The Renegade Lunch Lady Celebrates Food Revolution Day Throughout May

Last week The Lunch Box crew checked in with The School Food Project of the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) in Boulder, Colo., to see how they are going to celebrate Food Revolution Day.

Thrilled at the chance to showcase the delicious school lunches the district provides and the opportunity to educate the students on food topics -- BVSD has decided to make May Food Revolution Month! With many activities planned and lots of delicious, healthy food to go around -- the events are all sure to be a great success.

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day is time for action! It is a chance to gather communities to learn, teach, and share about all things healthy food. Find more information on the event page here and perhaps even register some of your own events in their calendar!

In Boulder, a multitude of schools will be taking part in chef demos, healthy school lunch sample days, and Rainbow Days. Events like these help students connect to the healthy school food that is served in their lunch room. During a Chef Demo, a meal is created and cooked in front of students. This allows children to see the ingredients and watch the meal being prepared -- making them more likely to give it a try. Chef demos are especially effective when "celebrity" chefs are brought in from popular local restaurants. Sample days give students the chance to try a dish without having to buy a whole school lunch. This lets the kids decide on their own if they would like to purchase a school meal -- and lets delicious school meals speak for themselves!

Rainbow Days are great for schools that have salad bars. This event encourages students to try a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables from the salad bar. On Rainbow Day, students are all offered a side salad at the salad bar for free -- whether they are getting lunch from school or brought lunch from home. At the salad bar they are encouraged to choose at least three different colors of the fruit and vegetable rainbow for their tray. If they eat everything they have gathered from the salad bar, they receive a special "I Made a Rainbow" sticker.

During Food Revolution Month at BVSD -- the school gardens are getting in on the fun as well! Many of the schools with gardens in the district are using their first harvest of lettuces to add to the delicious salad bar offerings. This act of bringing produce from school gardens to the cafeterias gets kids excited about food and their part in the process. To learn more about hosting a Rainbow Day in your school, be sure to check out our detailed guide.

Here's a great quote from a mother whose child came home with an "I Made a Rainbow" sticker recently:

Just wanted to let you know that I LOVE this. Jasper came home talking about his 'rainbow', requested and ate plain lettuce with his dinner, and when he was still hungry after dessert, went and made himself another 'rainbow' with lettuce, grapes and strawberries. His 4-year old sister copied him and both kids polished off their entire bowlful of healthy stuff. I am SO impressed with this program!

-- Mom Rachel from Douglas Elementary in Boulder, Colorado.

It is very important to engage children in healthy food activities. Getting kids into the kitchen and out to the garden gives them an appreciation for food that will last them a lifetime. Be sure to involve children in your Food Revolution Day activities!

Watch our Rainbow Days video!

Written by Chef Ann Cooper and Sunny Young