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Jan 22, 2015

Word BalloonJudging from articles like "Why Cafeteria Food Is Best" -- in which nutritionist Jane Brody shares with NY Times readers the studies saying parent-packed lunches are full of unhealthy cookies and chips and other stuff kids enjoy eating -- and the comments for said article -- in which parents declare that so-called "healthy" cafeteria food is unattractive, unpalatable, and uneaten -- there’s a war going on in America’s lunchrooms. We discussed our different views on the subject and whether what kids eat for lunch is even that big of a deal; mentioned programs in which parents try to make that cafeteria food more appealing; laughed over the idea that schools would let IEP-advocatin' parents like Terri and Amanda through the doors with knives, even if it was to cut fruit; and worried about what Wellness Committees would think of what we feed our kids.

Then we moved on to one of the reasons parents might not pack a delicious nutritiuos lunch -- it's hard enough to find time to toss some Ho-Hos in a sack, y'all. We talked about juggling activities, homework, cars, and business obligations, and looked back at how our own parents did or maybe didn't do it.

Finally, we shared some articles of interest. Catherine offered a quartet of lunch-related links: "How to Improve Kids' School Lunches," "How to Pack Healthy School Lunches," "How to Start a School Wellness Committee," and a review of the book Lunch Wars: How to Start a School Food Revolution. Amanda recommended the cookbook The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine, with ideas for hiding vegetables so your kids will never recognize them. Nicole had some homework resources to recommend, and Terri also offered up some "Homework Help for Kids with Special Needs" and precautions to take "Before You Help with Homework" to make sure you're not giving all the wrong answers.

Thanks as always to Jon Morin for producing our episode and Kristin Eredics for our happy in-and-out music. (If you're reading this description somewhere without hyperlinks, come to for the full recap experience.)