Marrying nutrition and cooking

I have a confession to make: I think nutrition is boring…

I know.

You start talking about calories and fat… you’ll lose me the first time you say “gram.”

BUT I love to cook. I must own more than twenty-five cookbooks. One of my favorite things to do is to open a cookbook, choose a recipe, go shopping for ingredients (invariably I’m missing one thing in my cupboards), and then create a delicious meal.

It’s a lot harder to find time to make elaborate dinners when you are a working mom. Those care-free days are gone. Over the past year I have been forced to start meal planning. That means every week I sit down and write out what we are going to eat every night and then I write a grocery list based upon what I want to make. And as much as I dragged my feet over confining myself to a “restrictive” meal plan, coming home after a long day and knowing what I will be making for the family is really, really nice.

Why is nutrition so dull and cooking so dynamic? My reasoning: Nutrition is the “theory” and cooking is the “practice.” Let’s combine them to make our students well-rounded and knowledgeable about wellness.

So how can we get kids excited about nutrition? By teaching them how to cook. I mean, how fun is it to stir, flip, and fry? Bake, roll, and rise? Kids won’t even know they are learning. It’s like a science experiment with dirty dishes as the only downside.

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80 thoughts on “Marrying nutrition and cooking”

  1. I just read your story on ABCNEWS.com, and I posted the story to my facebook account. I just wanted to applaud you. Our school district also uses Chartwells, and the food is horrific. I pack my girls' lunch almost every day – they are allowed to eat one hot meal of their choice per week – and they don't want more. They don't like most of the meals they are served, and often the kids only eat the highly processed stuff and skip the fresh fruit and vegetables. What are we doing to our children??? Thank you for helping to shed light on this!!!

  2. I completely agree! Teaching kids to cook and love cooking and food more generally is really important in getting them to value what they're putting into their mouths. Alice Waters certainly supports that idea out in California!

    http://bonappyall.blogspot.com/

  3. Anything can be made more interesting for the average person, except to those who just won't be interested no matter what. Theory can be simultaneously married to practice in a way that illustrates and explains the concepts.

    A great deal of the problem is that even if someone actually knows anything about biochemistry and endocrinology (and they usually don't), it all goes out the window to be forgotten the first time they sit down in a nutrition class.

  4. Nutrition doesn't HAVE to be boring, but the science of it can make one's eyes glaze over. I know my kids love, love, love to help me in the kitchen. My now 7 year old had a pre-school "Kids Cooking" day each week and it was so much fun! Obviously, at 3 years old, they weren't making anything too involved, but each and every kid loved getting to "make" their own snack.

    If you really want to help your little ones (and yourself) learn to love to cook, I highly reccommend "Cooking Rocks" by Rachel Ray. It's is one of the best kids cookbooks I've ever seen. It's broken down into age appropriate categories and it's REAL food! She also talks about sanitation and kitchen safety in language that kids enjoy.

  5. I saw your story at Yahoo and still cannot figure out the point. You think this food is so bad yet you do nothing to change it. You think eating is going to make them realize that its bad. What your doing is the same thing as prayer. The only thing your able to do which does nothing. Typical women though I guess. Complain and complain about something but wont do anything to take any action

  6. I just did this with my girls yesterday, and I have to say cooking seems to be a perfect medium to teach nutrition. We made whole grain wheat and flax seed bread, meatloaf, roasted potatoes and broccoli, and some strawberry freezer jam to go on a half slice of bread for dessert. Every time we added the next ingredient, she wanted to know what it was and why we were adding it. Even at 3 1/2, she might not get the names of Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids but she can certainly understand what they do for the dish or our bodies.

    And don't forget, helping make something makes it so much more appetizing for a child!

  7. I saw an article about your blog on Yahoo and could not help but be surprised. Although i am an American, i spent the majority of my elementary school years going to a public Japanese school. There, the lunches were hand-made. Everyday our lunch would contain some kind of soup (miso, cury, this one wierd one that had a lot of konbu&potatoes, etc), bread/rice, a side dish such as an array of picked vegitables/natto/spaghetti or delicious fish. We would also sometimes get frozen mikans (they're like clementines) or frozen pears. One of my clasmate's favorite snacks were these tiny little dead fish (complete with head, tail, bones…) that you would eat WHOLE. i could never bring myself to try them but my sister absolutely loves them. Everyday the food was dished onto actual glass plates ( there were multiple incidents of breaking glass) by fellow students who would bring individual serving-pots to each classroom and serve food there. We always ate lunch in the classroom. Perhaps the american lunch system should borrow some ideas from the Japanese lunch system?

