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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pizza Grows On Trees!

            As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of Jamie Oliver. I loved Jamie’s cooking show, and when he started reforming school cafeterias, well I just thought it was an amazing idea. Recently there has been more attention in the focus of cafeteria food because of Jamie’s revolution. It is really unfortunate that so many children currently are obese, when in turn, develops into Type II Diabetes. These children are not given chance to develop as healthy beings. I am not blaming school cafeterias for this epidemic, but I don’t think they are helping children get healthy either. So, it can as a bit of a surprise to me when I read that the government has stepped into the food programs for schools, and is backing up the already bad food choices.

            It seems as though the government is okay with labeling pizza and French fries as vegetables. Although I must admit, I thought a potato was a vegetable for quite a while when I was a kid, but after learning the food groups, I learned the truth. It almost makes me fear what is on the rest of these school lunch plates if the French fries are the vegetable portion. Not every school is abiding by this, and this article list Portland schools that are making positive choices without adding any cost. It is unfortunate that we don’t focus more one developing healthy food choices.

            I personally don’t have children, but am worried when I do I have to worry about school lunches. To me this is an unnecessary stress to add to a parent’s plate. Although the easy way to avoid your child eating unhealthy, is packing them a healthy lunch from home, but every parent doesn’t have the time to do so. Coming from a single parent household myself, my mom did not have the time to create a well-balanced lunch while taking care of every other household chore. So, what are the options?

            Eat more veggies, set an example. Don’t let your children think that pizza is a vegetable. This is an easy solution to solving problems, and doesn’t take any other time out of the day. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 26 percent of the United States eats enough daily fruits and vegetables. Teaching your children to eat healthy at home will allow them to make healthy choices at school. Also, get involved with the community. I know many people want to start gardens, but it seems when they are pushed and described how easy it can be, the motivation appears. So, start a garden with some friends, or make a fun Saturday by going to breakfast and a farmer’s market and involve your kids into this routine. Or, if you are like me and don’t have children, start these habits before so when you do have children, they become part of these healthy habits. And hopefully the school’s cafeterias will change for the healthiest.

            Check out these simple ways to create lunches (if you have the time).

Healthy Lunch Ideas (that are easy too)

  • Tuna salad (made with yogurt)
  • Turkey meatballs
  • Meat, cheese, veggies and hummus
  • Chicken soup with whole wheat crackers
  • Tomato soup with veggie chips
  • Guacamole with pita chips
  • Peanut butter with crackers, celery and apples
  • Whole wheat pasta with veggies
  • Banana and peanut butter sandwich
  • Vegetable pitas
Want more ideas, check them out.

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