The Healthy Handbook

The Healthy Handbook

Sophie Divino

There is likely an overall consensus that lunch is the best part of the school day. Not only do you get to socialize with your friends, but you get to silence your angry stomach that’s been rumbling since first period. For my school lunches, I know I take a lot of care into the creation of them. I prepare my lunch the night before and always make sure that it’s something that I’d be excited to finally indulge in.   

Yet, my mood changes considerably when I fail to pack a lunch that I’m excited about eating. Most of the time this happens because I either don’t have time to make a tasty dish, or I didn’t plan what I was going to eat, so I didn’t have any ingredients in my house that would suffice. 

Luckily, my friends and I were able to turn this unfortunate situation into something great: we decided to create a cookbook. Our Senior Seminar class in school requires us to better our community, and we thought that creating a cookbook would be a great way to do this. This cookbook contains lunch recipes that are fast and easy, but a very important aspect of it is that all of these recipes are healthy. When surveying a portion of the senior class, 67.4% reported that they do not eat healthy lunches at school, the most popular suspects being chicken fingers and pizza. Many students felt that preparing their own meals was too time consuming, so they’d rather just buy (unhealthy) food from the cafeteria. Other students reported that healthy lunches are not nearly as good as the unhealthy lunches they were eating, so they are not motivated to switch to healthier alternatives. 

Our cookbook helps resolve these issues. The recipes in the cookbook are intended to be prepared very quickly and also taste delicious. Many people claim that they don’t like healthy food, but they most likely have not put the effort into finding healthy foods and combinations that they truly enjoy. For instance, I’ve heard many people claim that they don’t like oatmeal because it’s too bland. Our cookbook contradicts this point by having a “Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats” recipe- certainly flavorful and enjoyable to eat. We want people to fall in love with healthy eating so that they can become mentally and physically stronger. Because the cookbook will offer many variations of tasty healthy foods, I feel that this will be easily achieved. It is important to mention that this cookbook is not intended to be a diet or tool for weight loss. We do not want the recipes to be advertised as “low in calories,” but rather “clean and nutritious.”

The cookbook is named “The Healthy Handbook” and recipes can be accessed on our Instagram, @cnhshealthyhandbook. Each month we will have a new theme for the recipes, which could be seasonal, such as fall cuisine, or cultural, such as Asian cuisine. A new recipe will be posted per week and our followers are encouraged to follow along and make the recipes for lunch. At the end of the month, we will hold a lunch meeting in room A134 where our members choose their favorite recipe from the month, make it, and bring it to eat with others. We hope that the Healthy Handbook will create a sense of community and that members will motivate each other to continue to follow the cookbook. 

If you are interested in becoming a member of our cookbook, follow @cnhshealthyhandbook on Instagram! Hopefully, we’d be able to provide you with recipes that you find delicious and convenient. Plus, if you’re someone like me who takes food seriously, you may also be relieved that you won’t ever have to worry about having a sub-par lunch again.