Aren’t you just dying to know what else has me anxious about next school year? Part 1 was here…
It’s the food. Yes, you read that right, I’m worried about FOOD.
While I’m not a health-nut, I am pretty conscious about what I feed my kids. There are very few things with trans-fat in them in our home; I try to stay away from HFCS and artificial coloring. The kids get several servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and lots of protein and fiber. However, they do also typically eat “kid fare” at lunch: grilled cheese, pb&j, turkey and cheese wraps, etc. We do eat some fast food, but it’s pretty limited.
But school lunch? It’s the worst. I read this article in Parenting magazine about the state of school lunches in this country, and it left me feeling really grossed-out. If you have a few minutes, and young kids, I highly recommend reading it. No wonder our nation is full of overweight kids. No wonder “adult-onset” diabetes isn’t just happening to adults anymore, and it’s not even referred to as “adult-onset” anymore.
A typical week’s worth of lunch at Luke’s school looks like this:
Mini corndogs, baked beans, pears OR salad platter (available daily, but what self-respecting first grader is going to choose that over corndogs, I ask you?)
Pizza day – all of the local pizza places alternate providing pizza on Tuesdays. A fruit and vegetable is also served.
Beef taco salad or soft-shell taco, peach cup, chocolate chip cookie. Never mind all that. I’m sure he’d choose the salad platter.
Breaded chicken patty on bun, mashed potatoes with gravy, jello with topping. Or, there’s always the salad platter.
Chicken wings with hot sauce, potato wedges, fruit crisp. SALAD SALAD SALAD!
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Can’t you just picture the peaches swimming in heavy syrup? And the soggy fried potato wedges? Oh, and DAILY they also have Landshire sandwiches (think vending machine food) available in 2 meat/cheese combinations, and hot dogs and cheeseburgers, as well as cheese bread.
I have a plan in mind to attempt a healthier lunch and to compromise with my boy, who will want to eat at school sometimes (he and I have already discussed this somewhat). Of course, this may need some revision as time goes on, but having a plan will give me peace of mind until then. I’m planning to let him choose one day a week to eat at school, and I fully expect that he will choose pizza day. Which really, is fine with me…not the worst choice he could make. And, of course, I’m going to let him pick out a lunch box (the eco-friendly girl in me would love to see him get a bento box of some sort to not throw away so much plastic, but we’ll see what we find), and I want to take him grocery shopping with me from time to time to pick out foods that he’ll eat.
Now I just have to get over my own laziness about packing his lunch (which I plan to do the night before so that I’m not scurrying around the kitchen in the morning).
Any suggestions from other moms (or dads!) about school lunch? And you do think I’m a total weirdo?