Health-up your child’s school lunch program

Have you seen our basic, intermediate and extreme going green tips yet?

Here’s one that really drives me nuts. It’s number 7 under the extreme green tab.

School-provided lunches:
My daughter’s elementary school is still serving the same tasteless, preservative-laden lunches that I had when I was kid. We pack her lunch so we can control the salt, sugar and preservatives.

At the end of last year, I went to her school to have lunch with her. I asked the woman behind the rows of cheese pizza, regular hot dogs, mac and cheese and other unhealthy stuff, if she had anything healthy. Her response? “The green beans?” And, yes, she said it as a question.

I honestly don’t believe schools have to operate this way.
So, what do you say, let’s challenge our schools to do better.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has great information about healthy school lunches, including the 2008 healthy lunch report card on 20 large school districts’ lunch menus. In it is the criteria they used to rate the districts.
Take this to your school and let’s see how they stack up. Send it to me, and I’ll compile the information.
2008 School lunch report card

More information:
Ann Cooper, head of nutrition at the Berkeley, Calif., school system, serves only organic, regionally provided and sustainable foods to her students. Known as the
Renegade Lunch Lady, Cooper spoke at the annual TED Conference two years ago about what the changes at the school system.

— Linda J. Johnson