Food For Thought: Kids Cuisine

Inspiring & passionate, Chef Ann Cooper (a.k.a. the Renegade Lunch Lady) has spearheaded a dramatic overhaul in the school lunch programs in Berkley, CA. She’s on a mission to change the way children eat and transform cafeterias into culinary classrooms. Don’t be put off by her intensity—she’s just very outraged and committed to getting the word out about how our children’s’ nutritional needs are being so poorly addressed in school.


Check out Ann Cooper’s blog and also follow Ann Cooper on Twitter to keep up with all of her latest happenings.

Of course, some of Ann’s ideas may not work universally. Sure, fresh regional veggies & fruits are abundant in California, but locally-grown, organic produce isn’t necessarily so readily available in other parts of the country. Still, consider the benefits for children of applying even a few of Ann’s progressive changes.

What are your thoughts on school lunches and kids’ nutritional needs? Do you believe schools are doing enough already? To be entered in the book drawing at the end of this Food For Thought week, just leave a comment!


  1. My biggest problem is not the food but the amount of time they give them to eat. At the elementary where my kids attend, they have 20 minutes, and that includes standing in line and clean up. They are forced to eat too fast . . .

  2. I was completely unaware of that, Brian. I agree – that's not right. Sheesh, it takes Liam a solid 30 minutes to eat a bowl of hot cereal in the morning!

  3. Our kids don't have the option of "hot lunch"- it's all provided from home, so I'm in complete control of their lunches. I try to get as creative as I can with their food so it's always interesting and doesn't fall into the groove of a pb&j, a bag of chips, and a juice box. This is difficult with my youngest being a pickier eater (my oldest will sometimes request to take sushi to school- so no problems, there). But as a sub-teacher at the school as well as an involved Mom, the problem isn't so much what MY kids are eating, but rather the junk that some of the other parents send in. As someone who tries hard to broaden my kids taste-buds and teach them about moderation and healthy eating, I love to see new education pieces like this one! Thanks for sharing it!

  4. I agree, you are what you eat. Most kids these days don't eat home cooked meals. That is sad. I wish the school cafeteria had more salad meals.

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