Kid Versus Broccoli…

TV ain’t just your regular idiot box anymore.  If you find the right shows, you’re guaranteed hours of motivation and inspiration (Sane Person Note:  Jersey Shore does not count for either one of those criteria)!  One of the reasons I started being more conscious about my food choices is coming back to TV tonight… and I for one am definitely tuning in… even if it does come on opposite Biggest Loser (DVR, TIVO or watch online at the next day!)  Wow… who knew you could do a whole paragraph about a show and never even mention the name of it!!  Let’s see if I can do a whole post about it without mentioning the name… just to be real annoying like (just like every single cast member of Jersey Shore)!  Oh… get over yourself, Snookie… errrr… I mean Whitney.  The show is called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and it comes on channel ABC right before the Dancing With the Washed Up Wanna-Be-Stars Results Show

Last season, which aired starting in about March of 2010, was about Jamie Oliver going into the school systems of the “fattest city in America,” in Huntington, West Virginia, trying to change their school lunch menu.  Less processed, high fat foods… more fresh, all natural, homemade foods.  It did not go over well at all at first.  More homemade food was more work for the kitchen staff and more expensive than buying a lifetime supply of frozen leftover chicken scrap nuggets and warming them in the oven… plus the kids didn’t seem to take too kindly to having their fried foods replaced with fresh, baked foods.  It was on this show that I first learned that the school system considers french fries and ketchup a vegetable.  On what earthly planet would that be true?  If that was the case, I’d have had NO problems forcing down my veggies as a kid… none at ALL!  Bring on the McDonald’s buffet, Ma… I be getting in my veggies… ketchup and fries galore on that menu!   And when I’m done with my veggies, I’ll have 3 bowls of Fruit Loops so I can get in my fruit allotment.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with eating french fries every now and then (I just ate some the other day)… but to consider them a vegetable!?  Might as well add a chocolate cake food group to the food pyramid in that case. 

Jamie Oliver is pretty much a rockstar… when I first started watching the show last year (LONG before I found MFP), I made it a point to read food labels when I went shopping.  I’d never really cared before.  My criteria back in the olden days was if it tastes good, I’ll eat it.  That’s probably why not many vegetables ended up on my menu… unless they were drowned in cheese sauce or breaded and deep-fried.  But Jamie was contagious and passionate about good food… I even made a couple of the recipes he featured on the show. 

Do yourself a favor and tune in… educated kids turn into educated adults and we could ALL use the information Jamie shares on this show.  I believe the next city he is planning to tackle is Los Angeles, CA.  Bring it, Jamesters!  French fries should be an indulgence, not an everyday occurrence. 

Question of the Day:   What do you remember most about your school lunches?



Filed under Inspirational TV

22 responses to “Kid Versus Broccoli…

  1. Jen

    I am embarassed to be an American after reading your post today. French Fries for vegetables! No wonder the Asian countries have smarter kids. They probably don’t serve french fries every day. My memory of school lunch is the funny smell the cafeteria always had.

  2. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    I did see some of this show last season and I really liked it.
    I was super surprised too. Some of our kids didn’t even know the names of simple everyday vegetables. It wasn’t like he was asking them to name unusual veggies – it was a tomato for heaven’s sake!
    I felt bad for Janie b/c he was getting shut down at every turn. The kitchen staff didn’t want the extra work. The kids didn’t want to try a lot of his food and threw away tons! The principal and others were resistant…
    No wonder Jamie would get frustrated…
    I saw the one episode where he went into that one overwt family’s home and piled high the foods that they lived on, onto their kitchen table. The kids were borderline diabetic and having trouble and he opened their eyes. Amazing!

    I can see he is going to have a lot of resistance again this season. The food industry has a choke hold on the schools and they aren’t about to let that go.

    I went to private school growing up and the school lunches were very good. We didn’t have fast food choices like the kids do today. We had the one main meal option. If what they served that day was something you just didn’t like, then they had the BEST peanut butter & honey sandwiches AND you still had to eat fruit with it. I loved all the food except the chicken & dumplings. When we had that, I would get the peanut butter & honey sandwich. We only had white milk and one juice choice for a drink. About once a month they would make pizza ( homemade ) in these HUGE baking trays and that was as close to a fast-food as we got. It was quite the treat and SO good.

    I homeschool my kids and I can honestly say they know ALL the common vegetables and some unusual ones too. They don’t just know them to look at them either, they eat them.
    I had to share my big salad with them just last night ( the lil turkeys!)
    They love a wide variety of fruits and are willing to try most anything. They are healthy and really good eaters. Not picky at all. They are very active and athletic too, just like my husband and I were growing up. They love my homemade meals and prefer I pack their lunch if they will be away from home (camp or day outing) but I always give them the option.
    Sure, they love the occasional treat when we run through a fast food drive-thru (like a shake or blizzard after my oldest gets her braces adjusted). I think it is important that those things are a TREAT though and not an everyday occurrence.
    We don’t keep soda, chips, cookies, candy, chocolate syrup, cereals, bags of frozen tots or fries, pre-cooked or processed food in the house.
    I make 98% of all the meals from scratch every day. Yes, I know what you are thinking and YES it is a lot of planning and a lot of work but it is worth it. It saves A TON of money and I know what we are putting in our bodies and the kids like to get involved and help. It is teaching them a life skill that many now-a-days lack.

