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School Lunch Superhero Day

School Lunches and Lunch Lady:
Packed With Power

LUNCH LADY AND THE VIDEO GAME VILLAINToday, May 3rd, together with Lunch Lady author Jarrett Krosoczka and the School Nutrition Association, Random House Children’s Books is celebrating School Lunch Superhero Day! This is a day for students, teachers, and school staff to give thanks to the school nutrition professionals that feed over 31 million students each day.

WIN WITH IMAGINATION: Tell us what you imagine your lunch lady does when she’s not serving meals and you may win a copy of LUNCH LADY AND THE VIDEO GAME VILLAIN! Scroll down for entry rules.

index~~element25About School Nutrition Association
School Nutrition Association is a national, non-profit professional organization representing 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students. School Lunch Superhero Day will kick off SNA’s annual School Nutrition Employee Week (May 6-10, 2013), recognizing the many contributions of school nutrition professionals. To find out more about today’s school meals, visit www.TrayTalk.org.
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INSPIRATION: Jarrett’s very own School Lunch Superhero, Jean Cariglia, inspired his Lunch Lady series. When Jarrett visited his school after the first book was published, he was astounded to see how much this recognition meant to Jean. This, and other acts of kindness he has seen while touring for the series, planted the seed for School Lunch Superhero Day.
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WAYS TO CELEBRATE: The SchoolLunchSuperheroDay.com website has all kinds of activities to help schools celebrate – games, activities, valentines, you name it!

TED: Besides creating a really innovative take on superheroes, Jarrett is also a really amazing individual. Last fall, he was invited to present a TED talk. His talk has over 500,000 combined views and is really inspirational. See the video here.

NEW LUNCH LADY: LUNCH LADY AND THE VIDEO GAME VILLAIN is on sale now. This is an action-packed graphic novel series with fun food-related gadgets. The series is great for beginning readers, and the latest title is reviewed here by Ronna Mandel.

BOOK REVIEW:

I first fell for the Lunch Lady series exactly three years ago (to see my first review click here) and back then there were only three books out. Now your beginning and/or reluctant reader can devour all nine and at just $6.99 each, it’s an affordable collection to own. Lunch Lady and The Video Game Villain, (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Children’s Books, ages 7-10), is yet another Jarrett Krosoczka treat so hungry fans will not be disappointed with this latest serving. It packs the usual puns and punch in addition to the comical graphic illustrations at which Krosoczka excels. Hector’s friends have decided he’d make a great class president, but guess who he’s up against? None other than #15, Milmoe the menace! So does Hector even stand a chance? Plus, lots of electronic items are going missing and Lunch Lady and her cohort, Betty, decide to investigate. Will the culprit be the school janitor, Mr. Kalowski, Milmoe, or maybe the mystery man who prints his posters? Then of course, there’s poor, overworked Gavin Computo, the tech teacher. Could he possibly be involved in illegal gadget garnering? Throw in an upcoming visit from new school superintendent, Dr. Van Grindheimer, to inspect the cafeteria and the hallowed halls of Thompson Brook may be anything but … While I do recommend kids begin with the first book in the series, those eager to take a bite out of the newest installment will certainly find it satisfying.

Giveaway Rules:

One winner, chosen at random (at Random.org) from comments on our Facebook page, will receive a copy of Lunch Lady and The Video Game Villain by Jarrett Krosoczka worth ($6.99). You must LIKE us on Facebook to be eligible. All comments must be made by midnight, Friday, May 10th and a winner will be selected and notified on Saturday, May 11th.

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Making Breakfast Funny

Kiss ho hum mornings good-bye!
Funny Food: 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts

 gives a delightful and delicious new meaning to facing another morning!

                 I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I don’t like to cook and that I’m at a loss most of the time as to how to prepare meals that inspire my family as well as me. My daughters’ dislike of most vegetables doesn’t help the situation either.  If I didn’t feel a sense of moral obligation toward my family’s health, I’d call the restaurants that are programmed into my phone a lot more often than I do already. Luckily for me, others like me who’d rather eat than cook, and those who have finicky eaters at the kitchen table, Bill and Claire Wurtzel have written Funny Food: 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts  ($19.95, Welcome Books).

From Funny Food, by Bill & Claire Wurtzel. © 2012 Welcome Enterprises, Inc., www.funnyfood.us

Comprised of photographs of breakfast dishes (eggs; waffles and pancakes; oatmeal, cereal and fruit; toast, bagels and snacks)—the book is an artistic portrayal of breakfast as you’ve never seen it before.  Bored of eggs? Never fear! Whether fried, scrambled or boiled, turn your eggs into faces, people, animals, bicycles, angels and more. Add fruit, vegetables, herbs, bread, bacon and deli meat to complete your masterpieces. Take a modest scrambled egg, add a slice of toasted muffin, deli meat and a slither of bell pepper, and, voila, you have a turkey! Fold over a sunny side-up fried egg with slices of olive as facial features, tuck it under a slice of whole wheat bread and you have a person in bed. Can’t eat eggs? Try some of the other breakfast options. Transform fruit into works of art—portraits of the Mona Lisa, Shakespeare, and Salvador Dali. Take a banal banana and slice simple strawberries and turn them into a steam train and tracks. Add blueberries as coal and whipped cream as the steam. It’s loads of delicious fun trying to recreate these breakfast delights!

Beyond the inventive and imaginative photographs are some handy tips for aspiring food artists. Ten main tips with accompanying details for creating funny food are included, such as “Take Your Time: Making an artistic creation takes time. Try starting this on weekends when there is time to look at and examine new foods. If the food is created and presented in a joyful manner, the child will remember the food, the nutrition it provides, and the playful experience.” Interspersed throughout the book are nutritional information on the ingredients used (“Whole grain breads are a great source of vitamins, magnesium, iron and fiber—a natural aid to healthy digestion”) and recipes. Whole wheat pancakes, everybody?

I decided to see if these breakfast variations would work on my fussy three year old daughter, who doesn’t like to eat anything not on the breakfast cereal/pancake/yogurt menu. Not being particularly artistic, I started with one of the simpler designs, a scrambled egg pig face with mushrooms and deli meat as eyes and nostrils. While she refused to eat the mushrooms, my duaghter did succumb to the whimsical delight of the piggy egg face and ate that along with the deli meat. Success!

Whether you don’t like to cook or you are cooking for picky eaters, Funny Food: 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts shows us that healthy breakfasts can be delicious, creative and fun for the family.

-Reviewed by Rita Zobayan

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