Healthy lunches for school, but how?

    I recently contacted my child’s school to offer my services in helping plan a healthy lunch/cafeteria program. This was the response I received…

    “… our program is currently based on healthier teen-friendly choices, meeting criteria of balanced meals, allergy concerns, and supporting vendors in our community. We will be doing a satisfaction survey in the next 6 months and would welcome suggestions at that time.” – you bet I will be making suggestions 😉

    The choices for the students included refined, chemically laden foods like, pizza, fat burger, hot dogs, fast food chicken, tacos, chips and pop. They claimed to support a balanced meal by adding items like booster juice and veggies and dip with a hot dog lunch.

    My first argument is, balanced meals? I am hard pressed to find what criteria they refer to? Teen-friendly? So teens don’t eat healthful foods like fresh fruit, veggies and salads, home made cookies, bars… ask my kids, they love what they eat (most of the time) and their friends come to me begging for recipes. Adding fruit or veggies to unhealthy diets will not create balance. Secondly allergy concerns? HA. I cannot even think of where to begin with this one. And third, supporting vendors in our community? Fast food chains, really. Although I do have to give them credit for only two choices from local chefs. It is a start 🙂

    The sad truth to this program is that the majority of these foods offer very little nutrition. They do have a great number of additives, chemicals and fillers, which are classified as neurotoxins and carcinogens. They are stripped of valuable nutrients necessary at this stage of life in support of growth, nervous system development and proper brain development and function. It’s no wonder childhood conditions like ADD, ADHD, hyperactivity, depression, anxieties and fears, mental illness, delinquency, diabetes.. just to name a few are on the rise.

    The good news is you can provide children with healthy choices. And it’s actually pretty easy. With all the information out there, on the internet and in the media, health and nutrition becomes such a confusing topic for most. But, you do have choices… remember-choices are what we are made of. The statistics are there, they are real, when we as a society allow ‘others’ to make these choices for us, that is when we fail. Be in charge of your food supply and the environment you live in to protect our existence and most importantly our children’s futures. Get educated because children are our future, let’s protect and nourish them!

    I have started working on a series of classes that I will be offering over the next few months. The first will be to parents whom are interested in becoming more knowledgeable about the foods in their children’s diets. The focus will be on preparing lunches for school with plenty of tips and recipes and for quick snacks and dinners at home as well. It will be geared toward children and teens with information on nutrition specific to their needs. I will be discussing foods, chemicals and additives etc. to watch out for and questions and concerns will be addressed as well.

    Please contact me if you are interested in signing up for this class. Class pricing will be determined depending on number of registrants and will be in Okotoks. Location will be announced.

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