    Question of the Day: What do you remember most about your school lunches?
    Ours was a small college-prep school and so the whole school fit into the lunchroom at once. It was a fun time. The food was wonderful ( like at home and my mom was a wonderful cook too). We sang our blessing in French, we were expected to raise our hand if we needed anything and ask permission and be polite ( to each other and to the staff). We were expected to eat what was provided and not waste food. We were allowed to go back for 2nds IF there was time and only if you could finish what you took. The teaching staff was attentive and we didn’t have a problem with the noise level.
    Now they have these stoplight things in the cafeterias at the public schools that light up if the lunchroom kids get too loud – just strange in my opinion – and they aren’t effective either.

    So, yes, I will be tuning in this season and I hope to catch more than an episode or two this time.

    Thanks for reading my ramblings…

    • Man, Louisa… your school lunches sound great! I would have traded that for my daily fried and processed food!

      I also remember the example he did of throwing all the food on the table… truly an eye opener. It would be interesting to see how that family is doing now… did they really change their ways?

      • Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

        Oh man last nights episode, Whitney!
        The whole ‘pink slime’ thing!!! UGH – made you want to barf.
        Sure glad we raise our own beef here…

        Did you catch last seasons demonstration in front of the lil kids with the chicken nuggets? He was so blown away that even after the demo, the kids there would still want to eat that if it was offered….Ewwww
        He said something to the effect of, “I don’t get it, that demo has always worked!” It didn’t on American kids…isn’t that just the perfect example of just how far down we have come??
        I know that demo did it for my kids!!!
        Getting the rare chicken nugget was a treat ( like when a friend had a bday party at McD’s).
        They saw that and haven’t even mentioned getting chicken nuggets again…lol

        Have you seen the show Food Inc.???
        Now THAT is an eye opener!

      • Louisa… I too nearly barfed at the whole pink slime fiasco!! Ick, ick, ick! I am a vegetarian (for the last 2 years), but that demo didn’t make me excited to start back on meat. And yes… the chicken nugget demo was crazy. As long as they are in the shape of a nugget, the kids would eat them.

        I have seen Food, Inc. That was an eye opener… I’m glad it was after I turned vegetarian instead of before!

  3. Chrissy

    The thing I remember most about school lunch in Elem. was that you had to eat everything. on. your. plate. or wait 20+ minutes for your table to be excused to go out to recess. It was torture to 8 year olds who wanted to get out there and play. Especially because we had lunch at 10:45 am! I know there is logistics to consider, but seriously? Who gets hungry before noon, unless you are eating breakfast at 4 am? I have been thinking about this a lot over the past few months as I have struggled to change my eating habits, as the two biggest struggles have been 1) to eat breakfast (why would I eat breakfast if I was going to have to eat lunch two hours later?) and 2) realizing that if I am full I CAN leave food on my plate and it is okay. It’s made me be more aware of portions (key, right?) and LISTENING to my kids when they say they are full, hungry or not hungry so they learn to listen to their own bodies instead of being programmed to eat when it is most convenient for me.

    • Oh, man… how I remember eat everything on your plate or you can’t leave the table rule. We got creative at times and tried to stuff the more nasty stuff into our empty milk cartons. I too think that a kid needs to learn how to listen to their bodies. That’s what messed me up, I think. That’s a valuable skill to have!

  4. Karen

    I remember creamed hamburger over mashed potatoes and hominey. Did not like hominey. I also remember that it only cost .25. That tells you how old I am.

  5. Lauren

    I grew up mostly in CA, but spent one year going to Hawaii school.

    In Hawaii (Konawaena ….on the big Ilsand, Kona side) I ate at the cafeteria almost every day for 40cents (back in1989). I was in 8th grade at the time. I remember main dishes were not great, but I ate them because it was so cheap and I was lazy (didn’t want to pack a lunch). My mother was a nurse, but we weren’t dirt poor. That somehow made us eligible for the program there.

    Rice and teriyaki mystery meat was often served there. I do recall tots, but no fries. They also had terrible pizza. ….thinking back now…ick! I don’t recall eating any fresh veggies or fruit.

    In Ferndale CA we didn’t qualify for the lunch “program” all the time (no cafeteria) …funny Mom made less there than in Hawaii! They did mostly terrible sandwiches with fruit. I do recall on friday’s they’d have a hot lunch you could get…thered be tot’s and hot dogs, but no fries. I usually packed a lunch of Tuna or PBJ with some kind of fruit. If I was lucky I’d get a sliver of homemade chocolate cake with mom’s fudgey frosting. I did buy milk for 25 or 35 cents, if I got in line early enough. Chocolate Milk was available too, but I think it was more expensive than regular milk.

