John P. Parker Throws Down in the Kitchen – Iron Chef-Style


Braylon proudly presents “Egg in a Box.”

With plenty of energy to burn and state testing out of the way, two students at John P. Parker School sliced and diced in hopes of being named the school’s first Iron Chef.

In order to compete, students in third and fourth grade were asked to curate their favorite healthy breakfast menu items already vetted by hungry mouths in their own homes. Two recipes were chosen from the submissions – one from each grade – to be crafted by their respective chefs in the tournament.

Third grader, Braylon, and his dad, Ronneal, presented “Egg in a Box” with a side of sliced apples and strawberries served over applesauce. Representing fourth grade, Serene and her dad, Sherwin, brought the heat and the cold with a fruit-and-yogurt wrap served with a cheese-and-veggie omelet.

Community partner, Aldi, provided the fruits and veggies, grains, proteins and dairy for “Iron Chef.”

Ingredients on deck, spatulas in hand and 30 minutes on the stopwatch, the teams stepped up to their griddles to prove to the judges who the real “big cheese” was.

The kid chefs were judged on five criteria: number of food groups represented (vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins and dairy/dairy-free), portion size, creativity, presentation and taste. Two meals – one for tasting and one for presenting – were to be fully prepared.

While the students and parents cooked their meals for the esteemed judges, their classmates played health- and nutrition-themed games in the gym to earn bonus points for their class’ competing chef.

Serene awaits the judges’ decision.

“We encourage our community to tell us what they want their community’s school to look like,” John P. Parker Resource Coordinator Pam Knox shared. “We try really hard to listen.”

With the support of community partners, Action for Healthy Kids, Community Health Matters and Aldi – along with funding from Parents for Healthy Kids – Healthy Iron Chef and other parent-led programs at John P. Parker are possible and successful.

Five stars all around from judges Susan Anstaett, Marc Katz, Pam Knox and Emily Sparkman (not pictured)

“One of the most important things we consider when awarding schools is whether the grant is likely to have an actual impact, and we know it will at John P. Parker,” said Ashley Green, midwestern regional manager for Action for Healthy Kids.

After all votes were cast, as luck would have it, Braylon and Serene both were named “Iron Chef,” each ending up with the same number of points.

Keep up with all the great things happening at John P. Parker School at


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