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Lunch Lady Revolution

J0409367 I am a lunch lady.  I used to have a high-paying, high-pressure career, but I bid it farewell when my kids were born. 

My son has medical problems, sometimes chokes when he eats and this school year was his first one that he would eat lunch at school.  A job opened up in the cafeteria and I took it.  It was a no-brainer, really.  It was a chance to earn a little money (and I mean a little money), work the same days my kids attend school and possibly save my kids' life.  See?  No-brainer.

Lately, I have been hearing a lot about Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.  Jamie is a chef (better known as The Naked Chef), from England, who is attempting to change the way America eats.  I applaud him for it.

He has started a campaign to raise awareness about what our kids are getting in their school lunches.  His program featured a school where the kids were fed pizza for breakfast and chicken nuggets for lunch.  It was enough to make a lunch lady like me turn over in her orthopedic shoes.

See, we don't eat that way at our school.  Today I made a tossed salad with iceberg and romaine lettuce, fresh carrots, cabbage and cucumber.  Tomorrow we're having bananas.  It the last week we have served freshly sliced apples and oranges as well.  Today's dessert was peaches.

Do we serve crap too?  Sure we do.  Twice this school year I have made instant potatoes.  We have fries and government meat a lot.  We are not above tater tots.

But, a student can't get any extras until they have eaten their fruits and vegetables and we limit how many extras are handed out.  We have a walking club at recess.  We have taste tests during the lunch periods so children can sample whole grain breads, sliced red peppers and pomegranate juice.  We have consistently won awards from the State of Ohio for our nutrition practices and for being a healthy school.

I can't help but think that Jamie's revolution should not be hard.  Our kids deserve this, but I believe it will take the work of parents instead of a well-known chef from across the pond.  Get involved and make sure your kids are eating as well as mine are.  Their lives are, literally, depending on it.

Original post to Ohio Moms Blog.