  8. Completely agreed! I facilitate an afterschool teen iron chef program for high school students. We learn to cook, and at the same time, learn about nutrition and cultures. It's so much more fun than a traditional nutrition class. Check out our progress on foodwithintegrity.blogspot.com

    The curriculum was provided by Family Cook Productions. They also have programs for elementary and even preschool students.
    http://www.familycookproductions.com/

  9. I just read about your blog on ABC News, and couldn't resist clicking the link.

    I always hated school lunches, but I also hated sack lunches. In high school, in addition to mystery meat, we had the welcomed addition of flies. Flies, flies, flies. The food all came with flies having landed on it. In California, where I lived, there were no closed areas to eat, and the line into the cafeteria meant the doors were opened to the outside. Students and flies came in together. Bleah.

    Sack lunches are still disgusting, but were never as disgusting as school lunches. Wonder bread, fruit, a cookie or two. That was fine, but sandwiches never appealed to me, especially squished ones. Most times I would chuck the lunch, and most days I just saved my lunch money.

    I still don't like lunch. Was I traumatized????

    Keep up the good work – and good luck with your job. Here in CA I didn't get my RIF, but so many others have. Makes you wonder what kind of education any American is going to get these days, if they get one at all.

  10. I'm only 20 years old so a lot of the things you describe I've had the the misfortune to have to stomach down. i commend and applaud you for your efforts. I also have deep regret that your job is in danger for trying to do something so positive and i think it would be a lot safer for you(career wise)if you took down the information and had a non school personal take over the blog relieving you from responsibility hope everything goes well 4u

  11. i am the exact opposite. 🙂 as a vegan who is exploring the possibility of having a gluten allergy, i LOVE learning about nutrition. as far as cooking goes, i'm awful. what's worse, my food choices are such that i HAVE to cook my own food.

    it wasn't always this way though. i loved to cook as a kid. i wasn't great at it, (i must not have that cooking gene) but i loved to do it with anyone who allowed me to help.

    kids like action. they like doing things. i whole heartedly agree with you. the best way to teach is to allow them to do.

  12. Fed up,
    I am far from what you would call an ideal role modle when it comes to eating healthy. I mean after all everyone loves junk food, BUT after I visited my step-daughters school last week I fully support you in every indever that you can possibly make that would get these kids food that would be healthy for them.
    I remember when going to school ment getting stew and stuff like that and acctually prepair meal. Now all the kids get is something that they can heat up in an oven and shove on a plate and get them back to class with the less stress cause on the staff. I am not sure that this is a productive use of our tax dollars. and I am not sure the next time my Step-Daughter tells me she is hungry, because she didnn't eat lunch,I won't make her a full meal.
    This week thier school menu is as follows: Chili dog Chicken fried steak( I ate it last week IT AIN"T STEAK AND IT AIN"T FRIED) Grill Chicken, Frito Chili Pie, and Fish Strips. With every meal they get a very small salad and something that resembles fruit coctail and well of course what equals out to a half of serving of milk.
    What they are giving are kids today is only making them run to McDonalds and TacoBell (I know I did) and they wonder why childhood obesity in America is so high. Could it be that the schools are failing in the jobs in the dietary department? Could it be that the food they give the kids is nasty and the kids pour fast food into thewir bodies after school?
    I don't know what it is but I will tell you this I make my step daughter a lunch now and I will not stop. It is like being forced to go to that really awful resturant every day for the next 18 years of your life

