Seven Steps to Starting Your Own School Food Revolution

by Sarah Henry on April 12, 2011 · 12 comments

in great schools site,school food

Photo: Courtesy Great Schools

Here’s what I liked most about my assignment “How to improve your school’s lunch program” for the site Great Schools:

  • I got to cram as many practical resources as I possibly could into eight small slides.
  • It made me take stock of the plethora of innovative programs working to reform school food around the country.
  • It was an opportunity to focus on the folks in the front lines trying to bring about change one small step at a time.

As you’ll see in the slide show over at Great Schools, you don’t need to host a press conference at Twitter HQ or front a reality TV show or even be married to the Commander in Chief to replace sugary cereals with a salad bar.

Moms like Susan Rubin, Dana Woldow and Michelle Stern walk you through seven simple steps you can take to start a food revolution in your school.

No one says it’s easy. And it certainly takes a posse of parents to get the job done.  But as Stern says: “If we can do it in my school district, you can do it in yours.”

Click here to read the whole story.

You might also like:

Ten Teens Rocking the Food Revolution Scene
Seven Reasons Why the Time is Ripe for School Lunch Reform
Five Reasons for Optimism on the School Food Front
Berkeley’s School Lunch Program Flawed, Say Insiders
Lunch Box Picks for People (Big and Small) and the Planet
Jamie Oliver: School Food Revolution or Reality TV Rubbish?
Cultivating Controversy: In Defense of an Edible Education

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) April 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Sarah – this was such a lovely post and I am truly honored to be a part of it. I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to the amazing women (and token man!) who have been a part of our local school lunch revolution. We have worked very hard for the past year with our food service director (sometimes with intense emotion!) to adapt the foods that are being served to our diverse population. Without their help, my interest in triggering change would have most likely been dead in the water. It was truly a team effort.

Michelle (What’s Cooking with Kids)´s last [type] ..Why I Tasted Beef For The First Time in 25 Years


Sarah Henry April 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Thanks for chiming in Michelle — and for acknowledging that it does, indeed, take a village to revamp a school’s cafeteria. I know it can be tough to see the progress when you’re in the trenches but you have accomplished a tremendous amount in a year in a bureaucracy that moves slowly. Good luck with more improvements to come.


Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart April 13, 2011 at 6:56 am

I just caught something on the news last night about a school banning homemade lunches. Seriously? I hope you’ll write about what’s going on with that.


Sarah Henry April 13, 2011 at 10:49 am

Here’s the story (originally in the Chicago Tribune) which is getting a lot of play:,0,5869022.story

While, as you might imagine, many kids and parents aren’t fans of the policy — and Twitter has been all abuzz with the story over the past couple of days — you’ll find an interesting perspective on the matter over at the blog Fed Up With Lunch:


MyKidsEatSquid April 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I had the same question–to ban homemade lunches outright?! Schools definitely can have a positive impact, but this seems extreme to me.


Sarah Henry April 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Trust me, if they tried that in our school district my kid would have a conniption.


Anna April 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm

My oldest child is not yet three, but I get shivers when I read the weekly school lunch menu in the paper. It’s inspiring to see parents get together to create such positive, important change.


Sarah Henry April 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm

And think how much better things can be in two years, Anna, when your oldest presumably heads off to kindergarten.


Jeanine Barone April 19, 2011 at 7:55 am

If the community bands together they can certainly make a major impact in school lunches and, as a result, their childrens’ health. Thanks for this post.


Sarah Henry April 19, 2011 at 8:48 am

As I cover different communities that try to fix school food I’m often struck by how just one person who wants to make change can rally a whole posse to take on the cause.


Jane Boursaw April 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Sarah – I always love your posts about kids and school lunch programs and people making a difference. It really does take just one person to make a difference. Someone who will rally others to take up the cause. Thanks for spreading the good word.
Jane Boursaw´s last [type] ..DVD Spotlight- TRON and TRON- Legacy


Sarah Henry April 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Thanks, Jane, I so appreciate that. But the kudos really belongs to the folks out in the trenches fighting the good food fight, often against significant obstacles.


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