Remember how simple school lunches used to be? You'd have something from every major food group, run around the playground for a while, and you looked and felt fine. But today it's not so simple. Schools are actually feeding the American crisis of childhood obesity and malnutrition. Most cafeterias serve a veritable buffet of processed, fried, and sugary foods, and although many schools have attempted to improve, they are still not measuring up: 78 percent of the school lunch programs in America do not meet the USDA's nutritional guidelines.
Chef Ann Cooper has emerged as one of the nation's most influential and most respected advocates for changing how our kids eat. In fact, she is something of a renegade lunch lady, minus the hairnet and scooper of mashed potatoes. Ann has worked to transform cafeterias into culinary classrooms. In Lunch Lessons, she and Lisa Holmes spell out how parents and school employees can help instill healthy habits in children.
They explain the basics of good childhood nutrition and suggest dozens of tasty, home-tested recipes for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. The pages are also packed with recommendations on how to eliminate potential hazards from the home, bring gardening and composting into daily life, and how to support businesses that provide local, organic food.
Yet learning about nutrition and changing the way you run your home will not cure the plague of obesity and poor health for this generation of children. Only parental activism can spark widespread change. With inspirational examples and analysis, Lunch Lessons is more than just a recipe book—it gives readers the tools to transform the way children everywhere interact with food.
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Chef Ann Cooper, a former Executive Chef of the Ross School in East Hampton, New York, and the Putney Inn in Vermont is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. She has turned her commitment to sustainable, delicious, nutritious food toward education in order to help children. Chef Cooper is the author of A Woman's Place Is in the Kitchen and coauthor of In Mother's Kitchen and Bitter Harvest.
Lisa M. Holmes is the coauthor of Bitter Harvest and In Mother's Kitchen. In addition to her writing, she received top honors at the Culinary Institute of America and is the Administrative Director of Periwinkle Montessori School in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where she is in the process of implementing her own school food, nutrition, and gardening program.
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