Lunch Wars: Seven Things You Can Do Right Now
By AmyKalafa on October 04, 2011
BlogHer Original Post
[Editor's Note: We asked BlogHer Book Club author Amy Kalafa (Lunch Wars) to give us some tips on what we can do right now to improve school food and our kids' nutrition. Here's what she had to say! -Rita]
Build Your Food IQ at Home: Learn which foods are right for your family – not all foods are good for everyone! Cook With Your Kids. Read books, takes classes, watch cooking shows. Try new things, test recipes. Grow your own; get your kids connected to their food.
Have Lunch With Your Child in the School Cafeteria: Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your school’s lunch program by experiencing the food your kids are taking in at school every day. Ask to see ingredient lists for all the food on the menu.
Join a Committee or Coalition: Get involved with the nutrition committee in your school or a wellness committee in your district. Create one if none exist. Survey Your District to find out how many other parents, students, teachers and staff share your concerns about school food. Write or update a District Wellness Policy that specifies your needs.
Advertise: Some kids are afraid of fresh food. So when positive changes are made in your district, work with sports teams and student leaders to get “buy-in” from your entire community. It’s not healthy if the kids don’t eat it!
Teach Food: Create and participate in school gardening and cooking classes that produce real food. Hold “tastings.” Make it fun and help kids learn that it’s cool to eat good food. Teach media literacy so kids learn how they are targeted by junk food advertisers.
Remember it’s not Just About What’s in the Food: You can advocate for a better school food environment in many ways. Does the school cafeteria recycle paper and cardboard waste, or reuse lunch trays? As much as 50% of school food ends up in the trash. Is leftover food composted? Do kids have enough time and space to eat their meals? What’s the noise level like in the cafeteria? Is anyone helping the students make good choices? Does staff have enough training and equipment to cook from scratch?
Join the national movement for better food in schools: Add your name to our email list to receive our low-volume newsletter and help grow our numbers from 2 to 2 MILLION ANGRY MOMS. Sign up at www.angrymoms.org.
—Amy Kalafa Author of LUNCH WARS: How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children’s Health and producer of the acclaimed documentary film, Two Angry Moms