The Oslo Lunch was served to British Schoolchildren as an experiment during World War II to improve their health. It was cheap and took advantage of any vegetables that could have been grown in a small household garden. The makeup of the Oslo Meal is (slightly modified to round numbers):
Salad Vegetables (lettuce, carrot,. tomato, etc.)
Two slices of brown bread
An ounce of cheese
8oz of milk
When I showed the picture above to my nine-year-old her reaction was “that looks great!”, so it became a good default for lunches and snacks. To break this down into calories, the plate would be a total of 464 calories. The breakdown is:
8oz 2% milk, 130 calories
2 slices bread, 200 calories
1oz cheese, 114 calories
salad veg, 20 calories
What is curious is that with a relatively high calorie count, the value of the meal is in it being real, whole foods. For me, though, I will need to substitute the milk with some kind of milk substitute. This is not only an issue of not processing milk well, but I don’t really like drinking milk.
Coincidentally, while I was learning about the Oslo Lunch I heard a story on NPR; Cheese and Raw Veggies May be Antidote to Kids Mindless Eating. It presents some pretty compelling evidence that the kind of diet suggested by the Oslo Lunch is actually a quite good one for children and adults.
We typically have a major shopping trip once every two weeks and then a little shopping trip every other week to pick up anything that we didn’t get the previous week or to pick up anything we missed during the major shopping trip. This week’s major expenditures of ration points were, again, apples.
The thing that we have to keep a better eye on is that in the last week, our schedules have been so insanely busy that we needed to eat out three times. In order to not entirely blow the spirit of the ration project, we kept to whole foods by eating at our local Sheetz and Get Go where they have sandwiches made with fresh ingredients much like what I could make at home. Regardless of trying to keep it as close to what I would make at home as possible, it felt kind of wrong and necessitates that we are more mindful of our schedule so that I can provide something from home, rather than relying on picking something up on the go.
Since this is not a problem unusual to the second world war where women were entering the work force in large numbers, dinners had to be something that was dealt with in a specific way – I will be doing more research this week in order to see what exactly those solutions were so that I can use that information in order to make choices in better alignment with life during that time.
As of Monday, I will be back in classes for the Spring semester. One of the classes that I’m taking is World War II and I will be sharing what I learn in those classes as well as providing information about the ration project.