about the foodservice professionals and schools that received a USA Rice certificate of recognition for demonstrating originality, leadership and excellence in the industry and in the community.

Lamar County School District, Purvis, Mississippi

Honored for superior efforts in improving the health of their students by providing nutritionally balanced meals. This leading Mississippi school district was also recognized by the USDA's Healthier U.S. School Challenge, achieving Gold Level Distinction for successfully improving their menus and students' eating habits.

Read about the first school to achieve the Healthier U.S. School Challenge's "Gold Level" with Brown Rice on the Menu.

Chartwells School Dining Services

Anita Shaffer, R.D., Director of Menu Management — Honored for her efforts in partnering with the USA Rice Federation to bring together healthy whole grain menus and in-class nutrition education during their "LEARN. LIVE. With Color Nutrition Month®" promotion.

Vernell Dunn, Foodservice Director — Honored for her partnership with USA Rice to educate students on the nutritional benefits of U.S.-grown rice.

Ernest Fernandez, Chef — Honored for creating Healthy Rice Bowls for lunch, and for demonstrating how to cook brown rice to Margaret Wills Elementary School students in Amarillo, TX.

USDA Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge: Porcupine Sliders Featuring Brown Rice Wins Grand Prize!

Out of more than 340 national submissions, the South Education Center Alternative (SECA) cooking team in Richfield, MN was the grand prize winner for their brown rice Porcupine Sliders! A national cook-off was held with three semi-finalists during the American Culinary Federation's National Convention this summer and Porcupine Sliders won top honors. Developed in association with Let's Move!, the Recipes for Healthy Kids Contest challenged school nutrition professionals, chefs, students and parents to create healthy and exciting new recipes for inclusion on school lunch menus across the country.

Add these three rice recipes to your school menu:


1st Place Winner:


Porcupine Sliders by South Education Center Alternative, Richfield, MN. Whole grain brown rice is combined with turkey meat, cranberries, onions and spices to create a trendy but healthy slider kids will love.




Stir-Fry Fajita Chicken, Squash and Corn by Kayenta Unified School District, Kayenta, AZ. 2010 USA Rice Healthy Rice Bowls Contest Runner Up! Fajita chicken strips are stir fried with squash, onion, corn, red peppers, and diced chilies over enriched white or whole grain brown rice.


Stir-Fried Green Rice, Eggs and Ham by McDougle Elementary School, Chapel Hill, NC. Perfect as a hearty breakfast and lunch, whole grain brown rice, spinach, eggs and ham are combined to create a nutrient packed dished.


Find industry resources and a variety of information on rice including recipe brochures, fact sheets, workbooks and more.

Tray Talk

School Nutrition Association (SNA) new website Tray Talk is designed to emphasize the benefits of school meals and showcase success stories from school programs nationwide.

Enter yours today!