Eats

NO MO’ SLOPPY JO’: SCHOOL LUNCHES GET A REFRESH

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It’s BACK TO SCHOOOOOOOOL! If anyone knows where summer went, could you please remit it back to re: Kristin Quinn? What do you think of when you think of back-to-school? New clothes? Books? Getting back to a routine? Carpools? For me, it’s LUNCHES.  So. Many. Lunches. Packed.  Food management in general is a full time job in this household and it only gets worse during the school year.  At least in the Summer I can shout “get it yourself!” after I’m asked for the 100 millionth snack.
This school year, I’m establishing a healthy eating plan with the family as part of #MyNewGoal.  It’s super simple (I think, ask me again in September.) My kids are used to having veggies at every meal…but we can sometimes get stuck in a little bit of a carrot or cucumber rut.

I want them to expand their veggie horizons so to speak 🙂 Every month, we are going either to the farmer’s market or the grocery store together and picking out 1 new vegetable to incorporate into lunches and dinners.  If they don’t like their choices, the challenge is on us to figure out a way to prepare it until they do: cut it up in fun shapes, boil it, shred it on top of salad, etc.  I encourage you to try this out yourself! It’s a wonderful way to make healthy eating fun and help your kids learn the importance of nutritious foods.

Let’s talk school lunches. Do you let your kids buy lunch in the cafeteria? It’s something I struggle with.  You can never really be sure about the ingredients – are they made with whole grain? Is the fruit whole and unprocessed? Is the meat real meat? The answer is most likely a tragic “no.”  Since my kids know they are supposed to eat veggies with every meal, including their lunches, I’ll often ask them what they had and the answer is usually, “there weren’t any vegetables for us to buy.”  And we all know pizza, chicken nuggets, and waffles are not the right choice day after day for our kids. According to a recent study distributed by healthy school meal provider, Revolution Foods, to 1,800 students and parents, when asked what each group considered as an ideal school meal, the majority of parents (45%) and students (30%) selected “bento-style meals with a variety of finger foods, including meat, cheese, fruit, veggies, pretzels, etc.” over unhealthier options like burgers and fries, pizza, and chicken nuggets. Lucky for us, Revolution Foods is on a mission to build lifelong healthy eaters by providing access to healthy, affordable meals to all students and families, and they’re doing so right here in Boston.
Their mission is one I can align myself with. The company has quite literally revolutionized the lunchroom not only for Boston Public Schools but nationally in district and charter schools, early childhood programs, and after school programs (over 2,500 sites to be exact). Each Revolution Foods meal is kid-inspired and chef-crafted, as well as culturally relevant to deliver tasty options that broaden our kids’ palates. This is super important, especially for families like ours who are trying different foods this school year! Today Revolution Foods serves 2.5 million freshly prepared, great-tasting healthy meals to students in schools nationwide on a weekly basis! Parents can rest assured knowing their kids will not only enjoy their school meals, but will benefit from the exceptional nutrition and high-quality ingredients.  I wish our “breakfast for lunch” Tuesdays looked like this!

There is no question that good healthy foods positively affect our children’s potential.  There was even a study done to prove it (published by UC Berkeley) that showed students at schools that contract with a healthier school-lunch vendor perform better on tests.  I believe it.  My kids are so unhappy after eating high sugar, high sodium meals.

Here’s how Revolution Foods does it better –

  • Revolution Foods has served over 5.3 million meals across 84 campuses in Boston, including local favorites such as bean and cheese pupusas, sweet potato-crusted fish sandwiches, and chicken drumsticks with rice and veggies.
  • They recently expanded capacity at a new culinary center in Newmarket Square to streamline operations, enabling a wider selection of fresh local and regional produce, high-quality proteins, and rBST-free dairy products. They also created over 80 new jobs in the Boston community.
  • Beyond the lunch line, Revolution Foods partners with local community organizations, such as Food Corps, to develop nutrition education programs in schools including monthly vegetable tastings for students and families. 

The result? Healthy kids who love their lunches and perform better in school, plus, parents who save time on meal preparation. Yes, please!

What is your #MyNewGoal this school year? How will you make sure your kids are enjoying healthy meals during the school year?

-MIM-
This is a sponsored post, opinions are the author’s own.
Photo Credit: Revolution Foods.

 

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