  13. Phil's comment up there was completely out of line. Just had to say that. You are doing your part and more, I'm extremely grateful.
    I, too, found a news article about what you are doing and read your blog. I love it! I think at the conclusion of your "experiment" you will definitely be able to make a difference. You are drawing attention to a problem that needs significant attention drawn to it.
    After reading your blog yesterday I got curious and went to the elementary school website of my nephew. He's in kindgertan. I was appalled! http://www.staff.johnson.kyschools.us/schools/ces/Lunch%20Menu.htm
    I've been out of school for seven years and had forgotten what it was like until you refreshed my memory. The last two years of high school, I ate a chili, chips, and cheese concoction in a giant bowl for $1.25 everyday. I ate school lunches everyday from seventh grade on. My mom wanted to pack lunch, I didn't think that was cool. I ate wonderful at home, but not surprisingly I graduated high school at 230 lbs. Snack machines everywhere, pop machines. Ice cream after lunch everyday. I was within my normal weight range from preschool to sixth grade, which I attribute to private school and mom packing my lunch.
    The sad fact about the menu for the kindergarten kids is that my brother and sister-in-law didn't know what he was eating. The school told them he was being fed "healthy" foods.
    To me, the government is just capitalizing on ignorance. Shelling out less cash for heavily subsidized foods. I don't know much about nutrition either, just the basics. But alot of people are just so ignorant about food they don't know what they are putting into their bodies. There is a great documentary called Food, Inc. And in it a woman says, "I didn't know it [fast food] wasn't healthy, I thought all food was healthy."
    That sums up our food problem in school AND out of school.

  14. Alyse you think im out of line so be it. You want to fix school lunches well then fix it. Go to your next PTA meeting and suggest raising school taxes for better lunches. But no you would rather complain about and do nothing. Also if taxes would get raised the same people would be voting against it because its so hard to let go of that powerful dollar

  15. I'm loving your blog! And I completely agree with you today. I have 5 yr old twins and in the last year we have been cooking quite a bit together. It's wonderful to see them try new things as well as becoming much more aware of what is "good" food and "bad" food for their bodies. Of course they don't ever turn down a cookie 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  16. Phil: False dichotomy. We can have reasonable discussion and debate about food, money, etc., without resorting to nonsensical and insulting comments about "Japs". See also the commenter before you who wrote: "Typical women though I guess. Complain and complain about something but wont do anything to take any action."

    Ms. Q, you know you're getting popular when the foolish haters show up!

  17. Phil,

    What is your deal? Mrs. Q is raising awareness to a perceived problem… how is that not doing anything? Usually that is the first step to change. She has been featured on the Yahoo search page as well as ABC news. That is doing something more than posting unproductive and racially offensive comments on someone's blog. If you don't agree with what she is doing then make an argument against it and support it with some constructive feedback or keep your comments to yourself.

  18. While I don't agree that nutrition is boring, I'm biased. I'm a dietitian!

    I think your endeavor here is so commendable! Thank you! School lunches are a HUUUUUUUUUUUGE issue, and I personally thank you for your efforts here.

    And I agree about cooking. What American's consider cooking is…pathetic. We need to go back to the basics of meal planning and cooking!

  19. I find it telling that on a blog exposing the deficiencies of school lunches there is an add for Dominos Pizza! And other fast food franchises.

    This IS the battle you're fighting.

    How can you change things in schools when children and parents are bombarded with this type of advertising?

  20. Angela and frogfram (afraid to show real name?) I understand the awareness issue sure. My Japs comment was out of line so let me change that to people of Japanese origin to those easily offended. You all think it is a problem as do I. But then answer this question what is a blog going to do. I have 2 young kids who will not eat school lunches when they start school, because I agree with the issue. But blogging wont change the world. Or how this is handled. I bring up taxes again. America which I am very proud of living in but at the same time is so greedy that people are willing to complain about something and not do anything. I can write a blog on my views and take pictures as well nothing will change from this because any type of change is going to depend on the tax payers. I am not in the best of shape maybe 20 pounds over weight but I will not start pointing fingers at my Mother and Father for not teaching me proper nutrition. I will not blame the schools for the lunches I was served. Its called self control and yes I understand young children do not understand that concept. Everyday I make dinner I make sure I make a tiny bit extra so I can send that off to the baby sitter cause I dont want my kids eating junk. None of this is the schools fault what so ever. It is everyone on this blog and everywhere else. Raise taxes fix the issue and open a new problem and a new blog that has people in an uproar

  21. Phil: My solution, such as it is, if you look to my previous comments on this blog, does not involve more taxes or regulation, but less of that top-down coercion and more actual freedom to choose. If there's anything you'd like me to be more specific on other than my name, you're welcome to ask. I notice you don't use your last name, and I don't care, as that has nothing to do with the issues under discussion. Unless you turn out to be working for the Department of Agriculture and pushing their misguided Food Pyramid with its focus on unhealthful, subsidized grains 🙂

  22. What's great about learning to cook is that it doesn't have to be taught in school. I learned how to cook by watching and helping my grandma and mom. I hope that people will stop relying on prepackaged, highly processed foods to throw something on the table for dinner. It's not that hard to roast a chicken and vegetables….

