Monday, January 25, 2010

Lunch Recipe Share

Today for Arlo's lunch (and mine), I amended a basic "spaghetti" recipe that the Divine Miss E (head of nutrition program at Iowa City Montessori) makes for kids at her school. It just goes to show how easy it can be to make a reasonably healthy and quick lunch for your kid's lunchbox. Now, why can't our public schools be serving foods like this?

It goes something like this:

  • Pasta. I used rotini, E usually uses angel hair. You could easily slip in a whole-wheat variety here.
  • Sauce. Just a few spoonfuls, to keep it mild for Arlo's palate--also to obscure the fact that it has sauce on it, since Arlo's is convinced that he doesn't like sauce. (He does.) E's recipe (and mine) uses pesto.
  • Your kid's favorite veggie. I threw chopped carrots in with the pasta during the last 5 mins of boil time. E uses tomatoes--usually grape tomatoes, but maybe sometimes sliced Romas? (Arlo genuinely doesn't like tomatoes. Yet.) And don't forget to throw in a healthy handful of chopped, uncooked spinach right after you drain the pasta--the heat and moisture from the noodles is sufficient to cook it, and all of the nutrients stay in the meal.
  • Cheese. Feta and parmesan, in our case.

You can pack this along as a pasta salad (if your kid will eat it cold) or send it in a thermos, like we do. Just don't forget to include a fork!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fed Up: Be Very Afraid.

Parents of public-school children, please take a look at this new blog. Mrs. Q, a public-school teacher in Illinois, has pledged to eat school lunch with her students every day in 2010. She posts each day's meals on the blog.

You might be alarmed, and you'll probably be disgusted. You likely wouldn't want to eat most of this food yourself, especially if you're trying to make healthy, sensible choices in your diet.

I made additional comments in response to Mrs. Q's post yesterday. I'd re-post them here, but can't seem to get Blogger to play nice and let me copy and paste my comment, so just look for it on the post from Thursday, January 14.
No, Arlo doesn't eat school lunch. That decision is very strongly reinforced by the content on this blog so far.
What do you think we can do as parents to make the school-lunch program better? I know that packing a lunch for Arlo every day makes HIS diet better than that of his classmates--but what about those kids that have to eat school lunch every day? What can we do for them?