The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Michelle Obama, It’s Time for an Eat Lunch with Your Kid Day

June 7th, 2010 · 4 Comments · Posted in kids, school food

Is the first lady kid enough to eat this?

Is the first lady kid enough to eat this?

Has anyone else noticed that the one thing they never talk about at all these White House events around childhood obesity is the food kids are actually eating at school every day?

Let’s see, we’ve had loads of kids to the White House to help in the vegetable garden: Check.

We’ve had pow-wows with food manufacturers and food service providers to talk about making food healthier: Check

We’ve even invited a gaggle of chefs in their white jackets to spend a day on the White House lawn talking about how they can help: Check that toque.

And now major domo White House Chef Sam Kass has been on “Morning Joe” and come darn close to announcing that the status quo is good enough. At least tater tots are okay once in a while, right?

But the one group Michelle Obama has not invited to the White House has the biggest stake of all in this battle against childhood obesity: parents. But I say you don’t need to invite us to the White House. Instead, the first lady could get parents all over the country fired up by proclaiming an Eat Lunch with Your Kid Day. Imagine millions of parents showing up at school to sample some of that industrially processed convenience food the kids eat every day.

If you think about it, that’s the one area that really separates Jamie Oliver, star of the “Food Revolution” television series, and Michelle Obama and Chef Kass. Jamie Oliver has actually been inside a public school kitchen, and spent time in the lunchroom to see what the kids were eating. Imagine what would happen if the first lady and Sam Kass just showed up at a D.C. elementary school one day for lunch and brought all those television cameras with them. They wouldn’t have to go to very far. In fact, they could stop at Bancroft Elementary, the school that sends all those kids to volunteer in the White House garden. They eat the same food that’s served at my daughter’s school here in the District of Columbia.

I wonder if they’d see the processed turkey meat doused in canned gravy that you can’t cut with a “spork,” and that the kids eat with their fingers. Or the re-heated potato wedges, bag of Sun Chips and strawberry milk that passes for a federally-subsidized meal. Or maybe the “glycemic bomb” pictured above: breaded chicken with barbecue sauce, canned beans and macaroni and cheese, a symphony of browns.

Whatever it is, pictures of Michelle Obama and Sam Kass eating it would create a sensation. The world would stop to look. And parents all over the nation might be inspired to get involved. Of course, they’d probably be mad as hell. You might not be able to contain them after an event like that. Maybe that’s why the White House hasn’t done it.

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  • Dr Susan Rubin

    Better School Food has a great check list to bring along with you when you eat lunch at your child’s school.

    The USDA actually RECOMMENDS that parents eat lunch at school and get involved!

    Let’s all pick a week and do it. Bring your cameras!

  • Ed Bruske

    I wonder if the schools know about that USDA recommendation.

  • Lisa R Suriano

    I absolutely think that this is something we could all organize for September with or without the First Lady. Between the great networking powers of Twitter, Facebook and the incredible blogs like this one that have tons of interested eyeballs on them, we could make it happen. I’m in! Let’s do it!

  • Chots

    I think we should have a eat with your kids day. I just had lunch with my second grader last week (we packed) it is unbelievable what kids are eating. How about starting a Facebook page and gathering followers that way??