The Healthy Fare for Kids initiative is a grass-roots project seeking assistance from restaurants to offer healthier food for children on their menus.
Our goal is to improve the overall health of children in America, starting with kids in our own back yard. With the rate of childhood obesity escalating at an alarming pace and the City of Chicago surpassing the national rate, we are asking our restaurant neighbors to help with this issue.
We believe that restaurants are partners in helping children make the connection between what they eat, how they feel and the health benefits of nutritionally rich foods. Healthy menu items in restaurants help children make good food choices and continue the life-long journey of being healthy.
Our challenge to restaurants is by using our guidelines: offer at least one delicious and healthy meal for kids on your menu
Meet Our Group
Diane Schmidt, President/Founder, is a local Chicago parent, a “mom on a mission”. She began her career as a health educator working for the State of Virginia and the City of Evanston, IL. After studying marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, she worked as a marketing consultant and eventually opened her own practice from 1991-2002, Schmidt & Associates. Diane also studied culinary arts at the Culinary and Hospitality Institute of Chicago where she sharpened her skills and applied her love of cooking to the home front. Diane holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Arts degree in Health Education and a Masters of Management degree from Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She serves on the Chicago Public School’s Nutrition Education Steering Committee.
Sarah Stegner, Chef, Founding Member, culinary résumé makes her one of America’s most respected chefs. Her rise to fame began in 1994 when she was named the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef. Over the years, Stegner received numerous accolades that built her reputation and that of the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago. In 1990 she represented the United States in the prestigious Prix Culinaire Internationnal Pierre Taittinger, a multinational cooking competition. She was the only woman to compete; she placed fifth. The recognition began in earnest in 1994 when she received the Rising Star Chef of the Year award from the James Beard Foundation. In 1995 she received the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award Of Excellence. In 1996, 1997 and 1998 she was nominated for Best Chef: Midwest by the James Beard Foundation, winning the prestigious award in 1998. In 2000, Wine Spectator called the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton “One of the Top 20 Restaurants In America.” Also in 2000, Condé Nast Traveler magazine named the restaurant the “Second Best Hotel Dining Room in the World.” In 2002 and 2003, Food & Wine magazine named the Dining Room “One Of The Top 50 Hotel Restaurants In America.” In 1999, she joined Chicago food writer Abby Mandel and a small group of Chicago’s top chefs to form Chicago’s Green City Market, a weekly venue for Midwest sustainable farmers who produce freshly picked fruits and vegetables, meats, artisan cheeses and many other top-quality ingredients. Green City Market has become an important Chicago institution, and Stegner continues to serve on its board of directors.
Carol A. Wagner, MA, MSc, Holistic Nutrition Consultant, Founding Member, is a nationally recognized holistic nutrition consultant, practitioner and educator. In 2002, she founded Dimensions in Health, Inc., a company dedicated to helping children and adults improve the quality of their lives by changing the way they eat. Dimensions in Health offers a wide range of educational programs designed for school systems, corporate-wellness initiatives, families and individuals. Carol won a national leadership award sponsored by The White House Project and Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine. This honor was awarded for her visionary approach to bringing research-based nutritional information to school children, parents and educators. She is also the recipient of a 2011 Chicago Tribune “Good Eating” award. Formerly the Director of Leadership Development at a Fortune 100 company, she now consults with corporate management and educates front-line employees on the link between balanced nutrition and workplace productivity. Carol holds master’s degrees in counseling psychology and holistic nutrition, in addition to her training and certification in several nutritional disciplines.