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How to Start a School Lunch Revolution – Book Giveaway!

Most kids will be proud to have Mom, Dad, or Grandma join them for lunch. Some might be a little bit embarrassed. If that’s the case, you can plan your lunch date as a group event with several other parents, so that your child won’t feel singled out. If you’re ready to draw some attention to the school food issue in your district, organize a Lunch-In — a day or week when lots of parents join their children for breakfast or lunch. Notify your school’s food service director ahead of time so he or she can plan ahead for some extra meals. Let the food service director know that you are an ally, not an adversary, and that your intention is to bring attention to the importance of the school food environment and gather resources and support for making improvements.

There’s a trade group for everything, and school food is no exception. Largely supported by contributions from the food industry its members purchase from, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) represents school food service workers. The organization promotes a National School Lunch Week each year in late October. Since the release of Two Angry Moms, we have encouraged parents to attend a school Lunch-In during the SNA’s National School Lunch Week. The goal for the SNA is to bring awareness to the school meals program. Our goal is to up the ante by examining the quality of the food and the school food environment.

Most schools publish their weekly or monthly menus online. I’ve got a Connecticut middle school lunch menu in front of me with a Wednesday entrée seductively called Love at First Delight. It’s described as a roasted turkey breast sandwich with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Russian dressing on a kaiser roll. I might have named it Détente, but the description does make it sound like a yummy lunch. A menu from Birmingham, Alabama, simply describes Wednesday’s meal as “Lasagna, green beans, corn on the cob, tossed salad, orange wedges, sugar cookie, roll, and milk.” Sound like good, filling comfort food. So what’s the reality of these two meals? Are they tasty and healthy? Or are they nasty, greasy, soggy, and full of chemicals? You don’t need a nutrition degree to conduct a good investigation, but you do need to look beyond the menu.

Excerpted from Lunch Wars: How to Start a Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children’s Health by Amy Kalafa. Published by Tarcher/Penguin.


WIN THE BOOK! Enter a comment below and you will automatically be entered to win a copy of Lunch Wars: How to Start a Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children’s Health by Amy Kalafa! Winner will be announced on November 15. Good Luck!


Karin Y.

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3:18PM PST on Nov 26, 2011

This book sounds awesome! And I believe that school lunches should someday be all natural!

7:16AM PST on Nov 14, 2011

We're lucky in Smithville to have a nutrition director who is very concientious about making healthy meals at school. She works with the Smithville Community Gardens, a nonprofit group in town that has the permission of landowners of vacant properties to till, plant, and care for seven gardens around town. The entire community is welcome to harvest the organic produce. One garden is across the street from our Primary school (Pre-K to 2nd grade). The first and second graders plant salad and pizza gardens each semester and the vegetables they harvest are served for lunch that day. It's one terrific program among many that the nutirition director for our ISD has instituted.

10:22PM PST on Nov 12, 2011

food is medicine

6:36AM PST on Nov 9, 2011


6:45AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

It was a long time before my friend discovered that her children were swapping her carefully chosen healthy lunches with their classmates, for crisps, chocolate bars etc.!!!

3:03AM PST on Nov 8, 2011


2:27AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

Thanks for the article

8:33PM PST on Nov 7, 2011

Noted TEACH about nutrition and why it's important to eat different types of food (fruit, veggies, dairy, protein, etc).

2:16PM PST on Nov 7, 2011

great article!

11:51AM PST on Nov 7, 2011

I eat at home.
The smell and look of what other students eat sickens me.

I'm hoping to collaborate with the teacher in charge of environmental club to get rid of the polystyrene cups. At least that's a start.

I would love this book. I'm actually trying to write a book for people my age and younger about whole foods, the environment, veg*nism, etc. This would be a wonderful referencea!

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