Lunchbox Envy is a how-to guide for creating healthy, sustainable, affordable lunches for kids and families of all income levels
Lunchbox Envy is a how-to guide for creating healthy, sustainable, affordable lunches that are quick and easy to prepare. We wrote it for kids aged eight and older and families of all income levels.
We’re calling it a “how-to” guide as well as a cookbook because it is much more than a collection of recipes. The book moves through the entire process of building a healthy lunch, ending with Do-It-Yourself projects that empower kids.
All sections of the book are interconnected. For example, Chapter 1: Meal Planning shows how to create a nutritionally balanced lunch using the USDA MyPlate resource, while icons representing these MyPlate components show the nutritional balance of each recipe. Kids also experience the interconnectedness of the food system through recipes like our basic salsa recipe created with produce that can be grown in the Do-It-Yourself garden projects.
The Structure of Lunchbox Envy
- Chapter 1: Meal Planning
- Chapter 2: Where To Find Healthy Food
- Chapter 3: What is Healthy Food?
- Chapter 4: Getting Started Cooking
- Chapter 5: Recipes: Basics, Main Dish, Fruit, Dips & Spreads, Drinks, Treats & Snacks
- Chapter 6: Do-It-Yourself Food Projects: Solar Oven, Solar Dehydrator, Worm Composting Bin, Garden projects
- Resources: Reading an Ingredients Label, Seasoning Mixes & International Flavor Profiles, Measurement Conversion, Recommended Portions Chart, Ingredient Substitutions, More Reading.
Why Did We Write It?
Children in the U.S. suffer from many food-related health problems caused or made worse by low-nutrition foods with too much fat, salt, sugar, additives, and processing. At the same time, our environment and our communities suffer from the effects of a food system that’s designed for profit rather than health. Many people are living at or below the poverty level. As a result, they suffer the most from increasing health problems and impaired access to healthy food. People have become detached from their food sources, and many have a poor understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet. Fewer families cook and eat together.
These problems are intimately connected. They are all part of the declining overall health of our society. We want to do something about it. Lunchbox Envy is written to help children develop a healthy relationship with good food. The book is inclusive, engaging, optimistic, and empowering.
What's With The Name?
By the age of eight, children start to be influenced heavily by their peers. They begin to emulate peer values and behaviors. At school, there is a frenzy of food trading during lunchtime. Lunchbox Envy teaches families how to make affordable, delicious, healthy lunches. Our goal is for the kids with these lunches to become the envy of their peers. We hope that this will help to make healthy, home-cooked, sustainable food normal and desirable to all kids.
How Can One Book Do All This?
Yes, these are big goals. But there is a groundswell of interest in healthier relationships with food, and it’s far easier to change the habits of an eight-year-old than an adult.
Lunchbox Envy engages children by including:
- Basic cooking skills, techniques, and safety explained in simple text and photos
- Do-It-Yourself food-related projects designed specifically for kids
- A full-color graphic novel in which four high-school investigative journalists and a tech-savvy chicken explore the industrial food system and its alternatives. It’s a high-action story drawn and co-written by talented high school art students
- Plenty of photographs of children cooking and building
- A graphic layout that is colorful and dynamic
We have written a book about health that is inclusive and encouraging, rather than “finger-wagging.” We recognize that not everyone can eat the healthiest, most sustainable food all the time. Every step towards the health of our bodies and environment is a step in the right direction.
Lunchbox Envy helps make healthy food more accessible and affordable through:
- Strategies: We include strategies for finding healthy food such as “shopping the edges” of a grocery store, buying in bulk, and making cost comparisons.
- Simple Ingredients: Our recipe ingredients are widely used and easy to find.
- Adaptability: Recipe Options allow for adaptability and creativity. Lunches can be made with ingredients already on hand, from leftovers, and to accommodate kids’ picky taste buds. Substitutes are suggested in many recipes. “Formulas” are recipes where you can pick ingredients from columns and add them together. They teach creativity, cooking concepts, and save money.
- Less meat, more beans: Lunchbox Envy shows ways to increase the quality of your diet, reduce cost, and support environmental sustainability. Many recipes are built around beans and staples rather than meat.
- Simple Tools & Equipment: Lunchbox Envy describes the basic essential cooking tools and those that are "nice to have." It shows their safe use through text and illustrations.
Funding & Book Progress
We need your help to fund the printing of this book. Currently, we are revising and editing like crazy, after multiple reviews by community professionals who span the fields of education, culinary arts, social work, nutrition, and American Indian community development. The student illustrators at the Arcata High Arts Institute are inking-in the final panels of the graphic novel and will be doing the coloring during the month this Kickstarter is open. We are finishing up the photography and final recipe testing. It has been a whirlwind - and will probably continue to be until we send the book to the printers (fingers crossed!) at the end of July. Our estimated publication date is October 1st, 2012.
Thank you so much for reading this and watching our video. We hope we find many who are as excited about this project as we are.
Find out more about Lunchbox Envy
Lunchbox Envy abstract on the Locally Delicious website:
Introduction to Design (Environmental Resources Engineering 215) at Humboldt State University create Do-It-Yourself Projects for Kids:
North Coast Co-op Newsletter article (pg 16) on Lunchbox Envy Projects:
Lunchbox Envy is being produced by Locally Delicious, Inc., an IRS approved 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. The portion of your pledge in excess of the value of any rewards received will be tax-deductible. Locally Delicious, Inc. will send you a receipt for your donation.
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1) Public Thank-You on Twitter & Facebook 2) Pre-publication digital “sneak peek” of art from the book including graphic novel power figures, Ruby the Radical Chicken, & a group of 3 panels from the graphic novel 3) 3 fabulous recipes from Lunchbox EnvyEstimated delivery:
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1) Public Thank-You on Twitter & Facebook, 2) Lunchbox Envy book signed by authors, 3) Locally Delicious cookbook, 2nd edition, 4) 4 Lunchbox Envy art prints (8x10) including 2 mixed-media Chapter Covers, Graphic Novel power figures & Ruby the Radical Chicken, & full graphic novel page, 5) Invitation to a publication and book signing partyEstimated delivery:
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1)Thank-you, 2) 2 Lunchbox Envy books signed by authors, 3) Locally Delicious cookbook, 2nd edition, 4) 6 Lunchbox Envy art prints (8x10) including 4 mixed-media Chapter Covers, Graphic Novel power figures with Ruby the Radical Chicken, & a full page of the graphic novel, 5) Invitation to a publication and book signing partyEstimated delivery:
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1) Thank-You, 2) 2 Lunchbox Envy books signed by authors, 3) Locally Delicious cookbook, 2nd edition, 4) 8 Lunchbox Envy art prints (8x10) including all 6 mixed-media Chapter Covers, Graphic Novel power figures with Ruby the Radical Chicken, & a full page of the graphic novel, 5) Invitation to a publication and book signing party, 6) Your name on Lunchbox Envy's Acknowledgements pageEstimated delivery:
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1) Thank-you, 2) 5 copies of Lunchbox Envy signed by authors, 3) Copy of our Locally Delicious cookbook, 2nd edition, 4) 8 Lunchbox Envy art prints (8x10) including all 6 mixed-media Chapter Covers, Graphic Novel power figures with Ruby the Radical Chicken, & a full page of the graphic novel, 5) Invitation to a publication and book signing party 6) 2-nights’ lodging in scenic Humboldt County 7) Country breakfast with the authors 8) Your name on Lunchbox Envy's Acknowledgements pageEstimated delivery:
- (30 days)