Back to School-Creating Change Beyond the Lunchbag

Back To School-Creating Change Beyond The Lunchbag

Fri 19 Aug 2011

Story by Karen Humphrey

Twitter Party: August 16, 7 pm PST/ 10pm EST

Theme: How to gear up for school lunches-creating change in schools and kids activities

Recipe of the Week: Sloppy Joes - one of my favorites! Share a photo of yours on the Facebook page.

Back to school is already here for some of us, while others are gearing to getting back into the routine of packing lunches and sports. What's your biggest lunch packing challenge, and how can you make change not only in your kid's schools but in the extra-curricular activities that they are in? At this week's party we talked about some of the challenges that parents face with food being used as rewards, fundraisers, and how to push for a healthier change. Food isn't just in lunches, it's everywhere, and there are always opportunities to make things a little healthier. We stepped out of the box a little to talk about treats being used as rewards, and what you do when your kids beg for the unhealthy treats because "everyone else has them." There were lots of great ideas generated that I can't wait to share with you, here’s some of them!

Question #1: How do you feel about snacks offered after kids sports?

@thescramble I think fruit is the perfect post-sports snack, and no kid ever complained when I brought it. #foodrevparty

Question #2: Does your school have hot dog fundraisers?

@crunchacolor No hot dog fundraisers, no bake sales; the teachers encourage students to find ways to give back to raise money #foodrevparty

Question #3: How could you change them to a healthy lunch?

@eatwholebevital why not do food education in place of a hot dog/pizza lunch? #foodrevparty

Question #4: What are your best packed lunch ideas?

@mywholesomehome Tip: try hummus instead of mayo or margarine in sandwiches or wraps. Less chemicals and higher protein #foodrevparty

Now, because I work in schools I threw in a few non-official questions to see what would happen, and I was surprised by the answers!

Question #5: Does your child's teacher give candy as a reward? How can you change that?

@crunchacolor Have a community fruit bowl in the classroom, easily accessible for healthy snacks, parents contribute each week #foodrevparty

Question #6: Do your kids nag you to put popular junk foods in their lunch? What do you do?

@eatwholebevital I try to substitute for a healthier version #foodrevparty

Back to an official question-but it goes to show that food at school is more than just lunch, it's social and ties in with rewards as well, which is something to consider!

Question #7: How do you make veggies and fruit fun in a packed lunch?

@TakeyaUSA tip: take kids to local market to get local fresh fruit. Head home to make fruit infused water together #foodrevparty

Next week's Twitter party: August 23, 4 pm PDT/ 7 pm EDT

Thanks so much to everyone who attended and gave such positive feedback about school lunches. I had a wonderful time hosting!

About the author: Karen Humphrey has been cooking and writing in British Columbia, Canada as long as she can remember. Author of Notes From the Cookie Jar and Chasing Tomatoes, Karen shows that cooking fresh food from scratch can be easy, delicious, and how fun it really is to get your kids involved. With a perpetually hungry teenager and 19 years of experience working in public schools with special needs children, Karen knows school food on a first hand basis. In the summer you can often find the Humphrey family road tripping for weeks at a time through the USA Food Revolution style, sometimes with hilarious results.


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