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Thread: School Lunches
01-04-2006, 08:26 PM #1
Just out of curiosity, why do so many kids take their lunch instead of eating
at the school cafeteria? My daughter will be starting first grade this fall
and we planned to have her eat at the school cafeteria. I understand if the
school did not have a cafeteria, but is their something wrong with school food
I should know about? Or do your kiddos just prefer to bring their own lunch?
With us being a one income family, we will qualify for a reduced or even free
lunch which is why we planned to have her eat there.
From: "SHAMEL DANDAL" <dvictor>
Date: Thu May 29, 2003 12:23 am
Subject: School lunches
01-04-2006, 08:26 PM #2
Oft en there is something wrong with the school food that you should know
about --- it is amazing, but many also seem to take advantage of children's
food, acting as if nutrition and proper preparation is nothing important!
Out here in California, school cafetaria's were popped for buying cheap
foreign strawberries, when you opened them up often they were moldy ---
awhile back some idiots tried to consider pickles and ketchup "vegetables"
-- trying to do away with more proper vegetables. And of course out here,
many schools are putting in fast food outlets in schools for money-----at a
time when we are told again and again that our kids are getting obese!
I would have no problem with fast food on campuses IF they made most of it
reasonably healthy (like maybe McDonald's regular old cheeseburgers, which I
still love) ---- or limited it to once in a while.
01-04-2006, 08:26 PM #3
My son is in the third grade and hates the school lunch. I do make him lunch
and on a daily basis I get "the kids wanted my lunch again." Sometimes it even
gets to the point that the teachers get involved because the kids are taking
each other's lunches. I give my son a verity of foods but give him snacks that
I buy in bulk at Costco or Sam's. The teachers are telling parents to limit
the snakes till the end of the year because some parents can't afford snacks or
send it with their kids and expect the school to feed there kids.
I do qualify for the free lunches since we are also a one family income but
my son will not touch the stuff. I see sometimes the lunches that the school
prepares and believe me I would not eat it as well myself. I also see how much
food they waste on a daily basis. He cannot bring home the milk if he does not
drink it and if the kids don't drink it they throw it out. I wish they would
allow the parents of the kids even to bring the milk or even the fruit home.
I look forward to speaking and hearing from you soon!
01-04-2006, 08:27 PM #4
I'm not sure where you all live, but I had 3 kids go through the school
lunches. Our program must be alittle odd. The kids LOVED school lunches,
when we had parents day, I never had a complaint. There were a few thing
that they didn't like and would take a lunch that day. But the days they
served chili, my son would get 2 lunches in junior high and high school! It
is that good. My sister's girls won't even try school lunches, so she put
spagetti o's heated in a little thermus, or soup. She does the mac & cheese
too. Anything she can think of to get her girls to eat. If you fill your
thermus with hot water while you are fixing the rest of the lunch, it seems
to help hold the heat a little bit better.
01-04-2006, 08:27 PM #5
Our school lunches are great. The kids get healthy portions and variety. The
reason that they would take a lunch would just be because they didn't like
what was on the menu that day. Many people don't get free or reduced lunches and
it is cheaper to send a lunch then pay up to $2.00 a day or more.
01-04-2006, 08:27 PM #6
Melissa, some children don't like the prepared schools at food. Some parents
don't either. Although the nutrional guidelines are set by the government.
Take note, catsup is now a veggie not a condiment according to the gov't
Price is another factor. Lunches here in Milwaukee WI at the elementary level
are $1.85 each. WOW. I can pack a lunch for less than 1/4 of that.
Something to factor.
01-04-2006, 08:28 PM #7
I know there has been a big stink recently in the Metro Atlanta area about
school lunches, embezzlement and nutrition. It boggles my mind that BIG
vending machines are in the cafeteria and on campus and are operational
during lunch times in the High School and Jr. High. So many kids are eating
out of the vending machines -it's sad. At the High School by us they kids
have no less than 4 specialty windows to choose from plus the regular line.
I also know that the kids only have *maybe* 20 minutes to get to the lunch
room, get their lunch, eat and get back to class. The lines can take 20
minutes. So many eat from the vending machine or have their bag lunch to
simply save time and have time to eat.
At the elementary level the kids have too many choices for the basic meal
and then there are add ons. There many be perfectly lovely fruit and yogurt
trays the kids can eat or there is pizza and fries or chicken and veggies.
Guess what all the kids eat? Yup, the pizza and fries. Then they go back
and buy two Dove ice cream bars. Or they buy the lunch and dump it so they
can go up and get the junk food extras. The cafeterias require that the
kids eat meal before they get the junk...well who watches to make sure they
eat it? Nobody. Even if the staff *knows* they didn't eat it they can't do
a thing about it because they kids are playing inside the rule's boundaries.
At any rate...knowing I probably couldn't count on my child resisting
temptation to eat the right thing I would pack a lunch. As it is, my DD's
school doesn't have lunch room/kitchen facilities (very small private
school) so I *have* to send in her lunch every day.
I vaguely remember something about the embezzlement being tied to the
government lunch programs... not entirely sure. (I can't access the story
without paying to look at it in the Stacks in the Atlanta Journal &
For your DD going into school next year, find out how their lunch room works
and how many choices there are. You may need to help her understand what
she is allowed to eat and what she isn't. Good luck!
Date: Thu May 29, 2003 11:59 am
Subject: RE: Budget101.com : School lunches
01-04-2006, 08:28 PM #8
At my dd8's school, they have two choices for lunch if they are eating cafeteria
food. They have a menu that they bring home every month and so they know what
their food choices are. I have to admit that we usually start the school yr by
packing lunches and then end up buying them. Now that I am only working part
time, I think that we'd qualify for free or reduced lunches, but I didn't bother
applying halfway through the yr. In the fall when I'll have two kids in school
I'll probably apply. One other thing I like is that they are only allowed to buy
ice cream 1 or 2 days a week - they alternate by grades. So there is a limit to
the junk food they can buy. I think it would help if more parents got involved
with telling the schools what they want.
01-04-2006, 08:28 PM #9
Askk your school if they can give you a sample menu and nutritional info. My
only complaint with school lunches in our area is that they tend to be higher
fat than I would like and offer very little by way of veggies. I figure I'll
just have to compensate for that the other meals at home on the days my dd eats
01-04-2006, 08:29 PM #10
If you can get reduced or free lunches, then I would say that cafeteria
lunches are definitely the way to go, too. But, when my son goes to school his
lunch would be $1.50 a day. I can pack him a lunch for under $. 50. I think that
this is why we are all so gung ho on sack lunches.