Green School Bali and the Choice of the Healthy School Lunch
By Kate Druhan, Parent and Chairman of Green School Parent Association

‘But I don’t like this dinner mum…’. Sound familiar? The power battles and negotiations over dinner, the returned and uneaten nutritious packed lunch, the temptation to opt for easy, packaged foods are a daily challenge for many of us.

Knowing where food comes from and propagating, cultivating, harvesting and preparing their own food is a powerful way to encourage our children to eat healthily. Combine that with being immersed in a community which is conscious about food choices and is made up of families from all corners of the globe, and you suddenly find a child’s tastes open right up.

I love that each classroom in Primary School has its own gardens. My children have brought home all varieties of familiar and unusual vegetables during their time at Green School. Even better when they’ve shown me how to prepare a snack or meal from what they have grown!

All parents love their children to eat healthy food. The quality of the food found in many schools leaves a lot to be desired. The absence of packaged and processed food and the positive changes that children can make to their diet from knowing where food comes from, is just one more reason to love Green School. Eating fresh, nutritious and a good variety of foods, sets our children on a food loving journey for the rest of their lives.

Part of living a sustainable life includes considering how we safeguard our personal wellbeing. So it was only natural for Green School Bali – a pioneering international school delivering sustainable, community-integrated, entrepreneurial learning in a wall-less, natural environment – to reimagine the way we present lunch in school. By providing a broad range of options we are able to cater for all tastes in a delicious and healthy way. The menu is varied and my children’s favourites range from pasta with local, fresh pesto, to traditional chicken noodle soup (Bakso), from tortillas with salad through to our own Green School version of fried rice (Nasi Goreng).

First of all, there is the lunch buffet. It comes in two options – Indonesian and international – and the vegetables grown on campus by the students have a big role in the ingredient list of each meal.

Then we find the Farm Stand. The Farm Stand is another lunch and snack option, that serves organic food and juices made from the produce grown by the school’s neighbour at the Kul Kul Farm. All sorts of fresh produce are on sale for families to take home as well.

Last but not least is The Living Food Lab. Started by a Green School parent; this little café offers a wide array of organic raw food creations that are vegan, gluten free and just plain yummy.

I should also just mention that Green School has the BEST organic coffee on the island 🙂

These represent some of the most delicious and healthy options offered at a school.

According to Nadya Hutagalung, “It is rewarding to see our children enjoy the food they eat from their banana leaf plates. They are aware that the food is good not only for their bodies but the planet too.  Green School students are given enough information to understand the impact of their everyday choices and how that affects their world and its ecosystems.”

After all, an intrinsic part of being sustainable is taking care of our personal wellbeing. So food does not just feature at lunchtime – it is something that finds its way into the learning program too. Through the curriculum and student projects (food and medicinal gardens, worm farming, free-range chickens, cooking and more) it is a joy to watch children’s eating habits change for the better.

How can a kid not be excited to go to school when right before snack break you have a “how to make a smoothie” class? Yum!

RESOURCES

More information on the Living Food Lab: https://www.facebook.com/LivingFoodLab/,
Kul Kul Farm at www.kulkulfarmbali.com & Green School Bali at www.greenschool.org
Pictures: Green School. Kul Kul Farm, traditional school lunch, GS lunch buffet