Monday, May 17, 2010

Sweet Paul + School Lunch Update

image via sweet paul magazine

Have you seen the new magazine from genius food blogger/ stylist sweet paul? It's completely inspiring and lovely and the recipes are seriously drool-worthy.

In (digitally) flipping through it, I was especially jazzed about the photo above, as it solved a vexing "snack" dilemma I've been wrestling with.

Tomorrow night, a group of other neighborhood moms are meeting at my house to talk "school lunch" and come up with some changes we'd like to see implemented at our elementary school. (I haven't talked about school lunch here in a while, but I'm pretty excited about the direction we're headed.)

Needless to say, I was a wee bit stressed about what kind of snack to serve a group of ladies while talking about putting healthier food in our kid's lunch rooms, so when I saw the picture above I had a sort of eureka moment... So easy, so pretty -- some pecans, some pears, a little cheese, some dried apricots, a few water crackers... Done and done.

I'm totally copying Paul. 100% copying... that exact snack box you see above. (except maybe on a tray and not a box, we'll see.)

Ok, back to school lunch. Several of these same ladies and I got together a few months ago to watch the excellent documentary 2 Angry Moms. (If you're at all interested in the school lunch issue, I would highly recommend buying this and hosting a screening for other moms, it's fantastic!) Since then, there have been several other group meet-ups, a meeting between one of the especially motivated moms and our district food service director (!), and I had a chance to chat with the head of the lunch program at Audrey's school. There's real traction and a strong sense in our community that folks are interested in making sure our schools serve healthy food, which is so incredibly encouraging, no?

The really exciting news though is that I think the stars are aligning and change is already happening...what seemed like an uphill battle just months ago now seems to be moving rapidly forward (maybe it's the changes to the Child Nutrition Act or the Jamie Oliver show and petition {have you signed the petition yet?} or public pressure...who knows, but something is going on.) For example, I got a sneak peek at the menu for next year and all white grains have been replaced with whole wheat, they're offering loads more fresh fruits and veggies (I was especially excited about the addition of snap peas), and they've eliminated pudding and processed branded meals (i.e. that Smucker's crustable pb&j currently on the menu.)

Progress friends, progress...

I'll keep you posted on how things shake out (both the meeting and that cheese box ;-)

12 comments:

  1. I'm not sure if you've seen this Time article, but I thought of your school lunch crusade when I read it. There is hope!

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1982347,00.html

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  2. sweet paul rocks. i thought the snack box was awesome too. all the best with changing the food at your school...it is high time we moms change this issue. bravo.

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  3. fab post. so much to think about. can't wait to check out that magazine. thanks for working so hard to make meals better for the kiddies. also, you are funny - "done and done." I say that all the time....

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  4. It is incredibly encouraging. And I am excited to hear more! We don't have kids in school yet (except preschool) so I'm not aware of what the school lunch situation will look like but I'm curious.

    gorgeous looking snack.

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  5. awesome snack box idea--thanks for sharing (even if it wasn't yours originally). have you seen the teacher blogger who is eating school lunch everyday for a year in order to raise awareness about the state of school lunch? it's fedupwithschoollunch.blogspot.com

    worth checking out for sure.

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  6. That is so exciting!!! Good for you, for getting involved with this issue. I am interested to check that movie out. I don't have kids yet, but I have been worried about school lunches for a while. I'm excited about the direction that people like you are pushing us in!

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  7. Very exciting. Go you! I hope the meeting is extremely productive!

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  8. First off I love the box idea it is brilliant. I hate it when bits of biscuit crumb stick to the cheese and pear where they are not wanted, which is what happens when you put all that on a serving platter.

    Second I am so pleased that the divine Jamie Oliver is in part having impact and that you all in the US are trying to change school lunches.

    I grew up in the 1970s and the tuck shop (like a canteen) at my school in Melbourne was health food only. My brothers had chips etc at their school and I grew up on a diet of meusli and yoghurt and fruit and I know that it set me up for really good eating habits for life. We complained at the time of course but what did we know we were 13.

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  9. Wow - you guys must be so proud! Talk about traction! I'd love to see future posts around the real issues in your school (budget) and your approach. Sort of a lessons learned overview for the rest of us?

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  10. That does sound like progress...keep up the good work!!!!

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  11. just discovered your blog. i'm nowhere near parenthood, but this is still an issue that concerns me and it's so lovely to see parents taking control and doing something about it. and this snack box looks pretty divine, too!

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