Posts Tagged ‘Lunch’

Good Heavens! It’s the Lunch Box Police!

February 17, 2012

Governments that poke their nose into people’s daily life are extremely annoying. It is a Governments job to provide people with the freedoms and resources required for living a comfortable life. The day they impose regulations that limit our basic freedoms, is the day they have gone too far.

Apparently, in some parts of the Western world, that day has well and truly arrived:

The elementary school in Raeford, North Carolina, decided the four-year-old’s lunch — which consisted of a turkey-and-cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice — did not meet nutritional standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Why? Because it did not contain a vegetable.

The USDA guidelines say lunches, even those brought from home, must consist of one serving each of meat, milk, and grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables. Those guidelines — introduced last month as “historic improvements” by the federal government — spring from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her Let’s Move! Campaign and signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Dr. Janice Crouse, senior fellow for the Beverly LaHaye Institute at Concerned Women for America, sees the incident at the North Carolina school as historic in another sense. She says it is just another way government intrudes on the rights of parents.
“It’s another way that the government says it knows best, another way to waste taxpayer dollars, quite frankly, and to really irritate parents,” Crouse tells OneNewsNow.
The mother of the young girl, in an interview with Carolina Journal, says what angered her the most was the message her daughter received. “…Number one, don’t tell my die I’m not packing her lunch box properly,” she stated. “I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats.” The child, she reported, does not like vegetables; so the mom packs fruit instead.

Why do Governments resort to strict regulations and negative tactics to enforce standards which can be met without limiting freedoms and isolating people?


How to Get Kids to Eat From Their Packed Lunch

January 26, 2012

Hazel Keys, the author of The Clever Packed Lunch has come up with a system for getting kids to eat the contents of their lunchbox.

Below is a portion of an interview of Ms. Keys conducted by the Courier Mail:

Q: You’ve run a tuckshop – what’s your take on ensuring kids leave home each day with a properly packed lunchbox?

 A: It’s essential. A healthy nutritious lunch supports learning by allowing children to settle, focus and learn. Processed, refined and sugary foods have been shown to do the opposite.

Q: What motivated you to write The Clever Packed Lunch?
A: My many years of parenting and preparing school lunches resulted a system that I felt could benefit families and I wanted to share that.

Q: What are your three top tips when it comes to creating great packed school lunches?
1. Involve your kids in the preparation; listen to them and try to accommodate their preferences within the guidelines of health and balance.
2. Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, preferably choosing in-season varieties.
3. Choose “whole” foods and ingredients that are as close to their natural state as possible, like seeds and whole grains.

Q: You suggest parents should try to get their children actively involved in making lunchbox choices – what are the benefits?
A: This is a great way to achieve a number of goals, so that:
• children feel empowered
• they’re far more likely to eat their lunch
• they’ll learn how to cook and feed themselves healthily in the process.

Q: Can you give us an example of a delicious and balanced lunchbox that could turn fussy eaters into fans?
A: Kids are attracted to “fast” food, there’s no doubt, and in my experience they love pizza. Pizza can definitely be healthy as long as you use quality ingredients like (some) wholemeal flour, olive oil and organic tomatoes. I serve it with salad, or the mixed potato wedges recipe from the book, which uses sweet potato, a highly nutritious food. And then there’s my healthy chocolate cake recipe!

Q: It’s Sunday night and the fridge is looking bare any lunch items that can be made up from simple pantry staples?
A: Yes! I always keep small tins of prepared salmon in the pantry, along with dried egg (not wheat) noodles, and frozen vegetables like corn and peas. The other items I always have on hand are a wide range of seeds. The noodles, once cooked, can be combined with the salmon, veggies and some sesame seeds, perhaps with a little sesame oil.

Q: Top three sandwich combos?
A: Ooh, yes! For kids I find the following are popular:
– sliced turkey breast, cranberry sauce and sliced green apple
– salmon, chopped gherkin, egg mayonnaise and cucumber
– grated cheddar, creamed corn and diced red capsicum toasted

Q: We automatically think of sandwiches when it comes to packed lunches? Can you suggest three options we could consider instead?
A: Yes, I’ve a recipe in the book I call “Sleeping Dogs”, which is a healthy version of hot dogs or sausage rolls. Home-made dips with wholegrain rice crackers or pappadams are a nutritious gluten-free choice. And my personal favourite, also from the book; the creamed corn puddings, which are rich in eggs and served with sour cream and guacamole. Yummy!

Q: How important is it to include a treat?
A: I think it’s important not to give “treat” foods too much attention, but to demonstrate flexibility by including them now and again, although not in the lunchbox unless the food has a nutritional benefit, like quality dark chocolate. That’s a real win-win treat!

Q: You suggest doubling up lunch box prep with dinner – can you give us a couple of examples to get us thinking on the right lines?
A: When making meatballs I double the quantity and shape some into patties instead. I serve them for dinner in a wholemeal or multi-grain roll with lots of salad. And when I make chicken and corn soup, I add the uncooked chicken to the stock. Chicken cooked this way is both moist and tender and adds flavour to the soup. So I often double the amount of chicken, and once cooked, remove half. Then I freeze it and use it for Asian dishes another day.

Q: What do you think are the main issues facing families in relation to providing healthy lunches for children at school, and what solutions can you offer?
A: It seems to me that families are finding themselves over-stretched, and lacking the time and money to provide really nutritious lunches. I’m convinced that this is contributing to the growing issue of child obesity. My answer is to move away from packaged and processed foods and choose fresh, simple, high quality foods instead. So much of our money goes straight into the bin wasted on fancy packaging and clever marketing, and the ingredients are often inferior. Feeding ourselves properly takes a little effort, but it’s absolutely worth it. Good food, like charity begins at home and offers an opportunity to develop in your children healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give them. And there are clever systems that can make the process fast and efficient too, such as the one outlined in my book.


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