Handstand Kids

Tag Archive for lunch time

What’s The Story With Potatoes?

Potatoes are making waves, again. This time, the US Department of Agriculture, the administer of the National School Lunch Program, proposed changes to nutritional standards including limiting the amount of starchy vegetables (including potatoes) to no more than 1 cup a week. These changes will go into effect this February.

It turns out that 75% of the vegetables kids are eating as part of their school lunches are starchy vegetables, and in most cases, french fries. Potatoes do provide some nutritional value as they are high in potassium, the USDA is hoping that children will learn to make room for other vegetables in their diets as well.

For more information on how to cook potatoes in a the most healthy way and what the USDA is up to, click here.

Best and Worst School Lunches

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is using a new angle to highlight the good and bad of school lunches: photographs of the food.  Jamie is asking people to upload photos of school lunches, and then visitors to the site have the opportunity to rate the photos from one to five stars based on how fresh and nutritionally balanced, or processed and unhealthy the lunches look.

Many people are not aware of the wide range of quality offered in school lunches.   The Food Revolution Team recognizes that schools have varying resources and points out that their goal is not to criticize school cafeteria staff about the food they serve, but rather to start a conversation about the differences in quality of school lunches.

Interested in learning more? Click here.


Yvette Cooks with Kids in Colorado

In Denver: James, Henry and Caroline cook up a healthy and delicious Mexican meal from the Mexican cookbook kit.  All of the kits can be purchased at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Los Angeles School District Is Making Changes

It started with banning flavored milk. Now, the nation’s second largest school system is revamping its entire school lunch menu.

Los Angeles Unified School District is is replacing canned fruit and vegetables and with more locally grown produce, and chicken nuggets with restaurant-quality chicken on the bone. The district is negotiating with food suppliers for less processed ingredients, and is trying to be as cost-effective as possible with the changes.

To make sure none of the new meals go to waste, they’re bringing students into their main kitchen near downtown LA to taste-test meals like hummus on whole-wheat pita, Greek salad, and vegetable tamales. Of course, kids will still have access to junk food through school vending machines and an “underground market” of students selling candy bars, but the lunch line is a good place to start.

According to the LA Times, 80% of school lunches are served to students who qualify for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch. Since these students rely on school meals for much of their nutrition, without improving school food they are more at risk for obesity and other diseases.

To learn more, read the Los Angeles Times article here.

Back to School: Cafeteria Lunches

We’ve been following a trend that we hope will become a national food revolution. Improving the quality of food is only part of the equation. A new national study by the School Nutrition Association finds that most students don’t have enough time in their lunch period to actually eat their lunches. Nanci Hellmich of USA Today reports that once students wash their hands, go to the restroom, wait in line for food, and find a seat, many have only 10 or 15 minutes left to eat.

As school lunches become healthier, we must take into consideration that healthy food simply takes longer to eat than junk food. Think about it: you’re unlikely to scarf down a salad as fast as you can inhale a bag of chips. Plus, eating slowly is better for the digestive system and may mean eating less, since it takes time to digest food and realize you’ve become full. Time is another dimension of the school lunch food revolution that shouldn’t be ignored.

Read more about the time crunch here.

Back to School: Changes in the Cafeteria

Yesterday we wrote about how to pack better lunches for your kids as they return to school for the year. Several school districts are trying to make lunches healthier for children as well with their focus on the rarely healthy, cafeteria.

Colorado seems to be at the center of it all and is learning how to restructure their school kitchens with help from Cook for America, a group that trains healthy cooking to schools. The city of Greeley, Colorado took the plunge and is proving that healthy cafeteria food isn’t simply for wealthy school districts with pesky PTOs. Cook for America is helping schools cook from scratch, with real ingredients and far less of them, meaning less chemicals you and your children can’t even pronounce. Most schools feel that after budget cuts they can’t afford the traditional-turned-new way of cooking, when in fact, cooking this way proves to be more cost-effective in the long run.

This is a food revolution we’re hoping to see more school districts take part in. To read more about what Greeley, Colorado schools and Cook for America are doing, read this article from the New York Times.

Handstand Kids Go Back To School

It’s time to send your kiddos back to school and we know you’re doing a lot to prepare. We loved Disney Family Fun’s article on “The Lunchbox Dilemma,” and wanted to share their best lunchbox tips with you.

1. Learn what your kids like to eat and include them in the fun. Take them to the grocery store with you and let them choose a few things to pack for the week.
2. Because lunch time is social time at school, make sure you pack lunches that are not only health, but FUN.
3. Besides having them shop with you, have your kids help you pack their school lunches each night before bed.
4. You can never go wrong with staple foods. Find a fruit or veggie, your little one loves and be sure to pack it more often than not.

For more tips like these, visit Disney Family Fun.