Thursday, October 6, 2011

Healthy School Lunch?

My 9yo begs me every day to make home lunch. I usually try to make him a healthy lunch but some days it is just too crazy and he has to eat school lunch. I hated school lunch as a child but I'm always arguing with my boys that school lunch is tastier and healthier now (but my memory isn't always too reliable).

Next week is National School Lunch Week, "Let's Grow Healthy". My 9yo brought home the schedule of lunches for the week. As we reviewed the menu we both laughed and laughed. Four of the five days the main dish was grease - pizza, corn dogs, deep-fried chicken sandwich, and breaded beef patty. Some of the side dishes were nutritious but not all. My 9yo said, "They think that's healthy!"

We're not big deep-fried fans. Ice cream may be essential but you'd be hard-pressed to find corn dogs or chicken nuggets in our freezer (there's no room with all the ice cream). So I had to concede that my son only had to eat school lunch on spaghetti and meatballs day (guess I'll have to be more organized in the morning).

I've heard that for some children school lunch is the healthiest and most complete meal they eat all day. That's a bit disturbing when you look over the menus.

What are your thoughts? I know children enjoy deep-fried foods. Am I being too extreme to hope that they would be the exception rather than the rule at school lunch? How does your school lunch rate?


  1. Cami, I feel like my kids waste most of what I'm paying for. They usually on like one or two items offered. With 2 kids in middle school, one highschool and an elementary student I pay out over $170 a month for school lunch to have them come home hungry. I would LOVE to see some healthy lunch ideas curculate with sensible items other than sandwiches... we tire of those way too fast! Another topic that intrigues me is a school garden where the kids help grow fresh produce and incorporate it in school lunch... Thanks for your thoughts!!!

  2. I love the school garden idea. I'm going to suggest that to our wonderful principal.
    I feel bad complaining but it was just too funny when he showed me the menu for the healthy week. My middle-schooler has informed me that it's not cool to have home lunch, so we do school lunch for him. I cannot imagine paying for four!
    Thanks for stopping by,

  3. Well I could post a big lecture, but I will let the evidence speak for itself. My twelve year old started public school last year at eleven years old as a skinny twig of a boy. By the time December rolled around he had everyone calling him pudgy, rolly polly, jolly old st. nick etc. we switched back to private school in January where we had to make home lunches again and he immediately dropped 10 lbs. He is at a healthy weight and growing well. School lunches and health are an oxymoron...

  4. Wow. I am sorry your son had to go through that, especially in middle school! My 12yo has been gaining weight this year too, the funny thing is I hadn't even thought about school lunch until he told me last night that he eats pizza every day. Time to have a little talk about healthy choices.
    Thanks for your input, Brooke.

  5. Cami--How have I not found you until now??? We have the opposite issue over here. Kids want hot lunch, but I only let them have it once a week. The good news is our school also just started a salad bar option. And, they have a new program where they try to serve local produce. They're trying, but yeah, still a lot of fried food!

  6. It's so good to see you, Kara!
    I feel bad bagging on school lunch because I know our school is trying too. The problem I see (at home as well as school) is they bypass the fruits and vegetables unless someone forces them to take them. Cute kids anyway!