The Veg Head is Revolutionizing School Lunches and Fighting Obesity… One 4 Year Old at a Time

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The Veg Head restaurant is now delivering healthy, hearty meals to get four year olds eating right when they start school.

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This healthy eating campaign fits right into Michelle Obama's initiative for Health Eating.

Think for a moment what your middle school child eats for lunch or even worse your high schooler. Chances are it isn’t brown rice, whole grains or fresh cut fruit. The good news is that if your child is in pre-school, The Veg Head restaurant is now delivering healthy, hearty meals to get four year olds eating right when they start school. Mark Metcalfe, who successfully runs the award winning, The Veg Head Restaurant in Loveland was initially approached by Prodigy Pre-School to serve their students lunch, Not a chicken nugget kind-of guy, Metcalfe put together a full 24 day rotating menu for the pre-school, complete with hand cut fruit, whole grain breads, made from scratch potatoes and gourmet offerings such as marmalade chicken and brown rice. The children ate it up. “Putting whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables on 4 year olds’ lunch plate is the best way to introduce life-time healthy eating habits."

The journey to serving healthy meals to pre-schoolers began when Metcalfe’s own children were growing up. His son was overweight and teased in school, so the Metcalfe family began eating better. Their result was a 50 pound weight loss each for Metcalfe, his son and his wife. “The importance of eating healthy was immediately instilled in my youngest daughter who as a result, has never had a weight problem Studies show that good eating habits that are introduced in young children are more likely to translate into good eating habits as adults and with the obesity epidemic in the United States, The Veg Head restaurant wants to be first in line to turn that epidemic around in Cincinnati. Because Prodigy School has a garden, Metcalfe plans to harvest the garden with the children and cook the food they have grown. “I think it’s important for children to know where food comes from,” Metcalfe says, “that it doesn’t originate in the grocery store.”

As the founder and owner of The Veg Head, Metcalfe not only offers fresh vegetarian dishes, he also serves meat dishes prepared on a separate grill. The Veg Head menu has received several “best” awards and the restaurant itself recently received the 2012 clean kitchen award. His restaurant menu is so healthy, that some of the items are on The Christ Hospital Heart Healthy list. As an entrepreneur Metcalfe is also determined not to leave a carbon foot print. “Ninety-five percent of the products we use in house are composted or recycled,” Metcalfe says. "We throw three to five bags of garbage away each week, which Is unheard of in the restaurant business.” So, with teaching pre-school children how to eat well and ultimately how to live well without leaving a carbon foot print, The Veg Head is certainly best in class.

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Lori Peterson
Milosa Communication
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