Vote for Your Favorite Good Food Resolution and Help Someone Win a Year of Free Organic Milk

Last week, I published a post about our new school lunch contest, asking parents and other concerned adults to make a school year resolution on behalf of their children and families. If we're serious about making change in our lives, I reasoned, we should be willing to share our thoughts broadly, to make public commitments, and to reach high. In less than a week, nearly 50 of you did.

This post is a collection of your resolutions, hopes, and wants for this school year. In most cases, the focus of the promises below is on better food for our kids, but the sentiments go well beyond our own families and this particular school year. Please take the time to read all 20 of the resolutions below -- these are the ones we've chosen as our favorites -- and use the voting widget on our homepage to vote for the resolution that you feel best captures the spirit of the contest. One lucky winner will get a year of free organic milk, courtesy of our terrific partners at Organic Valley. Voting closes at midnight this Friday, October 1.

After you've voted, please visit our original blog post and read all 45 of our submissions. I keep reading them over and over again -- I find them incredibly inspiring, and I hope you will too. They're all great, and we're sorry that we can't include each one in the voting part of this contest. Big thanks to all of you who submitted your own resolution. Keep up the great work with your families, schools, and communities.

Thank you for reading these entries, voting for your favorite, and being mindful when it comes to what our kids eat. Here goes: 

Dr. Susan Rubin:

My resolution is to do whatever I can to encourage and inspire parents to get deeply involved in school food reform on both the local and national level.

Eating lunch in your child's cafeteria is a very important piece of this puzzle. I would like to encourage all parents to do this on a regular basis and to bring others along like school administrators and friends who might not think this issue matters.

Please look beyond obesity and consider children's allergies, asthma and behavior. It's not about calories and fat grams, we need to consider ingredients.

Most importantly, we need to look at the big picture. Everyone must connect the dots between personal health and planetary health. Think zero-waste in the cafeteria and composting programs for the school.


This is my first year packing lunches for my Kindergartner, and I am working hard to have minimal waste (I do send OV milk boxes), and eventually toward zero waste. We stocked up on Tupperware sandwich containers, snack containers, cloth napkins, a lunch thermos for taking warm meals, Kleen Kanteen and Sigg water bottles, and a nice lunchbox that should last a number of years. All of my reusable stuff is BPA and phthalate free.

Every day I try to include a vegetable and a fruit, as well as a main dish or sandwich, milk, and a water bottle. I use actual vegetables and fruit, not packaged snacks, as it is important to me that my kids understand what real food is.

My child takes cold lunch every day *except* "farm-to-school" days, where the lunch ingredients are sourced from local farms, in which case, I offer a choice of hot lunch or cold, because I want to support the farm-to-school program and help it to grow!

My resolution before school started was to think ahead, find the necessary "gear" so I wouldn't be dependent on plastic baggies and the like, plan ideas for delicious, nutritious lunches (so far the requests lean toward sandwiches, so I haven't even gotten creative yet!), and make sure my child was happy with the options for lunch (to avoid lunch trading and such). So far, so good!


I promise that either my husband or myself will eat lunch with our son once a month. On the days that I do pack his lunch, he will always have water, whole grains, and fresh fruit/vegetables. I will also include him on the decisions made regarding what is packed and what lunches he eats at school. I will also continue to give him cooking lessons so he learns how to cook healthy. 


My resolution for the school year is to pack nutritious, environmentally friendly lunches every day that all three of my children will eat.

I have three children 5, 3, and 1 so it is a challenge to get all of them to eat healthy. I’ve purchased the tools to help me achieve this with green lunchboxes, cloth napkins, thermoses, forks and spoons. I also have bought a few fun cookie cutters to help make their lunches fun and nutritious; a whale cookie cutter for tuna sandwiches, a pepper for green and red pepper pieces, a pear for sliced pears and an apple for sliced apples. The baby gets all of the scraps from the cookie cutters. So far it has worked out nicely.

I work full-time so I want to prove that you don’t have to be a stay at home mom to provide your child with good quality nutritious food. It takes planning but it can be done. My goal is to send only whole fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains. I do not want to have to resort to processed nonsense for their lunches.

Sadie Sponsler, RD:

The Lemon Grove School District Nutrition Services Department (Lemon Grove, CA) our resolution is to “walk the talk” about providing healthier choices for students and staff during the school day and beyond in our school district. The Lemon Grove School District has set the School Wellness bar high and shown that it is possible to do more with less, you just have to collaborate and believe.

