Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Hot Lunch Issue

This was in the news a few weeks ago: schools giving children a "reduced" lunch if they haven't paid for the hot lunch. What's wrong with that? Why should the students be given anything if they haven't paid for it or been approved for a free lunch? That girl was lucky to get a cheese sandwich.

Our school doesn't have a cafeteria. The hot lunches are made by the high school ROP class. Every day we get the exact number of lunches that are paid for or on the program, no extras. Which can be a problem if the child drops it on the ground. Then we go to the lunch lady and hope that someone else is absent.

And they don't eat the darn food anyway. I do lunch duty every day at our school, and it is appalling how much food the kids throw away. And it's decent food, it's not disgusting. One of the administrators ate the hot lunches for 6 weeks to be sure that it was tolerable food.

The other week, there were 6 vegetables into the chicken chow mein lunch: green beans, peas, carrots, red bell pepper, celery, bean sprouts. It looked good to me, but most of the kids were challenged.

Today they wouldn't eat the yummy dried cranberries.

Here's another food related pet peeve -- parents, please just cut the crusts off the sandwiches and your kids will be willing to eat a lot more. When they tear the crusts off themselves (and they will!) they waste so much.

Oh, oh and another peeve. When they don't have enough food in their lunchbox, they complain to ME! What am I, a vending machine? I say, "tell your Mom or Dad you'd like extra food tomorrow."

Thanks for letting me rant. Anything you'd like to rant about today?


Jen on the Edge said...

I hate how much waste our school kitchen produces. And also how much processed food they serve the kids. Unfortunately, in our school, the lunches haven't improved much over the years. Thus, my girls have never once bought a lunch, preferring instead to help make their own every day.

Vanessa said...

I never understood the crust thing, to me it was always the best part of the sandwich. Regarding the waste, is there a certain amount of food each child on the hot lunch program must be given? Perhaps reduced portions would result in less waste?

jenn said...

I have to say, our school does pretty well with the lunches: whole wheat crust on the pizza, salad bar, etc. My kids probably buy twice a week & pack from home the rest.

My rant today is selfish and minor, but why, WHY must humidity make my hair look like Medusa's?

Christy said...

I am amazed at how much my boys are willing to try and eat. (They are only 2.5 and 1.5 so this might change.) But then again I introduce them to foods regularly and don't just give them junk when they refuse to eat the healthy good stuff. I will set it aside and try again a little while later. My nephew is highly overweight (not that I have room to talk on that issue but I am trying to improve my health for the sake of my boys) and my inlaws just give him the junk food because they don't want him to be hungry. If only they realized that he will eventually eat the healthier options if they didn't cave so easily. Anyhow. I remember how much food was wasted at school when I was a kid, it is a shame that has to happen.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I think that all the eating out that families do has ruined kids when it comes to eating. If you are always given the exact food you desire, you never learn to eat what you are given.

My rant--that my entire extended family went out for Mexican food and my BIL stopped for hot wings for my nephew which he brought into the restaurant. Argh!