Diane began her career as a health educator working for the State of Virginia and the City of Evanston, IL. After graduating from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, she worked as a marketing consultant and eventually opened her own practice, Schmidt & Associates, for a dozen years. Diane also studied at the Culinary and Hospitality Institute of Chicago where she sharpened her food skills and applied her love of cooking to the home front. In 2011, she along with another mom, and a James Beard award winner, Chef Sarah Stegner, began a neighborhood initiative to get healthier meals for kids on menus using sustainably-produced food which turned into Healthy Fare for Kids, Inc. in 2013.
Parents say they want more healthy – and more interesting – options on the kids’ menu beyond mac & cheese and cheesy pizza, but how do chefs come up with delicious and affordable alternatives packed with fruit, veggies and whole grains that kids want to eat?
HFFK has worked with dozens of chefs in the Chicago area from Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan and Beverly Kim, to foodservice providers at Shedd Aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, McCormick Place and Chicago’s two airports. Quiz them on what works, what doesn’t, and how to make a healthier kids’ menu a win win for kids, parents, chefs and food businesses.