Back in the late 1990’s, I was pretty upset when discovered candy wrappers in my kids back packs.  The junk food situation in my kids school was rampant. This spurred me on to become a school food activist.  I spent close to a decade working to improve the quality of food in my kid’s school and did what I could to help support other parents across the country in that quest. I was a pioneer in the better school food movement.

One of the first things I did was create a program called “No Junk January”. This was back before Facebook and fancy iPhones. Elementary school PTAs would send home weekly info and at the end of the month we had a great panel discussion at the local library.  Years later, parents still tell me about how that month was a turning point when their family stopped bad habits like drinking soda and switched to healthier ones.  Just about every January since then, I’ve created workshops and food based programs in this first month of the year to help folks ditch the junk and get off to a healthy start.

Melanie’s Melbourne lunch

My battle to clean up school food was not what I would call a rip roaring success. Schools still have plenty of junk in the cafeteria and elsewhere.  My years of fighting for better food resulted in one very special victory.  My 3 daughters, now in their 20’s, have a healthy relationship with real food and are very capable in the kitchen.  Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. All those dinners in which they helped to prepare paid off. Their Food IQ is higher than their peers. I do think that this connection with real food will give them better odds to lead long, healthy lives.  Just yesterday, my daughter texted me a photo of her lunch from 10,000 miles away in Melbourne, Australia. Photos like this fill me with gratitude and relief.

If you dream of your kids growing up loving and preparing beautiful food like this, January is the time to start. Announcing my first online class for 2018: SuRu’s Sugar Challenge. Join me on a journey as we explore tactics to dramatically reduce the sugar in your life. This 21 day challenge can help you and your family give sugar a time out! I’ve got lots of recipes and strategies for your family to thrive and find other forms of sweetness in our lives.  The fee for this online course is just $1 a day.  Here’s the link to sign up: The course starts in the beginning of 2018.

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