Monday, February 25, 2013

Better Food for Children

NPR Morning Edition has an interesting broadcast here about the difficult parents have providing a good dinner for their children.  A major reason is that the time between the end of work, and bedtime, is so short.  Also, there was concern about the lunches the kids were getting at school.

I think some simple things could be done at schools to help, at least, with the school lunch part of the problem.

When I taught, I had a microwave and little refrigerator in my classroom. I told my students they were welcome to use them, and many did. They came in early and left their lunches in the refrigerator, and then stopped on their way to the cafeteria at lunchtime to heat them up.

It was my minority students who did this the most. They brought in delicious-smelling chicken and rice dishes and other dishes I wasn't familiar with. Plus they could bring milk and yogurt from home and keep it cold in my refrigerator.

I don't see why schools couldn't set up some microwave and refrigerator stations in the cafeteria, Kids could bring healthy food from home. When I taught, I used to make a big pot of soup on the weekend, and then bring portions in all week. Food brought from home is usually better than cafeteria food, and much less expensive.

I know this doesn't deal with the time crunch parents feel in the afternoons and evenings. But if they knew their home cooking at dinner time would also provide nutritious, inexpensive lunches for their children the next day at school, they might make the time.

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