  23. You know I wasted enough time with this stupid shit. Bunch of bent out of shape women that expect things to just change because they bitch that may work with your husbands boyfriends or family members but unfortunately that is not how the government works

  24. Hi Mrs. Q!

    I've been reading you for a few days now. Fascinating project!

    I am blessed to have my son in the best school district in our state. My husband also works for the district, occasionally eats from the cafeteria selections, and tells me the food is very good, in taste, selection/variety and nutritional value. Much of this I'm sure has to do with the considerable school tax the residents pay. I do understand that there are many more stories to the contrary in other schools.

    Taking into consideration that many of these kids will get their most decent meal from the cafeteria makes it all the more disheartening. There must be ways to improve the quality of the offerings while maintaining a reasonable budget.

    You have a few fan in me. Keep up the good fight. 🙂

  25. Phil, I'm sorry you're too impatient (and rude) to stick around. But just in case you return, I support a free market in health care as I do in everything else — I'd direct you to mises.org to get started, rather than relying on the nonsense peddled by mainstream media that passes for "free market". By the same token, vouchers are only a token step toward freedom, and a true radical (striking at the root) approach would begin by abolishing compulsory attendance.

    As far as diet, I personally eat high-fat low carb with no grains, excess fructose or omega-6 fatty acids, as recommended by (among many others) Dr. Kurt Harris at paleonu.com. I recognize that my views on many things, including economics and nutrition, aren't shared by many people either at all or here on this blog. Also, unlike most people, I don't believe I have the right to put a gun to their heads — even by proxy — to force them to eat in a way I think is "right". That's why children have parents! And a Procrustean "one-size fits all" solution is no solution at all. I have no desire or ability to preach to or manipulate "the masses" (a collective non-concept), preferring to educate and persuade individual people who actually exist. And while I am forever mistrustful of labels, you may consider me an advocate of polycentric law, with a preference toward common law, and an epistemological foundation based on natural law. Them's my biases, out and in the open! What are your assumptions and principles, sir?

  26. Hi Ms. Q,
    I'm very impressed with your project. You're right – we need to focus attention on what our schools are feeding children every day. Having been a teacher for 32 years, I can tell you that I rarely ate cafeteria food for several reasons:
    a. It was not tasty.
    b. It was not nutritious – too many calories!
    c. It was not prepared in what looked like ideal conditions to me.
    Do you plan to let us know if your health (weight, blood pressure, etc.) is affected by your experiment? Good luck.

  27. I've been dragging my feet too about planning ahead and designing a week's worth of meals, but with a second kiddo on the way and a wife who RARELY cooks, I'm going to need a lot more prep work to keep our world spinning.

    As for the teaching nutrition through cooking, I completely agree. But it starts at home. Parents have to take charge of their children's futures. Cooking with your kids/family and serving "well balanced" yummy food is the foundation here.

    My toddler loves a wide variety of real food because she's been eating it since we introduced solids. Making her baby food ourselves helped her transition straight to "adult food" too. There aren't "stages" of processed and prepackaged food for her to grow into.

  28. Phil- cost of lunches is not the only issue. It is a fallacy to say that schools are saving money through bad lunches.

    There are many ways that food service contractors COULD make school lunches much healthier, but also more appealing to kids and – believe it or not- this does not always mean it would cost more.

    the issue is one of complacency. Food service contractors are enmeshed in the system of fake ingredients, fillers, HFCS, etc. and see no reason to change anything as long as school districts continue to buy it.

    School boards must vote with their dollars and demand better quality meals. Parents need to lobby their school boards to do so.

