Labor Day is over, and for most of the kids who haven’t started already, this week means back to school. It’s a time of excitement, anxiety, and (we hope) good nutrition for kids. If you need some new ideas, or just some food for thought, there’s probably a blog or a resource to help you out.
If you’re looking for some fun lunchbox ideas, check out some of the cool blogs on bento lunches (lunches prepared in the Japanese bento style with fancily arranged compartments). Some of our favorites include “What’s For Lunch at Our House” and Laptop Lunches. There’s also Muffin Tin Mom, who makes cute little segmented lunches in muffin tins.
If you’re looking for some good commentary on school lunches, don’t miss Chef Ann Cooper (the “Renegade Lunch Lady”), and Fed Up With Lunch, a blog by Mrs. Q, a teacher who remains incognito as she eats school lunches and then blogs about them. Also check out The Lunch Tray, another kids’ nutrition blog we just discovered with lots of good info.
If you’re looking to take action on improving lunches and nutrition on a larger scale, see Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch campaign, Healthy Schools Campaign, Healthy School Lunches, School Lunch Talk, and of course Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which you’ve probably already heard about because of all the press it gets, but it’s worth mentioning again. Also, don’t forget that childhood nutrition has become quite political, especially since Michelle Obama made eradicating childhood obesity her primary policy platform. Congress is currently working on a reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, the major legislation that provides for school food policy and resources, so watch for status updates this fall.
Last but not least, for a real eye-opener on school lunches, watch for the documentary film “Lunch Line,” about the history and politics of the national school lunch program, coming soon to a city near you.