Category Archives: School Lunches

Waste-Free Lunch Supply Essentials

Waste-Free Lunch Supply Essentials
No matter how your kids are being educated - in a homeschool or classroom setting, packing lunches can be an overwhelming proposition.  First, there is the struggle of feeding the fussy eater, and then websites like Pinterest make you feel inadequate because your lunches don't look like works of art.  Okay, maybe I am projecting.  But still - there is a lot to consider.  For me, it's really important that when we pack lunches to go, we aren't producing excess garbage.  So, when we hit the...

Continue Reading

Who’s Your Daddy?

Who’s Your Daddy?
I believe that one of my greatest contributions to the classroom was that I was maternal.  I was filled with passion for what was right and would act like an agitated Mama Bear if I felt like someone was doing wrong by my students.  Maybe I'd get upset because there was disrespect in a relationship between two students; sometimes students were treated as if they didn't matter; and often, their health was ignored by others who should have been making it a priority. Now that I am no longer in...

Continue Reading

Selling Out – Free Gatorade for Students

Selling Out – Free Gatorade for Students
My husband wishes I would learn to stay quiet...at least until I get tenure at my high school teaching job. See, I have a tendency to rock the boat about issues that I am passionate about (remember the pie-eating-contest-fiasco from a few years ago?).  This time around, I had a hard time keeping my trap shut when I heard that Gatorade reps would be on our high school campus handing out free samples to our students during G-week. [caption id="attachment_5431" align="aligncenter" width="298"...

Continue Reading

Improving School Lunches with Sprouted Wheat Bre...

Improving School Lunches with Sprouted Wheat Bread
Unless you live in a cave, you know that school food has a bad reputation.  I am excited to report that in our district, at least, it's getting better. Our food service director surprised me with an invitation to visit Alvarado Street Bakery in Petaluma, where she plans to source the bread for our school district next year.  My food service advisory committee colleague, Susannah, and I went to learn more about their sprouted wheat breads and got to see the inside workings of the bakery.  Unfortunately,...

Continue Reading

School Lunches: Scratch Cooking IS Possible

I have been working with a tireless group of passionate parents to reform our local school food.  Although we are making HUGE progress, we keep hearing about reasons why things aren't even better.  We don't have enough money. We don't have enough equipment.  Our staff needs more training. Okay.  Let's deal with it.  Let's see if we can make do with what we have.  Chef Bruno visited our central kitchen recently, to show us how to cook Barilla Plus pasta with the resources we already have. Take...

Continue Reading

Video: What a Healthy Lunch Means to Me (A Child...

I recently attended a screening of the movie, Two Angry Moms, and was honored to be asked to be on a speaker panel afterward.  But we kicked off the evening with an inspiring talk from the Venetia Valley Green Team, a group of motivated first and second grade students. Here is what they had to say...
Continue Reading

Waste Free Lunches - School Lunch Ideas for Pare...

Waste Free Lunches – School Lunch Ideas for Parents
I'm pretty excited - I just got invited to a lunchtime workshop with students at our school about Waste Free Lunches.  We'll play with our food, pack some sample lunches, and come up with some menu ideas for parents.  Many thanks to Amy Allen, our amazing Green Team Leader, for coordinating the work that our students have been doing at lunchtime to reduce, reuse and recycle.  Here's a little primer to get you started... What's a "Waste Free Lunch" and why should we care? A single student...

Continue Reading

Beyond Bananas – Seasonal Fruits in Winter

Beyond Bananas – Seasonal Fruits in Winter
Every day, I pack a boxed lunch for my children to bring to school.  And as I try to navigate the waters of my eco-friendly conscience, I realize that I need to branch out and move away from serving so many bananas.  Don't get me wrong, I love bananas.  My kids love bananas.  But bananas have to travel all the way from another country to get here - and that can't be that great for Mother Earth.  The good news is that there are many options for winter fruits that don't require a passport. I...

Continue Reading

School Salad Bars - Smoke Screens or The Real De...

School Salad Bars – Smoke Screens or The Real Deal?
A dad emailed me recently to tell me that his daughter has been asking if she can participate in the lunch program so that she can eat salad from our new salad bar.  Since the salad bar is included with the cost of the whole lunch, he wanted to know which meals were ones that I would want my own kids to eat.  Um.  Okay - this is awkward.  I am working with the food service department to  help implement the salad bar and ultimately bring in more money that can be put right back into better ingredients. But...

Continue Reading

School Lunch Reform – A Guaranteed Way to FAIL...

School Lunch Reform – A Guaranteed Way to FAIL
You may have noticed that I haven’t offered an update on our school lunch reform efforts in awhile.  Some of our team have been stewing.  Others have been steaming.  And one just boiled over. Perhaps I should explain the back story. We have done assemblies in 4 ½ of our schools to teach the students how to use the salad bars safely without contaminating their peers with germs.  And there have been more than a few challenges in keeping our new salad bars running smoothly. True,...

Continue Reading