Waldorf Salad. It sounds like something you’d find at a pricey hotel, like, I don’t know, the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC. That’s because it is from a pricey hotel, like the Waldorf-Astoria–or was, at least, created there. But not by a highly-acclaimed chef. No, it is the Waldorf Hotel’s maître d’, Oscar Tschirky, who is credited as the inventor of this simple salad. It just goes to show you, you don’t need fancy credentials to make a mark on this world.
Simple things can turn into big deals. Like packing lunch for your kids. Bringing change about in the school system’s lunchtime offerings can be done, but it’s a long, lengthy process. (You’ll be hearing more about my thoughts on that when I review Amy Kaplafa’s Lunch Wars: How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children’s Health next week for the BlogHer Book Club). In the meantime, you can start with healthy, home-packed lunches and after school snacks, working the food culture in your home to reflect what the healthy lifelong eating habits are that you want for your children.
Marla Meridith at Family Fresh Cooking has put out the 30-day Lunch Box Challenge to encourage just this change. Already a proponent of whole foods, she suggests that if we pack good, wholesome meals, not only will we save money, but we will be healthier for it. This isn’t big news, but it’s a great reminder of how we should try to be more conscious of what we’re putting into our bodies, even if it’s just one meal a day, 5 days a week. Small changes can make a huge impact.
As you probably already know, I have a thing for sweets. Baked goods are my raison d’être. Alright, that’s going a little far, but I do like my pastries. That said, I also do try to make small changes when I prepare them. Oftentimes, I’ll replace the flour, partially or entirely, with whole wheat. I don’t always use all the sugar, even replacing it, at times, with better alternatives. And by making my baked goods at home, instead of buying them from the store, I exercise control over the ingredients and, by extension, what I’m putting into my body. So no, I’m not perfect–and I don’t expect you to be either. I’m just asking you to be aware. Think about what it is you’re eating and feeding your children.
That school food program? You probably don’t want to think about where the food comes from, but do. Take a look at the menus. In most communities, you’ll likely notice highly-processed foods and sugar prevailing, with the occasional proud declaration that fruit is available (but are your kids eating it?). How well do you think on a sugar high? What about after a binge on junk food? That mid-afternoon slump that only a trip to Starbucks can pull you out of–where do you think it comes from? Some food for thought for the next week…
Waldord Salad. It’s simple. It’s eternal. And it’s exactly that sort of small change that will make a big difference. As a lunch, a breakfast, or an afternoon snack, it’s something you made, putting your heart and soul into it for the health and enjoyment of your family, and it tastes good. That’s what we’re all after, isn’t it?
- 4 stalks celery, cleaned and chopped
- 3 large Gala apples, cleaned and diced
- 1 cup red seedless grapes, cleaned and sliced in half
- ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup walnut pieces
- Clean, dry, and cut fruit and vegetables as noted.
- Combine everything in a large mixing bowl, stirring until it is evenly distributed.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, up to 3 days.