Friday, August 7, 2009

Reinventing the School Lunch- Ann Cooper

Back to School means school lunches for many people. Whether choosing government subsidized or privately funded school lunches for cost, convenience, or sheer habits sake many children are often left with low quality and low nutrient dense food as their sole source of sustanance throughout the day. Studies have shown that a diet of this low caliber can result in food allergies, learning disabilites, behavioral problems and much more.

So other, than meticulously pack your child's lunch with the hope that they aren't tossing their organic carrot sticks for the cafeterias cheese pizza what is a mom or dad to do?

Cafeteria reform is not an urban myth. Parents can do something about what schools feed their children. Proof is in the "pudding" so to speak...Just ask this Chef...

"Chef Ann Cooper is a renegade lunch lady. She works to transform cafeterias into culinary classrooms for students — one school lunch at a time.

At The Ross School in East Hampton, NY, Chef Ann served as the executive chef and director of wellness and nutrition, developing an integrated school lunch curriculum centered on regional, organic, seasonal and sustainable meals. The implementation of her pilot wellness program proved successful, and Chef Ann was invited to work with schools across the country. She has transformed public school cafeterias in New York City, Harlem and Bridgehampton, NY, and now in Berkeley, CA, to teach more students why good food choices matter by putting innovative strategies to work and providing fresh, organic lunches to all students.

Chef Ann offers consulting services for school administrators, revamping their school lunch programs and offering nutrition and food choice education to students. She works with schools to incorporate integrated school lunch curriculums that not only promote nutrition and food education, but serve healthful foods and increase the availability of healthy food and nutrition choices for kids and teens. Through collaborative work with organizations including the Center for Ecoliteracy, Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Food and Society Policy Fellowship, Chef Ann has made tremendous strides in a variety of school wellness programs."

Chef Ann is the author of

Check out these sample menus so you can show YOUR school system that eating healthy is NOT a lost cause!

Sample Elementary School Menu to show your principle/PTA
Sample Middle School Menu to show your principle/PTA


1 comment:

  1. Great post Jennifer!

    Whole Foods Market and Chef Ann Cooper, have just joined forces to transform lunch in schools across the country with the "School Lunch Revolution" campaign. This national effort, aims to enable schools to improve the way children eat. The free, first-of-its-kind Lunch Box Web site - - will provide the necessary resources for food service directors to make tangible changes in their cafeteria menus.

    I thought you and your readers might find this a good follow up to your recent post + there are some great videos with Chef Ann which offer back to school food tips for parents. You can find these videos @