We decided to put our money where are mouth is and for that reason the following questionable items have been removed from the school menus:

(a) Chocolate milk: a research study is being conducted to determine the effects of this removal by SDSU Graduate student in Nutrition Science
(b) Undergo a district wide marketing campaign for students to drink white milk.
(b) Pepperoni pizza
(c) Questionable food items (i.e. Nachos, cinnamon roll, pre-sweetened cereal)
(d) Self serve Ranch dressing, ketchup, pancake syrup and other condiments

Our resolution is to continue to build our garden program and teach nutrition from the ground up.
Our resolution is to continue to add healthy, new, fresh, scratch menu items whenever possible.
Our resolution is to work with local chefs to continue to promote the skills of our nutrition service staff.
Our resolution is to continue to support our School Wellness policies.

Odett Fenton:

I started my resolution last spring! Being a single mom for many years, I've learned to plan ahead. Providing my kids fresh, nutritious foods on a strict budget has always been a challenge, this year we confronted that challenge at home.

This fall we have free range chickens with lots of fresh eggs for healthy breakfasts.

The garden is producing beautiful organic fruits and vegetables and is being prepared for winter crops which we plan to cover with plastic to lengthen our harvest.

We got a small boat and this fall have started fishing, eliminated the "fish sticks"!!

I started buying organic when my health deteriorated a few years back, I would buy organic milk for myself and regular for the kids....the kids PREFER organic milk hands down.

The kids are learning that organic is the way food was meant to be!!


I just ate lunch with 2 of my sons today. Eating with them at school more often is high on my Good Food Resolution list.

My 3 sons and I pack their lunches together. I spend lot of time reading about the products I buy for my family. I buy lots of fresh, organic fruits & veggies, OV milk & cheese, Annie's Bunny Snacks, Clif Kids Snacks, homemade from scratch foods, etc. I find it easier to allow them to help pack lunch rather than pack it myself and half of it either go into garbage or brought back home.

I have made an effort to involve my children with good food choices. I let them pick things they would like to try or like to eat at our local Farmer's Market. I am always explaining what a serving size is, how many calories are in certain foods, why is it unhealthy to eat anything whether healthy or not and just SIT around doing nothing. Thankfully, my sons love the outdoors and sports.

I want my children to be aware of the lifestyle choices they make and that each and every daily choice affects their health...physically & mentally.

I believe strongly that the #1 reason my children are only seen by their pediatrician once annually for their Well Child Exam and rarely for sick visits is because I can enough about their health to feed them good foods and keep them physically active.

Jenn Augustson:

Healthy school lunches are so important! We send our now 2nd-grader to school with a home-packed lunch everyday. Mostly we send meals in reusable containers, but we are not 100% waste free. So my resolution for this school year will be to become 100% waste free-no paper napkins, no juice boxes, no plastic bags, etc. Also, a newly formed organization in our area ( was awarded a grant to start up a community garden. Their hope is to have local middle and high-school students become involved. I also pledge to do my part to help this fine organization and hopefully see more local, organic produce used in our schools' lunchrooms in the future!

Julie Paddock:

I vow to limit the amount of junk food allowed in my home. I will purchase and make healthy options and put them in zip lock bags in the frig and pantry and car for easy access. I will purchase organic whenever possible and will put in a larger vegetable garden next year. I will sit at the dinner table each night for dinner and invite everyone to join me. I will preset the table with a tall glass of ice water for everyone. I will purchase smaller plates to eat from to encourage smaller portions. When I walk the dogs I will invite my family to come with me for added exercise and quality time I will encourage my family to bring bicycles along on vacation or when visiting family.


My resolution also started earlier this year, when my preschooler switched to bringing her lunch instead of the hot lunch served at school, and we started a garden at her school. We'll continue to pack zero-waste lunches with the help of Tupperware-type containers, and lunches that are heavy on the whole-grain and fruit/vegetable groups. And because I know the other kids bring sweets, I've been making cookies and brownies for her to take - I can identify all the ingredients, use whole wheat flour for part of the flour, and she can help with the baking, and still enjoy something sweet when her friends do, too.

We're already working on what we'll plant in the school garden next spring - vegetables that can also be served at snack times and herbs that taste good right off the plant were popular this summer, and I loved hearing about how my daughter showed her friends how to pinch the flowers off the basil so it would make more yummy leaves!


My resolution is to continue to eat locally, organically and seasonally, without falling prey to the idea of "kid food". My kids will survive without hot dogs, chicken nuggets and french fries. Not only will the survive, but they will thrive if I feed them whole foods- homemade chicken tenders instead of mystery meat nuggets.

Eating seasonal has become quite important to us, but it really just improves how wonderful each food is as it comes into season. Right now we're so enjoying apple season, as well as winter squashes. In a few months we'll have tired of it and will be anxious for the winter citrus explosion. Seasonal eating makes every season and every fruit or veg we eat delicious and something truly special.


I have vowed no high fructose corn syrup!!! I check the juices, breads, etc.!! They sneak that stuff in everything. I even have my 5 year old checking the ingredient list on packages!


