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How can I promote healthy school lunch in my area?

After my Renegade Lunch Lady blog entry, Emily asked, “What I want to know is what can I specifically do in my area?” She refers to turning nutrition around in the institutions that serve our children. Especially schools. And any organizations that outreach to families.

Well, there are macro issues–for the community organizers and big thinkers. And there are micro issues, for those who just want to take a small task in their local area. ALL these ideas are good ones, and you can start with JUST ONE if you like.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers although I have done most of the things on my list below. So readers, please look deep and tell me,

What have you done?
What have you seen others do?
What do you see that needs doing in your community?

Macro ideas:

Talk to a state legislator and find out local laws, and start the grassroots movement towards good legislation. Find the legislator who wants to sponsor a bill and work with him/her.

Talk to your elementary, jr. high or high school principal about school policy. Propose one. Enlist the help of other parents, finding out what they’ll support. Start a petition.

Help your school (esp. private and charter schools) find a high-nutrition option for school lunch vending.

Petition to get rid of junk food vending.

Sign Jamie Oliver’s petition for healthier school lunches here:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/campaigns/jamies-food-revolution/petition

Micro ideas:

Make a veggie platter for your child’s school holiday party.

Go into the classroom and teach a little class about gardening, and get their hands in the dirt. Plant in little pots in the windowsill if planting outside isn’t an option.

Teach kids where food comes from. You think they know but they don’t!

Go into the classroom and do a green smoothie demo with samples. (Teachers will love it.) Talk about the power of green foods with chlorophyll, the “blood” of plants.

Do a tasting involving veggies and fruits, dips like yogurt or hummus or a roasted veggie spread on whole-grain crackers. Talk about why these foods are better for you than junk like
Cheetos and sodas and cookies. PRAISE children for their good choices and open-mindedness as they taste and express their opinions.

Other ideas, please share them. We have some rockstar parents who read this blog and are bucking national trends, so tell us what you do in your child’s classroom.

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