Whether their school is under a banyan tree, in a dusty tent held up with poles or in a sturdy brick structure in the heart of a bustling city, all children need a healthy lunch to be able to learn an
Whether their school is under a banyan tree, in a dusty tent held up with poles or in a sturdy brick structure in the heart of a bustling city, all children need a healthy lunch to be able to learn and grow. Good food nourishes both our bodies and our brains. It's one of the basic building blocks of life.
As the world has become more interconnected, what we eat has become part of a huge global system. Food is now the biggest industry on Earth. Growing it, processing it, transporting it and selling it have a major impact on people and the planet. Unpack a school lunch, and you'll discover that food is connected to issues that matter to everyone and everything such as climate change, health and inequality.
In What's For Lunch Andrea Curtis reveals the variety and inequality to be found in the food consumed by young people in typical school lunches from thirteen countries around the world, including Japan, Kenya, Russia, United States and Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Afghanistan. In some countries, the meals are nutritious and well-balanced. In others they barely satisfy basic nutrition standards.
The book includes graphic colour photos of each of the lunches described, and stimulating sidebars that deal with various global food issues. It also provides messages for parents, teachers and kids about the significance of food, and more significantly, a list of ways in which children can reclaim school lunches for themselves by insisting on healthy, nutritious food.
View Biographical note
Andrea's critically acclaimed Into the Blue: Family Secrets and The Search for a Great Lakes Shipwreck (Random House) won the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. Her writing has also appeared in Toronto Life, Chatelaine, Canadian Geographic, Explore, Utne Reader, The Globe & Mail, Today's Parent, www.cbc.ca/arts and others. This is her first work for a younger audience.
grew up on a dairy farm in New Brunswick's Chaleur Bay region. Her mother often threw extra potatoes into the pot at suppertime, so that leftovers could be sliced, pan-fried and packed into Yvonne's lunch the following day. That, along with a bottle of farm fresh milk, was the best lunch she could wish for! Yvonne is now a photographer based in Toronto.
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Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award Nominee
Winner Of Stepping Stones Honor Award
VOYA's Non-Fiction Honour List 2013
2013 Information Book Award Long List nominee
View Review text
"The great thing about this book is that it's not just profiling lunches from around the world, but it talks about that idea, the power of food—the idea that food can change society and that if you introduce that concept to kids early on they can be the real actors in that change."
— Metro Morning
"This survey of foods that international children eat for school lunch emphasizes differences while pointing to the interconnectivity of world ecology. Curtis crafts a holistic conversation about health, poverty, and sustainability."
— Publisher's Weekly
"An ode to a meal that in many countries is a tool not only for fixing hunger, but also for nurturing culture and supporting sustainable-food production."
— The Globe & Mail
(The Globe also published an online slide show of five of the lunches from the book. Check it out here.)
"A valuable, well-researched resource for kids and adults to share. The information is eye-opening, and ideas will challenge assumptions. The term "food justice" is thought-provoking. This book's strength lies in its potential for enhancing understanding of the critical nature of food concerns.
— CM Magazine
"What's truly original, and strikingly obvious now that she's done it, is the way Curtis focuses attention on what's happening at home by finding out what kids all over the world have for their lunch break."
— Good Food Revolution
"This book captivates at the first glance?beautiful photos of lunches from around the world as well as text that makes us aware of geographic and cultural influences."
"Teachers, take note! This book would make a great addition to your classroom and nutrition talks."
— The Waterloo Record
An excerpt from the introduction:
View Introduction or preface
"Every day, all over the world, children eat together at school. In Tanzania, a teacher hits a rock against a rusty metal tire rim hanging from a tree, and the loud clanging calls the class outside to share their meal. In Canada, the buzz of the bell over the loudspeaker sends kids racing for the gymnasium where tables are set up for a busy, noisy lunch.
Whether their school is outdoors under the vast umbrella of a banyan tree or in a sturdy brick structure in the heart of a bustling city, all children need a healthy lunch to be able to learn and grow. Good food nourishes both our bodies and our brains. It's one of the basic building blocks of life.
But as the world has become more interconnected, what we eat has also become part of an enormous and complex global system. Food is now the biggest industry on earth. And growing it, processing it, transporting it and selling it has a major impact on people and the planet. Unpack school lunch and you'll discover that food is connected to issues that matter to everyone — things like climate change, health, cultural expression and inequality."