I just found a new blog entitled Fed Up With School Lunch, which is well worth checking out.
The author is a teacher who is eating the standard school lunch that her students eat every day in 2010. She's going back to school (and back to crappy food) any day now. There will be pictures.
You should see some of this stuff. Really, it's appalling. And the amount of trash that each lunch generates is absurd. Everything is in individual cardboard trays with plastic overwrap. Whatever happened to hairnetted lunch ladies slinging ladels full of green beans onto plastic trays with little dividers?
When my sister was teaching first grade, I took the girls up so they could be her show & tell, and we had lunch with her in the cafeteria. I'll never forget that they were serving nachos (which consisted of a plastic bag of chips, with 1/2 cup of nacho "cheese" (it probably bore no genetic resemblance to actual cheese), and 1/2 cup of some kind of seasoned beef (or "beef," perhaps) as an entree. YEURGH!
When the pretty babies are in full-day school, I intend to let them choose one day per week to buy a "hot lunch" (as we called it, back in the day) and to have them pack the other 4 days a week. One day a week probably won't kill them, and then they'll see pizza, chicken nuggets, burgers and fries, and nachos (!!!) for what they are - treats that should be eaten only rarely, not healthy, nutritious, balanced meals to fuel growing bodies!
I was talking with my mom about this issue today, and she mentioned that Michelle Obama, is working on the school lunch issue, too. I hope she succeeds. I didn't breastfeed these kids for 28 months and 22 months, respectively, only to have them fed nothing but crap on weekdays from the time they're 6 until they are 18.
I just spoke with Megan, and she mentioned that her students (1st Grade) went to lunch at 10:50, and that the school required them to bring a snack to eat at 9:30 am. Megan had to resort to rewarding kids who brought healthy snacks, because too many of them brought chips, Little Debbies, donuts, etc. Can you imagine dealing with 25 or 30 first graders who have just pounded back 50 grams of sugar? I sure can't. I know I have trouble staying awake and concentrating when I eat crap... I can't imagine what it's like for growing children!
When I was in school I had terrible problems with low blood sugar - problems that I no longer have as an adult. I suffered from frequent migraine headaches. (I still get hormonal migraines, but not the random ones I got back then, and not with the frequency I used to get them). Sometimes I even got faint or loopy, depending on what I had eaten. There's one particularly memorable occasion when I had eaten nothing but a hot fudge sundae all day (come on, I was a teenager! I could fill a book with what I didn't know...) and I couldn't remember how to get home from work (at McDonald's, where I got the sundae). Even scarier - I was behind the wheel of a car at the time, in the town where I'd lived my entire life, and I was only half a mile from home. I wonder how much school food played a role in my low blood sugar and associated migraines and loopiness, and whether the lack of school food in my adult life is what has cured me.
Have you got school aged kids? Have you given school lunches any thought? How does the school lunch menu affect your dinner menu, or does it? How would you rate your school district's lunch program?
(I know it's a pain to have to log in to comment, and I'm sorry... Maybe if you're all very good and you leave excellent comments for a couple weeks, I'll turn anonymous commenting back on.)