Out of all the books I've gotten a chance to review, I'd be hard pressed to find one that seemed to fit my blog more than Lunch Wars by Amy Kalafa.
For those who haven't been around since the beginning, I started this whole blog right before Faith started kindergarten. In our case, she went to a private school with no cafeteria, so I needed to find a way to make sure she'd be able to eat her lunch in the allotted time. She's always been a great eater, but definitely a slow eater and bento lunches helped with that. Four and a half years later, she and Ben are in school in Colorado and I am making lunches x2. My original purposes have changed, but now it's a matter of feeding them a good, healthy lunch, where I know what ingredients have been used.
That statistics cited are troubling:
- The price of fresh fruits and vegetables has risen 40% in the last 20 years
- Half of America's school children eat less than 1 serving of fruit a day
- 30% eat less than 1 serving of veggies per day that aren't fried
- At least 30% of the average child's diet comes from sweets, soft drinks, salty snacks, and fast food
- Since the 1970s, obesity rates have tripled among children,12% have type 2 diabetes, 19% are obese and 35% are overweight, and all these numbers are rising
I know what my kids eat, I know what we all eat, and since I cook almost all of it, I know what is in it. However, one of the ideas I found most interesting in Kafala's book is the talk about the "food culture" at school.
Is what's being served and its message actually undermining what we try to tell our children about health and nutrition?
We tell them eat healthy, but cafeterias serve pizza and ice cream. We tell them candy is a treat, yet every time we turn around they are getting a candy reward at school, at scouts, at athletic games. We tell them to make good choices, but why are we offering bad choices to children who don't have the ability to think long term?