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North Glenmore Elementary
Home of the Gators
Litterless Lunch Program
RESPECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT:
GOING GREEN WITH LITTERLESS LUNCH!

**Make your kids' lunch waste-free**

Litterless lunches at school are the best form of recycling.  On average, a school-age child with a disposable lunch generates approximately 30 kg (67 lbs) of waste per school year. That means that if your child has 25 students in his/her class, they are producing 737 kg (1,625 lbs) of waste each year. This is more weight than the average car…. just imagine what a whole school produces!


At North Glenmore we have been and continue to proudly take on the environmental challenge of implementing our own Litterless Lunch Recycling Program. We ask that whatever comes in your child's lunch bag goes home in their lunch bag, including empty juice boxes and food wrappers.  In this way, we will create far less garbage at school and you will have a better idea of what your child is finishing for lunch.  Our students continue to be excited about highlighting one of our school respect rules, Respecting Your Environment, by contributing to a Green School each and every day.


Many other schools in our district have since joined us since we started our own Litterless Lunch Program over 2 years ago!  Our elementary neighbours over at Rose Valley Elementary (RVE) joined us in our eco-friendly initiative.  The Principal at RVE, Mike Snedden, created a lovely Prezi presentation that goes over the details of the program and the many benefits to parents, students and the school.  Click the image below to see the presentation:



You can learn more and get some great ideas from:

http://www.lunchwithoutwaste.com/LitterlessLunches.aspx

 

Below is a recently published article with some tips from our very own NGE parent, Kia Robertson, on packing healthy, fun and best of all, fast, lunches for your children.  Kia also facilitates our Fresh Fruit & Veggie Program!
 

SCHOOL LUNCH PROJECT: RAINBOW FRUIT SKEWERS
(by Laura Fuentes)

Common sense, doctors, nutritionists and even our mothers have long told us to eat more fruits and vegetables. When it comes to packing fresh fruit in our children's school lunch, the difficulty often lies in how to pack it so it stays fresh through the lunch hour and making sure it doesn't go to waste.

Recent changes to school lunch regulations state that fresh fruits and vegetables must be made available in school cafeterias. The problem is that much of what is being offered actually goes to waste.

Parents who pack fresh lunches for their kids often email me wanting suggestions on how to pack a variety of fruits in their kids' lunches. They know that if they send a whole apple in the lunch bag, it often goes uneaten or thrown in the trash after a couple of bites.

I often suggest that fruits and vegetables be incorporated into the lunch in manageable pieces or sent with a healthy dip to go along with it.

Kia Robertson knows a thing or two about packing fresh fruits and vegetables. Her Rainbow Kits make eating fruits and vegetables more fun, and for this reason, I asked her to share some tips with us today.

Tip #1: Make it fun!
Use mini cookie cutters, chopsticks, containers or food picks that showcase fruits and veggies to kids in ways that make them fun and tasty. Put anything on a stick and kids will eat it.

Tip#2: Pack lunch together.
Packing lunches at night after dinner gives Kia the opportunity to spend time with her daughter, Hannah, and gets her involved in making her own food. Teaching kids valuable kitchen skills and getting them involved in the healthy lunch packing routine is very important.

Kia's weekday mornings are hectic and she knows that packing a nutritious lunch at night makes it less stressful before heading out the door to the bus stop in the morning.

I agree. In fact, over 70 percent of MOMables' subscribers pack lunches at night. Kia notes making lunches in the evening gives me time to spend a little extra time on making lunches fun and colorful. We use mini cookie cutters to turn fruits and veggies into cute shapes. I like to write little notes or draw a funny picture to add a little bit of fun to my daughter's lunch. Using bento lunch containers is the best way to make every lunch look special even if all you do is just toss the food in!

Tip #3: Make it convenient and fast.
I wash all my fruits and vegetables the day I bring them home from the grocery. I often pack them inside small containers or directly inside a couple of lunch boxes so they are ready to "grab-and-go" in the morning.

You could also get your kids involved in making fresh fruit skewers (as Kia does with Hannah), freeze them and pull them out in the morning. This way, the fruit stays fresh and cool instead of a soggy mess by lunch.

Some of the fruits that freeze well are grapes, peaches, berries, oranges, mangoes, bananas, nectarines, pears, cherries and pineapple. Melon, apples and watermelon tend to not hold their texture when they thaw, so avoid freezing these.

Kia and Hannah Robertson.jpg
 

How to make Rainbow Fruit Skewers:
You're going to need a variety of different fruits and some type of skewer. I like using popsicle sticks to avoid "accidental poking" at lunchtime.

1. Select your fruits in a variety of colors.
Orange fruit options: orange, apricots, peaches, nectarines and papayas.
Yellow fruit options: mango, starfruit, golden apples, pineapple and bananas.
Green fruit options: kiwi, granny smith apples and grapes.
Blue fruit: blueberries or blackberries.
Purple fruit: red or purple grapes, plums, blackberries.
MOMnote: my kids love strawberries so I always add them to our skewers. 

2. Assemble fruits into the skewers by alternating colors. 

3. Lay flat on a cookie sheet and flash freeze for an hour before transferring to a freezer bag or container. Or, place in refrigerator if they will be consumed shortly.

4. Pack for lunch in your favorite container.