Considering that nutrition has a big impact on student’s concentration and their performance in school, I find it difficult to understand why it is so hard for American schools to provide healthy meals.
Growing up in Italy, I was spoiled by my school lunch with delectable and nutritious meals every day. Our school was dedicated to delivering a wholesome, fresh meal to the students and making sure we always had a balanced meal on a daily basis. When I was in 1st grade, (prima elementare), Friday was my favorite day of the week. Not just because it was the beginning of the week end, but also because the school kitchen was serving lemon sole fillet with roasted potatoes and two different salads.
While the majority of lunches in the world (Greece, Finland, France, for example) features fresh food, Us tray is packed with processed items. A typical menu in a traditional school cafeteria in America is, in fact, pretty high in fat, sodium, and low in fiber, not ideal for children considering all the nutritional value that they will be missing out from this diet.
As a mother of three children, it always scared me to think that my child would be eating such unhealthy food while at school. As a consequence, the best solution to my dilemma was to pack home lunch. The reason why I always packed home lunch for my children was because I did not trust the food that the school was serving them. This is honestly such a sad thing to say if we consider that school cafeterias could play a huge role in the battle against childhood obesity and setting good healthy eating habits for our children.
Packing home lunch is a choice that parents like me make because they have no other choice unless they do not mind their children eating fried popcorn chicken with ketchup (even though the US government had at various times tried to pass ketchup off as a vegetable) mashed potatoes, or a variation of starch and some stuffed cheesy bread.
I always felt that as a mother I needed to provide my children the best healthy meal every day and fill their little tanks with the right fuel. But it’s not always easy to please our little ones.
In fact, as much as they enjoy your homemade food, the idea of having school lunch is so much more exciting. Kids have a lot of control over what they eat for lunch at school and the fact that they can choose what to eat empowers them. So, when this year my child’s school announced the arrival of a new dining service, “Butter beans”, that was going to bring the healthiest and freshest foods possible and encouraging good habits, I almost cried with tears of joy!
As soon as I received this wonderful news I was very curious to find out more about the company. With excitement, I learned that Butterbeans:
-source their milk from Hudson Valley Fresh, the milk is grass fed and local;
-their apples are from NY;
-all of their meals are cooked from scratch in their commissary kitchen by their Chef Nick and his team;
-their lunch options are prepared from fresh, whole foods and their team shops directly from Hunt’s Point Terminal Market twice per week to obtain the freshest ingredients they can get;
-they order their organic dry goods from Ace Natural like their organic sunbutter, tamari, vegenaise and organic honey from Suzanne’s Specialties;
-they focus on providing high quality proteins as well, like their antibiotic and hormone free chicken, antibiotic/hormone/nitrate/ free hot dogs from Applegate, and deli meat from Boar’s Head All Natural line and they are currently in 15 schools, up from 9 schools last year!
I no longer need to try to create new healthy and exciting meals and try to make my child happy because Butterbeans is going to do this for me! Butterbeans has undertaken the responsibility to feed our children local, seasonal, organic food whenever possible. I no longer worry about what my child is eating for lunch. I feel safe that whatever she chooses to eat, it is not going to harm her because Butterbeans is deeply passionate about the wellbeing of our children.
Thank you Butterbeans and all your team for your amazing work! We appreciate your commitment and love for healthy food!
To good health,