OSP is taking part in the Lunch Revolution blog party this weekend. Participants are discussing back to school issues including school lunch reform. Join in and share your thoughts on ‘back to school’.Check out how to participate at http://fedupwithschoollunch.blogspot.com/
The back to school topic we chose to discuss is whether or not school lunch needs to be reformed.
With one-third of American children being overweight or obese, school lunch has possibly the greatest potential to combat this appalling statistic and become one of the best preventative approaches. It is in school that kids are eating the majority of their daily calories. If schools use healthy food for their meals, it ensures that kids are getting their necessary nutrients and aren’t just eating junk food. This is especially important for schools with families of low income. These families are counting on schools to provide their kids with healthy meals since expense and limited access makes it difficult for them to use fresh and healthy ingredients for the rest of their meals outside of school.
Lunch can be turned into a great time for learning. The cafeteria can be a place to improve taste buds for fresh, healthy food, and also to learn of the benefits of local food for their health, environment, and community. It is here that we can reinstate the relationships of the past; knowing where our food comes from and eating food that is in season because it is the healthiest and tastiest.
The Organic School Project believes that if kids are provided the tools, they will begin choosing healthier food and will make more positive choices for themselves. Food preferences form during childhood, so it is important to expand their experience with fresh ingredients at an early age so they can develop healthy eating habits. Education on nutrition, environmental stewardship, and balanced lifestyles is important to supplement what kids eat in the cafeteria so they understand the consequences of eating healthier and develop the skills to make these decisions on their own.
Lunch reform is about taking proper care of our children and providing the best resources we can so they can grow into healthy, well-balanced individuals. Kids who are well nourished can focus on their schooling and are prepared to learn to their fullest potential; thus healthier food can have a positive effect on academic performance and their future.
Share a favorite lunch recipe:
School lunch consists of meals that are delivered to and reheated at the schools. Menus need to consist of items that are made from scratch and include positive foods that are fresh, tasty, and are void of food additives and processes that are harmful. Substituting healthy ingredients into recipes kids are familiar with and enjoy is a smart way to get them to eat healthier.
I will share our ratatouille recipe because it incorporates the wonderful vegetables that are in season right now and was a kid favorite when we served it in schools.
Ratatouille (2 portions at 4 oz. each)
green peppers 10z.
one clove garlic
one ounce of oil
Dice the eggplant and tomatoes into same size (approx. medium dice).
Dice the onions.
Mince the garlic.
Sauté, adding salt to flavor.
Stir in chopped basil leaves right before service.Serve and enjoy.