School Lunches

 

Dr.Mazes FarmThis is just a short little anecdote that happened this morning. I make my kids’ lunches everyday but my older one is in middle school now where he can also get something there if he so desires~ a mango smoothie, Doritos, or whatever he feels is missing from his lunch that day. I’m not thrilled with his options which seem to include every chip that has ever graced a grocery store shelf, but I do not tell him things are off-limits because really, he could get whatever he wanted and I’d never know. I encourage him to try things while being aware of what is actually in his food. This morning he asked, “If they want us to eat healthy, why do they provide so much junk food?” A very good question indeed. They make the kids who buy a full lunch take raw veggies from the salad bar, as if that will balance out the meal, but of course kids just throw away what they don’t want. Salad bars are great in lunch rooms, but sometimes I think they give permission to make the rest of the food nutritionally void and allow vending machines full of junk in the cafeteria. My son has a very good point, why allow that stuff at all? Why not make foods with veggies naturally in them~ soups, lasagna, enchiladas, tacos, casseroles, chilies, stir fries, etc…? Actually, I heard about a school cafeteria that has a stir fry bar which I think is better than a salad bar by far. The kids pick out meat and veggies and have them stir fried with rice or noodles while trying different sauces and flavors and most likely trying different veggies as they compare lunches with their friends. It’s eating a meal with the vegetable in it and enjoying it, not plopping some raw veggies down next to their pizza and either eating them because of a sense of duty or just pitching them. Plus everyone knows it is easier to get the nutrition out of a cooked vegetable than a raw one. It seems the school cafeterias are set up to perpetuate the notion that kids only like junk food but will possibly eat some healthy stuff if they are made to do it in small amounts, on the side. That is not giving kids enough credit. They deserve more. 

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About kristenannmoore

Gluten free, mainly vegetarian herbalist living in beautiful Western Washington, but love to travel. My two boys have various other food intolerances including gluten, so I think and write about food quite a bit. Author of the children's book, The Knight Owl, which has it's own blog:http://theknightowlblog.wordpress.com/.
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5 Responses to School Lunches

  1. Krista Keehn says:

    Whole heartedly agree with this. Our lunches are pathetic from a nutritional standpoint and then even if they do buy, it does not usually come with everything it was supposed to. They have pizza Friday’s and it comes with no sides. They can choose to buy a side snack but it’s the same stuff (Doritos, Rice Krispie bar, etc.). No fruit or healthy choices. I’m very annoyed with this because it also gets old packing and giving them options. I would love for them to get a health hot meal!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. suzan says:

    It’s very true! My son’s school, which is a high honors school doesn’t have a true cafeteria. They have food service from an outside vendor and sometimes they try to make the food healthy, but we all know the kids don’t really eat the fruits of salads that come with the paid lunches 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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