When you were a kid, what were your school lunches like? Did you do the cafeteria thing? Bring lunch from home? I always brought lunch from home. My Dad made lunch for my brother and I everyday – all the way through high school. He made the BEST sandwiches. So many of my friends would try to pay me for my sandwiches, or try to convince my dad to make them lunch, too. And pretty much everyday he place a note in our lunch as well with an inspirational quote, or just some wisdom from him. My brother saved a bunch of his notes and I hate that I didn’t do the same. Looking back, that means so much to me that he took time each morning to make sure we had a delicious lunch each day. I look forward to carrying on the tradition when I have kids.
I read an article this morning about school lunches in France. I am really interested in the whole school lunch debate, because the situation in our country is ridiculous. I am involved with Slow Food USA and they have a big Slow Food in Schools program.
Slow Food in Schools supports local projects as they create meaningful relationships between young people and food. By placing an emphasis on hands-on experiences, community interaction, and the pleasures of the table, Slow Food in Schools projects help to strengthen the food communities of tomorrow by engaging youth today.
A big goal right now is to find funding to give school lunch programs $1 more per child per day, as well as doing away with the junk food sold in vending machines, cafeterias and school stores. The last goal is to link schools to local farms, and teach healthy eating. I am totally in support of all these goals and hope they are reached by the time my kids are in school.
Maybe our legislators can take a cue from France. While the country is cutting public programs and civil-servant jobs to try to slash a debt of about $2.1 trillion, no one has dared to mention touching the money spent on school lunches. The school mentioned in the article posts the school lunches for two months for parents to review. No single meal is repeated over the 32 school days in the period, and every meal includes an hors d’oeuvre, salad, main course, cheese plate and dessert. Could you imagine?
Kids in France are taught food rules before they can even feed themselves. They are never served food anywhere but the table, and learn that food is serious business. Pretty eye-opening to compare the two countries.
Do your part here.