Sunday, October 21, 2012

Celebrating National School Lunch Week

To celebrate National School Lunch week, I had school lunch with the girls.
Waiting in Line
I've talked about school lunch before and my concerns about the lack of protein and calories that our children are getting.  Since my last post (School Lunch Changes...) I've talked to many people in our school system, other parents and the kids who eat the lunch. For this post I am going to break down my lunch observations for this day. I plan to share the information I've gathered from my discussions in a different post soon.

The girls were thrilled I was joining them again for lunch. I picked a random day that worked for my schedule last week- Wednesday. The younger kids start lunch at 11:15. The menu: popcorn chicken, broccoli, fruit, milk & juice. Bread was also served with the meal.   Each child was asked if they would like broccoli and bread with their meal. They were not given a choice if they wanted fruit but what fruit they wanted: apricots or pineapple both from a can.  Observing the 8 kids in front of me none of them knew what apricots were- all took pineapple. They also could have juice and milk, that must be to get the full servings of fruit.

My Trey
I counted that 4 out of 25 in Miss O's class took broccoli and 5 out of 21 in Miss R's class tried the vegetable.  My girls didn't take the vegetable, at home they always eat broccoli. (In fact last year Miss R identified broccoli as her favorite food on her pre-school questionnaire- I achieved a Mom of the Year star). As you can see from my trey- I took the broccoli.  I love broccoli and there was cheese on it- bonus! Except there was no taste to the vegetable.  The girls informed me that they had tried the broccoli in the past and that is why they wouldn't make the mistake of taking it again.  As I forced myself to eat it, I kept thinking this would taste better if I had salt.  I had remembered one student I talked to being upset about not having salt to put on things anymore. She was going to start bringing her own to school to use.  Salt is the new bootleg item at school?
My Trey....Miss O's Trey

This picture gives you the comparison of my trey and Miss O's. She did take the bread, which according to the teacher is very popular item with the kids.

As I look at these treys, I don't see how this is promoting kids to eat more fruit and vegetables.  Miss O's trey was very representative of the others on her table. So, the kids are not getting filled on protein and are simply not taking all the fruits and vegetables offered so bottom line is they are going hungry.

Miss O ate all her food.  I could not choke down all of my broccoli but did eat the rest. By the time the kids got out of school that day I was starving. I now understand how come my kids come through the door ready to have a snack before we have our evening meal.

Go have school lunch and see what our kids are eating. We've got to stand up for them and let the ones who are making these rules in Washington DC know that their meals are leaving our kids short and being full is the cornerstone to learning.

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