Lunch Lessons begins by stating everything that is wrong with the American diet. It clearly explains what children should be eating and explains why children need to stay away from additives, high fructose corn syrup, fast food, trans fat, etc. Did you know that children born in 2000 and after who are following the current trend of the fast food, prepared food nation, are facing a shorter life span than their parents? I didn't but it makes since with obesity and diabetes on the rise in the young.
There is a chapter devoted to outlining the caloric needs of a growing child, which food groups are actually necessary for correct development and a helpful chart explaining portion sizes and the number of servings to eat per day based upon the childs age. The book is filled with tools to help anyone learn to change their eating habits and lifestyle (because it is a huge lifestyle change) and I'd bet even those without children would find it a very useful reference and jumping off point for dietary change.
The middle section of the book is about several school systems who bravely changed the menu by eliminating pre-packaged processed food and brought in whole foods from local farmers. The stories, especially the comments from the children, are inspiring and hopeful. What surprised me the most were the positive social experience these children enjoyed while tending to a garden and preparing their healthy meals.
The recipe section is filled with lunch options I've never before considered. I tend to get stuck in a rut with whole grain bread, natural PB&J, turkey cold-cuts, turkey hot dogs, etc. I'm not sure if my kids will go for some of the more radical options like couscous (especially my meat loving son) but I'm going to give it a shot. I never thought of packing home baked mac & cheese or chicken pot pie but those are two faves I'm betting will get them more excited about lunch.
This is a book that will remain in personal collection and one I'm betting I'm going to be picking up on a weekly basis as I prepare my meals.
The author includes great recipes that are healthy and easy to tote to school or work. These recipes are a great alternative to sandwiches and reheated frozen food from the school cafeteria line.