    At my son's old school, we were part of an experiment- the PTO had to raise money to buy a steam table and working with the local high school kitchen ( where our school lunches were actually prepared) we got the school board to force their service contractor to provide us with better quality, healthier menu options. In the end, the district actually SAVED money- we measured food waste at 3 different elementary locations and the amount of food being thrown away was drastically reduced by changing the meals! It was a success all around, and the following year, the district implemented the same policy into all the elementary schools.

    My son cooks with me at home all the time. I work full time and I totally understand what Mrs. Q is saying about the menu planning- I do it every week myself. But you know, I don't just want to teach MY son to be healthy and eat well. I would like all the kids in our neighborhood to at least have a fighting chance, whether their moms work or stay home or cook or hate to cook. School is for LEARNING- not just reading and writing, but good social skills and how to be a healthy well-rounded person.

    If we are spending money and time teaching kids to play dodgeball because it gets them healthier and teaches them valuable 'team skills' etc- then why would we not consider eating time to be just as important a skill to learn??

  29. I am so glad I found this. I teach kindergarten in a Title 1 school in Alabama. It's a shame what the kids eat. I used to eat it and after 4 months, I had gained a lot of weight and my cholesterol was through the roof. Thank you for taking on this challenge.

  30. Sigh…I was going to take my kids out to eat tonight but reading this blog has prompted me to try cooking with them tonigh. Them being a 3.5 and 2 year old…

    Any ideas? 😉

  31. I am a high school health teacher and am greatly enjoying this blog. I do teach nutrition to my students and they are sometimes bored with all the information. I would love to add some cooking to my curriculum but time and space are always an issue. Reading this has made me realize that even though I find nutrition interesting, many of my students won't unless I make it applicable to their lives. I am going to do my best to add some cooking lessons in my future classes. I may even share this blog with my health classes. I'm sure it will spark some discussion regarding our own school's lunch. Some of the students choose pizza or pizza on a daily basis, no wonder we can't pass the standardized tests.

  32. I am a middle school teacher in Georgia. My mom has been a caterer most of my life and both of my parents owned and operated two successful restaurants. When hiring employees, my mom was always amazed at how little anyone new about cooking. Simple tasks like slicing/pealing fruit are foreign to so many people today. Family dinners are practically a thing of the past now. Children aren't in the kitchen helping prepare the meals because there are no family meals. As a result, they don't learn to cook and they don't learn about healthy eating habits. We truly need to be teaching kids how to cook and how to eat. They aren't learning it anywhere else.

  33. I'm not really sure what this blog is supposed to accomplish ~ I'm a chef…I own a business

    ~ I live with a teacher…food and education are both very important to me.
    My own business is based on sustainable, local and organic foods and biodegradable packaging.

    This problem with school lunches isn't new ~ if anything, I think that school lunches have gotten *better* in recent years with salad buffets ~ yogurt offerings etc…There are more things to choose from and eat than just tater tots and pizza slices.

    school lunches are a result of various things..funding (you've mentioned that your own district is out of money) finding qualified (or talented) people to cook it…and offering something that the kids will eat ~ how many of us ate the french fries and threw away the apple as a kid? I'd bet many of us.

    I'm not saying that schools are only capable of serving hot dogs..but I have to believe that there are more choices at lunchtime than *just* hot dogs.

    Nutrition/Obesity etc..are a multi level problem ~ when school lunches were *worse* (everything on white bread…fried stuff etc..)

    Fewer children were obese..so I'm not sure school lunches are the only issue here.

    I think people are fully aware of the problem..I wish someone would focus on a solution though.

    Oh ~ and I have to mention…the 'popped corn chips' from the other day were just that….*Popped* corn chips ~ as opposed to fried or baked corn chips….they weren't supposed to be 'popcorn chips'

    I would love it if instead of simply criticizing something that we all know is poor at best…please tell us a way to fix the problem.

    I do not mean that in a sarcastic or nasty way at all..I am very serious ~ how do we fix the problem?
    …we all know the food isn't health food ~ we all know it's not served in an appetizing way…how do we *FIX* that?

