Hey, it’s National School Lunch Week!  Have you optimized your kid’s lunch lately?

I’m probably showing my age here a little, but when I was in grade school, our lunches consisted of sandwiches—somewhat fairly dry sandwiches at that—a piece of fruit and milk. Granted, it wasn’t organic milk, but then it wasn’t pop either—or soda for those of you who refuse to conform to calling it what we do, which it actually is. And it was a treat when we had pizza day once a month or once every two months. Now? It seems items like pizza and other “treat” foods of the past have become the current norm as opposed to healthier choices, making it all the more ironic when we hear things like “National School Lunch Week.”

But what exactly is National School Lunch Week? Good luck finding an answer to that one. Google results don’t really offer much insight, essentially making us have to dig to come up with anything. One of the top items that does appear is a link to an ezine article discussing how wonderful it is we have this week so that free promotional gifts—custom coffee cups, lunch boxes, brochures and other helpful materials to inform youngsters about the importance of such an affair—can be given out. Coffee cups? To youngsters? Really? Chances are if you’ve got a kid in grade school who’s drinking coffee, he or she isn’t going to be interested in reading a brochure on healthy eating.

Another top hitter in Google results is from the School Nutrition Association (http://emporium.schoolnutrition.org/home.php?cat=278) that offers menu suggestions to bring to your school cafeteria. They include the “Say ‘Cheese’ Cheesy Steak Sandwich,” “Action-Packed Chicken Fajita Wrap” and “Reach-Your-Peak Whole-Grain Pepperoni Pizza.” Okay, I’ll give them credit for the whole-grain bit in the pizza, but the others? I’m betting the coffee will wash it all down quite nicely.

It’s actually a shame Hallmark hasn’t come out with a card celebrating one of the most vaguely described weeks of the year. It’s also not much of a stretch as to why there’s been controversy over the kinds of foods being served. Even British chef Jamie Oliver raised local ire in West Virginia when he visited the most obese city in the US for his television show (The Naked Chef), examined the lunches served in school cafeterias and made suggestions on to make them healthier. Did they like it? Not really, but the man received a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) award for his efforts and now has the attention of Google, YouTube and Amazon. Ready for more irony? There may be more information about Oliver and those episodes than there is for National School Lunch Week.

So, what does it all mean? Let’s start with a lack of a website featuring clear, concise information about NSLW, the goals of the week and suggestions and/or links for a healthier school lunch program. This would have automatic organic SEO built right into the content and would rise right up to the top of the search engine rankings. Second, if the site caught on, imagine the links they could share with schools trying out a healthier lunch program. Finally, what if children actually had the opportunity to eat healthier? Isn’t that worth it in itself?

Food for thought, folks.

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