From Tracie: Lunch Wars

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lunch Wars

Reading Lunch Wars by Amy Kalafa made me think about school lunches from my childhood. My elementary school lunches were pretty healthy, but by high school I was eating pizza or candy and chips out of the vending machines every day. My teen lunch experience is exactly the kind of situation the author is hoping to end.

Lunch Wars Cover
Statistics like this speak to a need for change in our children's food:
-Only 2 percent of school-age children eat the USDA's serving recommendations for all five major food groups.
-Half of America's schoolchildren eat less than one serving of fruit a day.
-Nearly 30 percent of American children eat less than one serving a day of vegetables that are not fried.

Lunch Wars is not a fast read, but that is due mostly to the subject and the amount of information Amy Kalafa shares. She wrote this book in response questions people asked after watching her documentary Two Angry Moms.

The subtitle, "How to start a school food revolution and win the battle for our children's health" is completely serious. Lunch Wars  is part book, part instruction manual.The author included samples of letters, surveys, forms, and even lesson plan resources you can use in your quest to reform the food system in your child's school.

I thought it was interesting to read stories from different schools across the country, and see the big and small changes that are being made. I was impressed by all the schools that are growing some of their own food through school and community gardens.

As a mom who homeschools, it definitely made me think about the easy, convenience lunches that we often eat at our house (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, anyone?) and I felt inspired to make some changes of my own. It would take just as much time for me to put some fruit on yogurt as it does to squeeze chocolate sauce on ice cream.

Do you know what your kids are eating at a school? 
You can join in the conversation and read an excerpt from Lunch Wars, at BlogHer.

*This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club, but the opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to say nice things. 


  1. Nothing wrong with peanut butter and jelly :) My older daughter likes veggies, but my younger is a total pill. I'm hoping that phase passes soon.

  2. My middle son actually has specific requirements for what we have to send in his lunch b/c they are trying to be healthy! At first, I sort of rolled my eyes, but then I realized that it was healthy and not hard to do.

    My oldest has crap in their school lunches, so I usually pack his.

  3. I am constantly being educated on good food and the proper way to eat here in France. We had a healthy upbringing (except for all the snacking) but I feel like a total ignoramus.

    (The kids eat 3 course meals with real napkins and real dishes in the public schools).

  4. I just started sending my son to preschool and am so worried about the food they give him. The teacher was even using little packets of M&Ms as rewards for good behavior... everyday! I brought in raisins and asked if my child could have a separate reward from the other kids.
    I'm going to be "that mom". But I kinda like it :)