Parents Take Away Tips, Treats from Inaugural Health and Wellness Festival

HISD Chef Ryan Ng demonstrates how to create his Ziesta Chicken.

HISD’s Food Services department conducted its very first Health and Wellness Festival on Sept. 21 at North Forest HS, and more than 350 people braved the early morning rain showers to attend.

The inaugural event featured two different cooking demonstrations for budget-friendly meals. First, special guest chef Tiffany Derry from Bravo TV’s Top Chef competition showed guests how to make a healthy tropical smoothie, creole fish tacos, and a summer salad. Later, students from Jordan HS’s culinary arts program prepared a roasted chicken with fresh herbs and spices, roasted potatoes, and a green bean dish with cherry-tomato sauce.

All of the demonstrations featured menus that would cost a family of four only about $2 per meal and included ingredients that could be found at any local grocery store.

“The Health and Wellness Festival supports Food Services’ mission to inspire students to develop dietary habits that will improve lifelong health,” said Ray Danilowicz, executive general manager of HISD Food Services/ARAMARK Education. “It is also an opportunity to welcome the North Forest community to the HISD family.”

Festival attendees could also participate in a Zumba class, have their glucose level checked, learn how to reduce risk of hypertension, have their children immunized, and visit with representatives of various organizations at any of the nearly two-dozen information booths.

The event was sponsored by ARAMARK, and additional entertainment was provided by North Forest HS varsity cheerleading squad.