2/8/10

Finally Taking Control


Processed and sugary snacks at school, this topic has bothered me for a long time. A few years ago I met Ann Cooper our local shining star, whose life’s work is to transform how we feed our children in school each day, from highly processed to highly nourishing food. She is so inspiring and hard working and she cares about our kids. Now the government is taking and interest, well let's hope it works. The truth about what our kids are eating in and out of school has had been plaguing me. I believe everything in moderation, we make cake, we eat candy but starting school each day with a healthy nutritious breakfast is key. Most schools have taken away high sugar breakfast foods, but still have highly processed snack foods available. Anne has been working her hardest to change what our kids are putting in their bodies because she knows that kids need healthy food to think and concentrate. If she can feed a district of 10,000 with a tiny kitchen and one stove then it can be done. When all that is required in a school kitchen to make lunch is a box cutter and microwave, something is wrong. Don't even get me started on the physical aspect of what the junk the kids are eating is doing to them. A candy bar and a soda for lunch will not give you nourishment or brainpower.

The reason I bring this up is because yesterday in the New York Times there was an article called, A Federal Effort to Push Junk Food Out of Schools
"The Obama administration will begin a drive this week to expel Pepsi, French fries and Snickers bars from the nation’s schools in hopes of reducing the number of children who get fat during their school years." Finally it is being paid attention to like smoking or drinking....it is dangerous and America is killing itself one bite at a time. The sad truth is that most parents are not leading by example. We can't expect our kids make the right choices if we are not. If you want your child to sit still, to pay attention to be focused try starting with their diet. Our kids are the future and we need to teach them to respect themselves and take care of themselves. The fact that they can buy crap in school is just sending the wrong message. Thank you Mrs. Obama, I appreciate your focus and I hope people will start to listen.

Here are some healthy lunch ideas:
Soup in a thermos is a great healthy warm lunch. Send some whole grain bread and a soup. Add fruit for that sweet ending or child wants more food buy or make organic healthy muffins.

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10 comments:

Cheryl said...

I, too, was on that SFPFS tour at BHS with Ann a few years back, and it really lit a fire under me on the school food issue. I've since tried my damnedest to make changes in our district, and even though we've made some progress, the pace has been glacial. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that with the FLOTUS on our side, and the government and media finally paying attention, real, honest change (as opposed to at-the-margin tweaks) will finally take hold around the country.

Sorry for the long comment, but you hit a nerve (in a good way!).

Stephanie Brown said...

Hey there Jennifer -- would love it if you'd share your parenting and blogging experience with readers on my site.

You can do so by filling out the form here:

http://babyparenting.about.com/u/sty/blogs/parenting-blogs/form.htm

Thanks so much!

aimee said...

I can't believe what they serve at schools and call it lunch! And then if it wasn't gross and institutional enough, they repeat the same menu month after month! What happened to fresh and healthy? I was shocked by the experience every time I went to have lunch with my son. I sent his lunch in all but a few times and love the laptop lunch box, which is what your photo looks like.

If there is someone out there making a difference in school lunches she has my highest praise. Nutrition is not a topic that seems to be taught anywhere these days, but as adults we shell out more money for diets, gyms, and weight loss gimmicks. Let's go back to the basics and take away the process.

Liz - Meal Makeover Mom said...

I agree with you 100% on the junk food thing. In my community, they claim to offer "healthy" snacks ... when in reality, they just switch from a fried chip to a baked chip .. with zero nutrition.
That said, our school lunch program -- thanks to much prodding from moms like me -- did stop selling elementary school kids ice cream, sports drinks, and candy (can't imagine how they got there in the first place other than the fac that some folks were making lots of money at the expense of our children's health).
I just found a great blog called, Fed Up With Lunch. I think you will really enjoy reading it.

Pallas Dame said...

This is a great article. Being a mom of two small children.. a 1 year old girl and a 2.5 year old boy, nutrition is a key part of my day with these guys. I'm already thinking ahead to what 'school lunches' are going to be like when the time comes. Part of my younger life was spent growing up in the rural areas of Oklahoma. I remember our classes about the food pyramid, etc.. and how we have well rounded lunches at school... at the time, ketchup was considered to be on of the vegetable (food groups).. are you kidding me? So I guess that balanced out our fake hamburger and french fry lunches?

Anyhow, I agree with you and am thrilled that you are out there writing articles such as this. Keep up the good work.

When it comes time for my kiddos to go off to school, my plan is to send them off with lunches from home to help ensure they grow up healthy.

Pallas Dame said...

This is a great article. Being a mom of two small children.. a 1 year old girl and a 2.5 year old boy, nutrition is a key part of my day with these guys. I'm already thinking ahead to what 'school lunches' are going to be like when the time comes. Part of my younger life was spent growing up in the rural areas of Oklahoma. I remember our classes about the food pyramid, etc.. and how we have well rounded lunches at school... at the time, ketchup was considered to be on of the vegetable (food groups).. are you kidding me? So I guess that balanced out our fake hamburger and french fry lunches?

Anyhow, I agree with you and am thrilled that you are out there writing articles such as this. Keep up the good work.

When it comes time for my kiddos to go off to school, my plan is to send them off with lunches from home to help ensure they grow up healthy.

Pallas Dame said...

This is a great article. Being a mom of two small children.. a 1 year old girl and a 2.5 year old boy, nutrition is a key part of my day with these guys. I'm already thinking ahead to what 'school lunches' are going to be like when the time comes. Part of my younger life was spent growing up in the rural areas of Oklahoma. I remember our classes about the food pyramid, etc.. and how we have well rounded lunches at school... at the time, ketchup was considered to be on of the vegetable (food groups).. are you kidding me? So I guess that balanced out our fake hamburger and french fry lunches?

Anyhow, I agree with you and am thrilled that you are out there writing articles such as this. Keep up the good work.

When it comes time for my kiddos to go off to school, my plan is to send them off with lunches from home to help ensure they grow up healthy.

Pallas Dame said...

This is a great article. Being a mom of two small children.. a 1 year old girl and a 2.5 year old boy, nutrition is a key part of my day with these guys. I'm already thinking ahead to what 'school lunches' are going to be like when the time comes. Part of my younger life was spent growing up in the rural areas of Oklahoma. I remember our classes about the food pyramid, etc.. and how we have well rounded lunches at school... at the time, ketchup was considered to be on of the vegetable (food groups).. are you kidding me? So I guess that balanced out our fake hamburger and french fry lunches?

Anyhow, I agree with you and am thrilled that you are out there writing articles such as this. Keep up the good work.

When it comes time for my kiddos to go off to school, my plan is to send them off with lunches from home to help ensure they grow up healthy.

Anonymous said...

This is a great article, the lunches here in our schools in Reno are terrible. Sure, my kids love them, but I dread thinking about them consuming all those calories and processed foods day-after-day. Also, because of our financial situation, we've found packing a lunch really CAN be more affordable. The easiest way to do that is by planning out good lunch options for them and then shopping for what's on sale in any given week. I have about a dozen options I try and vary throughout their week (in addition to letting them get a school lunch a day or two a week). That means that even if something specific isn't on sale, I can usually locate at least a few sale items for their lunches over the next week or two.

I've found this article to be a great help in making sure I'm giving them something nutritional, as well as just good ideas for trying to vary their lunches and keep them asking for my lunches over the school's offerings (at least on most days!): http://www.adavvy.com/article/show/better-living-through-lunch

Aubrey West @ Healthy School Lunch Ideas said...

It is always good to pack healthy lunch for our kids instead of letting them buy junk foods inside the school. Tuna, salads, fruits and vegetables are best for lunches.