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7 Quick Takes About School Lunches, Food Photography and Why I'm Starting to "Get," Twitter

21 November 2013

I had a lot on my mind this week, but not a lot of time to write… so, I'm joining the party at 7 Quick Takes!

Have you heard about the daycare in canada that fined a parent $10 for not including a "grain," in her child's lunch and also "supplemented," the lunch with Ritz crackers??

Everything in me says this is soooo wrong...

But, and I'm pretty sure that this topic is worthy of it's own post, and I'm still trying to process this one, here's my question: Does a school, a government, or anyone else, ever have the right to tell a parent what to feed their child?

What if, (assuming my daughter is to be believed) a child brings a lunchbox full of candy and nothing else for lunch- every day?

Speaking of school lunches. This week the blogger from 100 Days of Real Food shared on Facebook that she discovered that her daughter was buying and sneaking extra snacks from the school cafeteria. She was concerned, not so much about the food, but about the lying and deceit. However, a bunch of her readers (shockingly, as far as I'm concerned) reacted really strongly. They chastised her for "forcing" her beliefs about food on her children, and basically told her that because she was being so restrictive her kids were going to grow up to have major issues regarding food. (There were also a bunch of people who chimed in with the opposite response, but, as of the time I read it, the overwhelming reaction was really negative.)

The thing is that this exact same thing happened to me with my daughter last year. It was a big deal at the time because she lied to me, but I never saw it as a food issue. It was, as far as I'm concerned, just one of those parenting moments. One of those teachable moments. When young kids go to school and first have the opportunity to buy a lunch- that's a big deal. I don't think it 's so much about the food as it is about exercising an opportunity to make a decision and buy something on their own. It's about pushing boundaries, whatever they are. This is part of growing up, is it not?

I've been trying to work on my food photography skills. I'm working with a pretty primitive camera at the moment and had been using that as my excuse. However, about a week ago, I discovered a blog called Pretty Hungry and I was truly inspired by her food photos. I showed them to my (8 year old) daughter who then said that she would "help me," with my food pictures.  Here's what we came up with together, which, if I do say so myself, is a huge step up from the some of the pictures I've posted on the blog before!

She later spent about 10 minutes "staging," and taking photographs of her dinner…

I have always enjoyed "thrifting," but my experiences have mostly be limited to "chain," stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army. However, we recently moved to a small town and I have been getting to know my small local thrift store and it. is. amazing!! This place makes Goodwill look like a seriously overpriced boutique. I have yet to spend more than $3 during a single visit and have left with bags of stuff!

My favorite find was a set of 8 vintage Christmas placements for ($0.50 TOTAL!!) Sadly, I shrunk them, which is testament to my poor laundry skills. I'm quite sad but looking at is as an opportunity to be creative. Any ideas for how to use use "mini," placements? I should warn you, I don't really sew...

A few weeks ago, I started checking out their placemats, fabrics, etc. for backgrounds, and this week, it occurred to me to look for more interesting dishes, bowls, and accessories to dress up the pictures (new bowl and new placemat used in soup picture above.) Now I'm just going to need a place to store all of my new finds!

Have you seen Master Chef Junior?? I just started watching it yesterday on Hulu and these kids are unbelievable!

I resisted Twitter for a long time, I really did't get it and I didn't intend to try to get it.

But, I  finally gave in a few weeks ago. Part of this is due to frustration with Facebook. Facebook picks and chooses which posts to show. Therefore, if you "like," a blog, you may see only a small fraction of their posts on FB. Facebook tries to decide if you really want to see a post from that blog you just liked, or not. It feels like playing a game trying desperately to get Facebook to actually show my posts to my followers.

However, from what I can tell, Twitter doesn't try to be smarter than you.

I'm also starting to understand why people say Twitter is so much fun. If you haven't tried it yet, I encourage you to give it a try. Join. Follow bloggers whose blogs you enjoy, or people you admire or find interesting. Then, start interacting. Respond to a tweet. Refer to someone using @ in one of your tweets… you'll see.

On the other hand. I also started Instagramming (is that a verb now?) and I'm not really getting it yet. If you have any words of wisdom for enjoying it more, let me know.

Finally, it's shameless plug time.  I hosted a guest post and giveaway on my blog this week. If you are fighting mealtime battles over food at your house, or if you know someone who is, I highly encourage you to read the post and enter the giveaway (it ends Sunday at Midnight… well, technically, that's 1 a.m. so it's Monday right? Anyways… read. enter the giveaway. thank you, thank you!)

Also… I love sharing the stories of people who have found ways to improve their kids eating habits. If you would like to share your story on my blog, please let me know (info (at)


  1. As to point 1, I saw one girl yesterday at my daughter's school with only the remnants of a full-size potato chip bag. And the other day, another child with just a pudding cup.

    Although I happen to be friends with someone who has a friend who knows the lady who was "fined," and there's a bit more to the story. That mom was on the board that voted to accept that policy and knew full well that her lunch lacked a grain when she packed it. She figured no way they would fine a board member, right?
    And also she wasn't ever actually charged any money.

    And for point 6, if you think of Instagram as Twitter with pictures, it's more fun. If you have a fun thought, or would tweet what you're doing right now, take a picture of it! Then post it on IG. You can still share it to your Twitter and/or FB pages, for added fun. (I have my FB page auto-post to Twitter, and Twitter auto-posts to my personal FB page, so I can choose to show stuff to everyone by posting on my page, or just Twitter (where I have fewer followers) and friends for shameless plugs and giveaway entries and other annoying spammy things that aren't as big a deal on Twitter, since the life of a tweet is only, like, 25 seconds or something.

    And for 3, I went to a great food photography panel and can send you my notes. Check your inbox!

    1. Hmm. Can't find where your email is hidden. Email me at :)

    2. Thanks for your comments Kendra… As for #1 that's why I'm so conflicted… The two lunches you described are, in I think just about anyone's view, clearly unacceptable, but if a line is drawn… where?? Who says what and where the line should be, and once it starts, where will it end… But, at the same time, I'm incredibly sad for the kids with only potato chips or a pudding cup for lunch. As for the woman who was fined… that's the thing. She was involved in trying to implement standards for healthier lunches and then got caught in it… Even at home, I may have certain standards for what "healthy," is but I don't always stick to them, and sometimes I change my mind completely… I'll keep trying for Instagram, thanks for the advice!

  2. Your stuffed green pepper soup looks great in your photo, and what a fun thing to be able to do together with your daughter! Who knows, she may decide to be a food stylist when she grows up? (Or a blogger, like her mama!) Keep up the experimenting, researching, and looking for inspiration. :) You can definitely get great pics with a point & shoot if that's what you have to work with.

    1. Thanks Carissa! Your pictures were great inspiration… my daughter wanted to do everything she saw in her pictures- she sprinkled spices on the table and asked for a glass jar to put the rest of the spices in ;) I am having fun involving my daughter in the blogging process!


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