Lunch Lessons

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Changing The Way We Feed Our Children

Ann Cooper is on a mission to change the way our children eat. She’s out to reform school district spending policies and commodity-based food service organizations to ensure that kids across the country have wholesome, nutritious, delicious food at school.Her National School Food Challenge, Oct. 15-19, 2007, is a week-long opportunity for schools, families and advocates to work together to provide healthful, nutritious foods for kids at school and at home. Families and advocates are challenged to ask local administrators about the foods served in school lunches and help their kids make strong nutritious meal choices. Schools are challenged to find sources of local, fresh foods that can be served in cafeterias.

“Together, we can keep nutrition at the head of the class,” Cooper says.

Check out her informative website at to learn more and take a look these recommendations you can put to work right away in your own family.

Lessons from Ann Cooper’s Lunch Lessons:

  • Eat breakfast.
  • Encourage exercise.
  • Don’t make food a reward or a punishment.
  • Don’t be a short-order cook; make the same dinner for everyone.
  • Involve your kids in shopping and meal preparation.
  • Grow food with your kids, even if it’s just in a window box.
  • Take your kids to the farmers’ market so they’ll understand that food doesn’t come from a grocery store.
  • Practice what you preach—eat well yourself.

Recipe from Lunch Lessons For more of Ann Cooper’s recipes—from Apple Date Bars to Breakfast Polenta Casserole—go to

Turkey Meatloaf


1/2 cup onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 pounds ground turkey
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 cup Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons ketchup, optional


1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Heat oil in a small skillet. Add onion, garlic and carrot and sauté until soft. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
3. Combine carrot mixture with turkey, parsley, bread crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper; mix well.
4. Pack mixture into an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 140F. Slice and drizzle with ketchup, if desired. Serves 8.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Lunch Lessons by Ann Cooper and Lisa M. Holmes (Harper Collins, 2006).


Nutritional Information

Per serving: 169 calories, 9g fat, 17g prot., 4g carbs., 0g fiber, 366mg sodium.

To purchase her book, please visit: Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children



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Filed under Recipes, School Lunches

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