Jamie Oliver’s ‘Food Revolution’ Meets Resistance in LA

[ 0 ] April 13, 2011 |

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution isn’t exactly being welcomed everywhere in the United States.

Facing the harsh reality that America has a serious obesity problem, Food Revolution was launched in an effort to try to bring healthy lunches into America’s schools. The show’s first season took place in Huntington, WV, and won a Primetime Emmy in 2010. But when Oliver, a Food Network British culinary whiz also known as “The Naked Chef,” tried to take his show into Los Angeles schools for this week’s season premier, he got the cold shoulder. For months Oliver has fought with the Los Angeles Unified School District and was kept from filming and working in school cafeterias.

“I never really expected to be banned from every single school in the district,” said Oliver, who added that he felt plenty of support from families in the city.

“I could have avoided the LAUSD, but I couldn’t avoid thousands of [letters from] parents. Of course that became, hilariously, the conflict and drama,” Oliver said in another interview.

Since he wasn’t allowed in the city’s schools, Oliver took to the streets and stopped by a burger joint, where the owner didn’t receive his message of making the menu more healthy very well. To provide a visual image to those who can’t imagine how much sugar is added to the LA schools’ flavored milk each week, Oliver had a big yellow school bus filled with 57 tons sugar (which was really white sand). But Oliver said he’s not giving up his endeavor to bring healthy eating to America’s schools.

While we applaud Oliver’s efforts, not everyone is lucky enough to have a celebrity chef come into their school or home to revolutionize their kitchen. But our genConnect nutrition expert Judy Weitzman offers some great tips and recipes on how to make healthy school lunches for your kids – and yourself.

For example, instead of good ole’ standby of peanut butter and jelly – which is loaded with sugar – try other spreadable meals such as:

  • Cream cheese and cucumber slices
  • Hummus
  • Pimiento cheese
  • Apple butter
  • Cream cheese mixed with mashed banana or blueberries

What to pack with the sandwich:

  • Love those mini carrots and other cut up veggies. Make it more fun with a small container of low fat dip. Even the way you cut the veggies can make it more interesting – presentation makes a difference
  • String cheese or Babybel which come individually wrapped.
  • Crackers (individual portion) with cheese
  • Fruit – the options are many!
  • Low-fat chips
  • Pretzels (individual portion)
  • Air popped popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese

In containers:

  • Scoop of cottage cheese drizzled with honey and some cinnamon
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Soup – Cold soups travel well. Check if your child has a microwave to use at lunchtime and give lessons on how to use one or see if there’s a lunch aide who can help.

** Add a calorie-free treat by inserting a little note to make navigating the lunch bag a lot more fun!

“If you are making school lunches, get your children involved,” Weitzman says. “Take your kids to the grocery store with you or have them give you suggestions on what they would like that is nutritionally sound. By getting them to ‘buy-in,’ they are more likely to eat what you sent versus trading it for something less than healthy.”

For more from diet coach Judy Weitzman:

Healthy Back-to-School Lunches for Your Child – And You

Foods That Fight Aging

Eating Out Smart

The Best Foods for Your Heart

Want more genConnect?

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  • To stay on top of Judy Weitzman’s latest posts, as well as the latest contributions from other experts on the site: Sign Up for genConnect.

These are one expert’s views on the news. Share with us your thoughts in the comments box below.

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Category: Food & Wine, Lifestyle, Views on the News

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About Judy Weitzman: Thirty years ago Judy lost 50 lbs and has kept it off. To maintain her weight, Judy stays in a 3 lb range by using little tricks that allow her to enjoy life and not [...]
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