    Ahh the good ol days of middle school. 😉

    • How fun the Hawaii living days must have been! I was like you and most often opted to bring my lunch… except on salad bar day… but then I’d usually drown my salad with so much ranch dressing, I couldn’t see the lettuce! Yes… the good ole’ days!

  6. mabaton

    I just read an article today about this show. I never saw any of these shows but the headline caught my eye. I’m not sure what it means, if he will just relocate to another school district or not but the one he was going to do said no. I will have to see if I can look up the previous season, sounds interesting.

    What I remember about school lunches in elementary school was that I didn’t want to eat them. I usually took my lunch which was made by my mom and usually had some sort of cold cut sandwich and some chips.

    High school was a different story because they had a “speed line” which had pizza and french fries. To this day I think the best pizza I’ve ever had was that square cut pizza from school. I’m sure it was horrible for me but back then I weighed 105lbs and didn’t really care. I ate it every day along side a giant cookie that was always fresh baked and ooygooey yumminess. Man I wish I could still eat like that and never gain a pound.

    • Thanks for the link… it looks like Jamie will have an uphill battle this season whatever happens! I’ve ALWAYS dreamed of eating whatever I wanted and not gaining a pound. OR… switching the good for you foods with the bad for you foods… just so I could eat more junk!

  7. dessa wade

    I also like and endorse Jamie Oliver’s show. His enthusiasm for what he is trying to do is contagious.
    My mother was the school lunch supervisor in the school district I grew up in so I can’t say anything bad about it. HaHa. Actually I remember it being really good. We had homemade everything from the rolls to the potatoes and gravy. No complaints but I am old so things were done different back then.

    • I remember grandma always used to tell us about how she was the school lunch supervisor… all homemade stuff… you lived the good life, I tell you what! We always had those gross flaky potatoes from the dry can.

  8. I like what Jamie Oliver is doing. I think he’s a quality guy and bringing attention to something that needs to change in a bad way. I read a book for one of my grad school classes that I highly recommend. It’s called Food Politics by Marion Nestle. Her website is Her book discusses how it happened that french fries and ketchup count as vegetables in a school lunch. It is really eye opening. I remember Domino’s pizza and tater tots for school lunch. I can feel my arteries clogging just remembering . . .

    • Thanks for the link, Rachel! I’ve been meaning to check out that book since you told me about it, so this will be helpful. I too remember the ala carte pizza and fries or tater tots or nachos smothered in cheese. Good food choices were hard in the school lunch line!

  9. I LOVE Jamie Oliver, I love what he is doing to our schools.

    I grew up in Canada,, so my answer is a bit different, but not by much 🙂
    In Elementary/Middle School we had to take our lunch from home. So it pretty much consisted of PB&J and whatever i could stuff in my thermos LOL
    High school had a hot lunch line, and a cold lunch line. The cold line had cold sandwiches, potato chips, apples, bananas. It was the unpopular line LOL But i remember not minding the ham sandwiches if i was desperate.
    The Hot line had endless french fries and gravy, which most kids topped with more salt then you can fathom, black pepper and white vinegar. Yep!! That was the norm!
    Every day they also had a special.. which was a cheeseburger, breaded chicken burger with processed cheese, lasagna, burritos, and EVERY Friday was deep fried breaded Fish Friday.

    Not quite the height of healthy nutrition!

    • Oh man, Katrina… of course the more healthy line would be the least popular. What kid wants an apple when you can have a french fry? Seriously! I hope Jamie can get through to more school districts! Starting with the kids is key!

  10. Liz

    My mom made my lunch for me almost everyday until I graduated high school… yes, I know, and I also didn’t know how to do laundry until college either. But the point is that my lunch was way healthier than the cafeteria food. Normally a pb&j with some kind of fruit. However, I NEVER missed chili and cinnamon roll day. That combination is money!

  11. Laci aka pb2myj

    OMG school lunches… from elementary school i remember the breaded chicken patties on a bun, I remember smothering it in tons of ranch. I remember the tater tots (yea that’s their version of “veggie”) I remember pizza squares, chicken nuggets, tacos, mac and cheese, burgers and fries- I don’t remember anything other than apples and milk being healthy available. Middle school and high school were worse because I bought food instead of their cafeteria food…. They gave me access to tons of junk food, soda & candy….as long as I had a few bucks…. I remember these delish buttery chocolate chip cookies that were the size of a plate for 75 cents- woot woot woot- top that off with Surge (what happened to that delishness?) and a bag of chili cheese fritos I was set for the afternoon…. oh my god… it was bad. By the time I got into high school they finally had salad shakers, pitas, wraps and whole wheat sandwiches available along with bananas, apples, oranges…. but at that point I still chose the junk with the healthy…lol I really wish they only had healthy options for kids- in all honesty no kid needs to be making their own food decisions…. obviously I failed! lol

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