Did you watch this? If you didn't you should. It shows you what New Zealand children eat for lunch at school. The first part is a school in a affluent area (not all the food is healthy, but there are a few good lunch boxes), and then there is a school in a poor area. Yes poor, no other words for it. I don't want to say any more because you need to see it, and feel it, to understand it.
It was also interesting to see what KidsCan is doing to provide lunches in some of the poorest schools, good on them, but I really hope that they are going to include some fresh food there, otherwise everything is either canned (even the fruit) or cames in a packet, and the bread is too white! Of course it is better than eating nothing, but for a Country that bases its economy on agriculture it is unacceptable that fresh produce cannot be given to school children who are, after all, the one who need it most.
And to keep in theme with the post, here is a photo of a lunch box, mostly salad (and to see the quantities of fresh produce just scroll down, they are lined up in a tray, it isn't much, and yet it is filling and nutritious. The little eggs are quail eggs. The carbohydrates addition are three slices of crostini (just baguette slices brushed with olive oil and toasted in the oven - my kids love them!). OK, I am a Mum who likes to cut the carrots all pretty and not everybody finds the time for that, but even if you like to cut things differently from me, the massage is the same: 5+ a Day, try to use more colours (I aim for 5 different colour groups, and in winter at least 3), more veggies (not just fruit!), some protein, some carbohydrates. Of course this is just an idea, it depends on what I have in the fridge mostly, for example Vegans can substitute the quail eggs for some almonds, others could have cheese instead. No chips in my kids' lunch boxes!
And of course it goes without saying that before going to school a good breakfast is needed :-). Please watch the video and share your thought with me.
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©