There’s a food revolution going on at the Seed and we haven’t even launched our nutrition curriculum. It’s been brewing for awhile and is now gaining momentum. During our prep week we reviewed the seedfood website (http://seedfood.awakeningseedschool.org), had a talk about GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and overnight the quality of staff nutrition improved. All that week there was a buzz around the school about GMOs. It was inspiring to be immersed in such enthusiasm.
Last week I learned that one of our parents took the initiative to start a Facebook group called There’s A Party In Your Tummy! It’s dedicated to promoting healthy school lunches for children. Anyone who has joined the group is welcome to post ideas for kids‘ lunches. Some of them incorporate leftovers such as taco soup or bean tostadas. Others suggest tips for prepping several lunches for the week, beginning with items that can last in the refrigerator for a few days, and adding time-sensitive foods such as cut strawberries or apple slices the morning the lunch is to be eaten. One parent even shared an idea for how to make mini-kabobs using cupcake toppers. Links to sites with lunch item coupons have also been made available.
The passion for improving the quality of children’s nutrition is evident with every post. So far, all contributions have been from Seed parents and it’s exactly what we were hoping would happen when we started up our seedfood website. It’s opened a conversation about food that, I believe, will be far reaching. Next week we will expand that conversation in a big way. Teachers are planning two weeks of learning experiences that will range from identifying foods, learning about food categories that should be included in one’s daily diet, creating special placemats focused on nutrition, and understanding about the Dirty Dozen, the Clean Fifteen, and why GMOs are a problem to living creatures as well as our entire planet. We will be asking parents to step up awareness of foods that are shared for snacks and brought to school in children’s lunch boxes. Articles about GMOs, a shopping guide for snacks, and a wallet-size card to support shopping choices will be given to parents. We are inviting everyone at the Seed to be a part of this food revolution.
As I write this on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I feel strong ties to that late summer day in 1963 when I was about to start 7th grade. Living in mostly white rural Nebraska, I didn’t participate in the day’s event and, in fact, it wasn’t until a few years later when I went off to college that advocating for civil and human rights came alive in my heart. That turbulent period of history shifted my consciousness in a way that has remained to this day, inspiring me to devote my life to making the planet a better place for everyone. Our efforts to raise awareness about food and children, and the Seed itself, are part of the stirring of those times. We’ve come a long way in fifty years, and with persistent nurturing, today’s children will hopefully grow to be the strong, healthy advocates necessary for furthering the work of those who have gone before.