  34. We are fed up w/ the prevailing attitude regarding fitness & nutrition in America. American dietary habits, like a cancer are now infecting many other parts of the planet. Almost, 70% of America is fat including our children who are fatter then ever. Health insurance rates are sky rocketing due to this "disease" of choice (for the most part). The only solution that we see is a serious program of nutrition and fitness education in our public schools. We have a confession to make we do not think nutrition is boring. We have been living this for over thirty years and not just talking about it. We have a website called http://www.urfatimnot.com that posts on Twitter & Facebook where we have begun a series of videos in order to get the word out. We will be launching our 5th video early next week. The subject matter will involve public school nutrition education and school meals. Next month we will be speaking at a Newark, NJ Public School. We doubt that you are as hard core as we are. We believe the soft moderate approach has failed miserably- Look around! However, we believe your efforts are noble and consider you an allies. Check out the videos, don't be put off by the presentation (there's a method), listen to the contain and lets us know what you think. Thank you.

  35. We are fed up w/ the prevailing attitude regarding fitness & nutrition in America. American dietary habits, like a cancer are now infecting many other parts of the planet. Almost, 70% of America is fat including our children who are fatter then ever. Health insurance rates are sky rocketing due to this "disease" of choice (for the most part). The only solution that we see is a serious program of nutrition and fitness education in our public schools. We have a confession to make we do not think nutrition is boring. We have been living this for over thirty years and not just talking about it. We have a website called http://www.urfatimnot.com that posts on Twitter & Facebook where we have begun a series of videos in order to get the word out. We will be launching our 5th video early next week. The subject matter will involve public school nutrition education and school meals. Next month we will be speaking at a Newark, NJ Public School. We doubt that you are as hard core as we are. We believe the soft moderate approach has failed miserably- Look around! However, we believe your efforts are noble and consider you an allies. Check out the videos, don't be put off by the presentation (there's a method), listen to the contain and lets us know what you think. Thank you.

  36. I just found your blog and was discussing it with my Hubs when a commercial for a new Jamie Oliver show came on.

    Now he's taking on American school lunches, and we thought, "It's about TIME!". I also immediately thought of you. Might be something you want to check out.

  37. urfatimnot said…

    We are fed up w/ the prevailing attitude regarding fitness & nutrition in America. American dietary habits, like a cancer are now infecting many other parts of the planet. Almost, 70% of America is fat including our children who are fatter then ever. Health insurance rates are sky rocketing due to this "disease" of choice (for the most part). The only solution that we see is a serious program of nutrition and fitness education in our public schools. We have a confession to make we do not think nutrition is boring. We have been living this for over thirty years and not just talking about it. We have a website called http://www.urfatimnot.com that posts on Twitter & Facebook where we have begun a series of videos in order to get the word out. We will be launching our 5th video early next week. The subject matter will involve public school nutrition education and school meals. Next month we will be speaking at a Newark, NJ Public School. We doubt that you are as hard core as we are. We believe the soft moderate approach has failed miserably- Look around! However, we believe your efforts are noble and consider you an allies. Check out the videos, don't be put off by the presentation (there's a method), listen to the contain and lets us know what you think. Thank you.

  38. I love your blog! I'm getting my Masters in Public Health at the moment and we're always discussing obesity and childhood obesity in particular. School lunch is discussed quite a bit and it's great to read your blog every day and see what the kids are eating. I live in NYC so I'm assuming the food choices in public schools here are similar to hat your students eat, very processed, etc.

    I'm reading an interesting book (for fun, not school) called "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan, his mantra is "eat food, not too much, mostly plants" by food he means non-processed, non-imitation food. He discusses how as we learn more about nutrition and food science our culture has gotten more and more unhealthy and cultures that do not focus on nutrition (e.g. France) tend to be healthier. He has a really interesting outlook. If you haven't read it I would definitely recommend it, its an easy read and a really interesting take on how our culture deals with food.

    Good luck with the rest of the project and your job!

  39. Hm, is this blog SUPPOSED to offer solutions? Or just put on display what the situation is at her school?

    Don't let the criticism bother you, Mrs. Q.

  40. While I don't find nutrition boring at all (nerd alert) I can understand why someone feels that way. I also love to cook (and eat). It is really all about the way you teach something. Almost everything can be super boring or exciting, depending on the way a person talks, moves etc.

