Two Buffalo schools use from-scratch cooking to boost nutrition of meals

The schools are also using fresh proteins, fruits and vegetables in programs.

Oct. 14—Executive chef MaryRuth Rera has spent the last decade cooking first for Ralph Lauren and later for children in the third poorest city in America.

All of them, in her eyes, deserve access to healthy food.

“If you won’t eat something, why would you think a kid’s going to want it?” asked Rera, who in January 2010 started to revamp the kitchen at Westminster Community Charter School in Buffalo to focus on fresh, whole, simple foods made from scratch.

This fall, Nardin Academy took a similar tack, sacking an outside vendor that ran its cafeteria and replacing it with its own cooking staff, whose work is overseen by a professional chef and national scratch food consultant.