I am a grandmother of two children who go to a school that has organic hot lunches every day. They grow at least 1/3 of all the produce themselves. They provide for myriad food allergies and conditions that require special diets, making the special food look like what everyone else is eating and not requiring anyone to sit away from the group while eating their special food. I am going to help my daughter get publicity for this program and to help expand it to others as well as continuing, one person at a time, to help people understand what healthy eating is, e.g. yogurt is better than chips but what is the ingredient list? Does it have any ingredients that a 3rd grader can't read? If so, out it goes. Quality food should be available to all people and my goal this year is to make even some small headway into ensuring this is possible.

Paula L.:

Our family has just recently decided to change how we live our lives. My kids, 7 & 5, are so excited about all the changes we are making. We have decided to eat foods that are organic (grown locally if possible). We even grew our own garden this year!! We are also trying to conserve energy and decrease our waste and recycle as much as possible. For exercise, our family heads out for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner. Or we will go for a hike on weekends.

There are days when the busy-ness of life squeezes in and makes sticking to our plan harder than we thought.

So, our school year resolution is that we will keep plugging away at finding ways to eat more organically and healthy, to stay fit and do what we can to protect our environment.


I am a veteran lunch packer that already provides my family with organic, local food that we produce ourselves, get from my parents, or from our CSA shares. I make our food from scratch and do not buy processed foods. However, my resolution lies with the other children that do not have access to these opportunities. I want to make sure children are introduced to whole foods and have the opportunity to know where their food comes from. Not the grocery store, the patch of earth where those potatoes were grown, that pasture where the cows are raised. I know its all been said before, but we are so out of touch with our food sources.


As a teacher I eat lunch in the cafeteria too. I'm bringing my own reusable plates and bowls to use on the lunch line. The lunch ladies (and everyone else for that matter) think I'm nuts, but I just can't bear the thought of using the cafeteria's disposable plastic and Styrofoam trays anymore.


I honestly believe in re-educating people. We have gotten so lazy!!! Paper napkins, baggie-crak, juice boxes, etc... There is a better way. Sending kids to school with cute items like reusable napkins and sandwich holders. I love to show off my finds from Etsy with other mommies. They love the designs and it is soooo affordable. I share with them also about my ORGANIC/SUSTAINABLE finds. Who has what on sale that week. And then educating them on the importance of these types of foods/drinks. I am so tired of hearing that it is too expensive. Has anyone truly thought about the expense of a McD's Happy Meal? Really? We are smarter than that. I think too many get the bad rap of looking down on others who don't use Organic/Sustainable items. Let's make it fun and exciting. Educate your kids about how cool this is. Be excited with your mommies and sisters out there about what you find.


We have boycotted McDonald's and every other fast food establishment, save Chipotle. When we want to eat, we drive home for a quick bite or pack a cooler. We buy local/seasonal where possible and participate in a CSA and buy meat, eggs, poultry, cheese, bread, etc. from local farmers. Our kids, all under the age of 4, know where their food comes from, Farmer Dave!


First, I think this contest is a great idea. If anything, it made me think a little harder. I feel I provide my 5 year-old and my family good, healthy food choices, year round- even snacks! However, there is always room for improvement.

My food resolution for this school year, is to not only expose my daughter to new foods, but to teach why its important to eat certain foods. I also want her to be active in "making" in lunch, and praise her for HER choices. At my daughters school, parents can send in a "special snack" for the class, most often its cookies or doughnut holes, but I pledge to send more fun and healthy snacks- like a colorful fruit bowl and maybe cut the fruit in different shapes. I also want to try my hand at growing some of our own veggies- even if just starting with a single tomato plant on the patio. I want my daughter to see where food truly comes from, and how wonderful it tastes- fresh.


OK .... so, what is my resolution? To continue to cook like I have been for my 2.5 year old boy, Oliver! He's in daycare.

You will find me scrunched down in a little toddler chair, my knees to my chin, sitting with him each day as he eats lunch at the daycare. I watch the other kids eat: applesauce from a can, fish sticks, pancakes with syrup. I'm so glad my little guy does not ask for syrup or have to eat what the others do. I bring him organic whole wheat pancakes made with berries and bananas. No sprinkling of sugar, no syrup. No chemicals. No corn syrup. My new years resolution is to NOT FEEL BAD that he is the only kid there not eating what everyone else is. I have to continue to not feel like I am imposing on the staff when asking them to heat up his organic, healthy food. It's hard! So many days I just want to say, screw it! Let him drink their milk, their juice, their food. But as I sit with him each day on my lunch hour, I am reminded that he is happy, healthy and a growing young child who needs the natural nutrition that I pack for him.

And guess what? Sometimes the other kids stand around his chair and ask for bites! I have to remember what I'm doing is advocating for his health and not let myself feel I'm being an inconvenience to the staff. (The staff has been great and have been very willing to accommodate!)


Lee Zukor is the founder of Simple, Good, and Tasty. E-mail him at or follow him on Twitter.