    Even though my blog is a nutrition and food blog, I try to make things interesting. When I post a recipe, I have tiny boxes with some fun nutrition facts related to the recipe. People can skip over them if they want, but they may learn a thing or to. 🙂

    – Christina

  41. I agree wholeheartedly. I wouldn't be half as attentive to nutrition if I didn't cook so much. I had the opportunity to take 'Teen Living', which is a class that prepares high school students for future years. Learning how to sew, cook, balance a checkbook… those are skills that I'll need for a long time.
    Learning how to cook (both at school and with my parents) got me interested in the nutritional aspect as well, and I feel it's the best way to get kids excited about healthy eating.

  42. OK, my name is Phil. I posted the above offensive comments. You see, the problem is that I'm married to a fat hog of a wife who eats Bon Bons all day long whilst watching soap operas. If that wasn't painful enough, she constantly belittles me because I'm a second rate plumber. I don't know. I guess I'm emotionally scarred.

    Please forgive my swiping at you ladies. When you've been berated for so long, you kinda forget that it's easy to be a douchebag online.

    You're actually doing a great job with this blog and I know it will be something that can help change many peoples minds and hopefully get them into the fight as well for our children!

    Keep on!

  43. Just found your blog and really excited about what you are doing. I teach kindergarten and I could never stomach most of the foods they feed my kids. Yuck! Can't wait to continue to follow!

  44. Hi, like many other people, I found your blog through Yahoo. I just wanted to say that I found your blog very intriguing, and I support you wholeheartedly ^^. I know that my college dining hall offers very good food compared to other alternatives, but my friends and I usually find something to complain about. Reading your blog has reminded me of why I should be more thankful of what I have right now… although that Freshman 15 really has gotten me because of the much better food > <.

    In any case, good luck!

  45. I just found your blog this morning and have spent much of my morning reading it. I think it is great what you are doing. My family eats as healthy as we can afford to (I am currently off work on disability and so my income isn't nearly what it was). I have health issues that are much significantly better by limiting my intake of chemicals so we eat as much fresh and organic foods as possible. My oldest daughter has no interest in cooking but my youngest is in the kitchen with my fiance and I all the time. She goes grocery shopping with me and helps pick out which fresh fruits and vegetables to go with our meals. We enjoy many different meats from beef to seafood. I in no way claim we are the perfect eaters but we try.

    Many days my daughter and I have to pack her lunch because of the disgusting foods being offered at school. Yes they offer a "salad" as an option but it isn't even really a salad. It is less than a handful of iceburg lettuce with ranch dressing. My children love salad but this isn't a filling lunch, let alone nutritional. So we pack things like carrots, oranges, dried fruit, etc for her lunch with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (homemade jelly when possible) and a water.

    What irritates me the most about this is that every year the school sends home a letter stating how the school is striving to provide only healthy foods to the children and asks us not to send unhealthy snacks, even for birthdays. I don't understand how they can claim to be feeding my children healthy food when they offer up food that I wouldn't even bring into my house because they are so laden with chemicals you can hardly call them food. It is so bad that my daughter utterly refuses to go near the "pizza" that they serve.

    Keep up the good work. Our school district is promising a school lunch overhaul and I am staying hopeful.

    PS
    This is a school district where the low-income population is so high that all students receive a free lunch instead of applying for it.

  46. The post above Kelly I lost it i could not stop laughing. If you actually read the posts I put you will see that I never disagreed with what she is trying to accomplish I just said blogging wont do anything to help. You say how it is so easy to be a douche online yet what are you doing. I once again never said that this was a bad thing I just said it wont do anything. Also I never said anything about being married. I said I have 2 kids. Also sure I made comments about women that were out of line but sorry when the posts help prove me right with the stereotyping. Also if you click on my name it will take you to my profile which states that I am an IT analyst not a plumber. You want to say how I make rude comments fine your entitled to your opinion. But I bet there are a lot of plumbers out there that would get pissed off your comments. So your no different. I would love to find out that your water heater blows and you need to call one of those "second rate" plumbers. What makes one profession better than the other? Money is it? Thanks for proving my point that America is greedy. You are probably one of those people that look down on trash men and factory workers yet you use there services all the time. So at least make sense with what you say

  47. I'd like to know what happened to the Home-Economics classes??? We learned the basics of cooking, etc. It needs to come back.

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