School Lunch

Like many elementary schools, or even middle and high schools probably, the school lunch my kids are served seems to be pretty much like crap on a styrafoam try. It never really looks good and I don't think it really tastes good, but the kids seems to eat it. Or pick at it. Or stare at it long enough that it's time for recess to start.

I watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution in the spring and it got me thinking about the crap my kids put in their bodies. In the past, I would eat lunch at school. My first few years I ate it a lot. I guess it was better then, or I was to lazy to make lunch. There were certain days I would buy lunch because it was good tasting, just not good for me. As the years have gone on and I have gotten older, had a child (which made everything drop south a bit - UGH!) and just tried to be a little healthier, I realized more than school food sucked! I think this year I bought lunch 2 or 3 times and that was it, after I got sick from the school lunch. Never again. I pack my lunch everyday!

Here's an idea of what my kids eat on a monthly basis - chicken nuggets, pizza, burgers, chicken nuggets, pizza, burgers, some sort of mushy pasta, pizza, "orange chicken", hot dog, corn dog, burger, pancakes and sausage, pizza, nachos and PB&J. When you type it out, where's the healthy stuff? Oh yeah, they get to choose from the "salad bar" - brown lettuce, baby carrots or celery, some random fruit, cold veggies or beans and a selection of "healthy crackers". They choose their milk - white, chocolate, strawberry or on good days, root beer flavored milk. (I tried to copy my school menu, but...it didin't work!).

After watching Jamie Oliver's show, I started making my kids get 2 things from the salad bar in hopes they would eat it. And yep, I stood there and they had to show me their trays before they left to eat. I didn't go sit with them to make sure they were eating, but I think I might this year. I let them get their choice of milk, but only because my principal was an ass and he had harrassed another teacher when she did it. I hope that some of my kids would eat a little more of the healthier stuff once it was on their tray!

For this next year, I have a new principal (and the angels are singing!). My goal is to have my kids only get the white milk and hopefully eat their fruit and veggies, even if they aren't the best. It's better than none at all! I hope I can get the buy in of the parents to go alnog with me on the white milk thing. If only would could get all the flavored milk out, life would be great!

Here's to me packing my own lunch for the next 175 days (furloughs make the year shorter!) and to my kids hopefully making the right choices for lunch!


  1. At my school it seemed that elementary and high school lunches were the best for you because the school was in the same location ( we had the bad stuff like Pizza and burgers, but they also served soups, salads, and subs through the Ale Cart or on occasion as part of the hot lunch meal).... however, we had to go to a different building for Jr high, and that food was the worst. Tuna pot-pie's that were harder than rocks, really runny mashed potatoes with really disgusting chunks of chicken that were all brown looking, and toasty dogs that were overly toasty. Food in schools definitely need a make over, and soon. I would consider some of this stuff hazardous waste :P

  2. I have to admit the school lunches in our schools (at least at the elementary level) have actually won awards for their nutritious content. Some of it I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole but compared to lunch choices I've seen elsewhere, ours aren't too bad. One of my colleagues has a son who goes to a neighboring district and she said she was appalled at the foods their school actually called "lunch".

    We have a very large population of children throughout our district who get free lunch (last year I had ONE student out of 25 who paid for lunch...one) and we've gotten grants and subsidies because our food is considered to be so much healthier than the usual school menu that even for kids who have to pay full price its only $1/day.

    There are actually several days a month that teachers mark on the calendar to buy the school lunch because its a) yummy and b) healthier than the Smart Ones or other frozen meals we usually pack ;)

  3. Sunny, you and your students are lucky that your foods are so good. I am amazed at the food my district serves. Most of it I wouldn't eat, but tehre are some things that are OK, but still, I'll eat from home. We have a few teachers who eat school lunch or go out to eat every day. I'm no skinny minnie, but I would pack on the weight if I ate like that! I can control what I pack in my lunch!