I was invited to review Lunch Wars: How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children's Healthby Amy Kalafa as part of the BlogHer Book Club.
And thanks to Ms. Kalafa's informative and eye-opening book, I now feel completely overwhelmed and waaaaay behind.
Sure, my son is only in preschool and hasn't even begun to eat any of the 3,000 school meals that the average child eats between kindergarten and 12th grade. But Kalafa paints a picture of a school food system that is so broken and so in need of parental involvement that I finished the book feeling exhausted and, yes, quite behind.
After all, since my son doesn't yet eat any meals at school, who is the lunch lady in his life? That's right: I am. Me. I'm the lunch lady. And what have I been feeding him? Mostly healthy stuff but also some of the same crap that Kalafa rails against schools for serving. Some healthy lunch lady I am . . .
But that's me. I often feel like I'm standing at the bottom of an enormous mountain when I read about what I should be doing to maximize my kids' health and wellness.
Aside from freaking me out a bit, I found Lunch Wars to be an excellent book. It was full of interesting -- and scary -- facts. As in, "Holy crap, my kid is going to be served pet-food grade 'spent-hen meat'?" (from page 19). Um, that's gross. And not cool.
Also on the not cool list:
- "American's spend $200 billion per year in diet-related health-care costs; twice as much per person than any other developed nation.
- One quarter of children ages five to 10 have elevated blood cholesterol or high blood pressure -- early warning signs for heart disease.
- Twelve percent of American children currently have type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes."
And while you're at it, you can check out the discussion about Lunch Wars on BlogHer.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Review disclosure: This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.