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Elementary School Lunches

I am a college student and I mentor a third grader. Today I was with him during lunch. Guess what he had? Frozen pizza, pumkin spice dessert, dried cherries, Bread sticks with cheeese, and Lettuce W/high fat ranch dressing packets. I talked to the lunch woman about all the fat and sodium in the food and she just said that they follow the guidlines. The kids have to take the all the food especially the fruit whether they eat it or not. Most of the food went into the trash. They had 15 minutes from the time they entered the cafeteria to the time they were dismissed for recess to eat. It was beyond crazy. Guess who has an appointment with the principal tomarrow?

by Anonymousreply 6912/21/2012

Sounds like they have not adopted the new guidelines yet.

by Anonymousreply 210/02/2012

I'm surprised the OP did not announce she is "tudoring" the students in English.

by Anonymousreply 310/02/2012

No my grammar is not great. college is not as easy for me as it was for my parents but I get by. I think what I'm saying is still legible though. Mandatory fruit is the "new guidlines" R2. Not much else seems to have changed. The kids do not get healthy meals and even if they did they don't seem to have the time or desire to eat it. That's what I saw.

by Anonymousreply 410/02/2012

Ask the principal why the school hasn't adopted the new federal school lunch guidelines implemented across the country last week.

by Anonymousreply 510/02/2012

And the principal can do nothing for you OP. It isn't the principal's fault. It isn't the lunch lady's fault. Lunch menus are a combination of what the school district decides and what is permissible by the federal government.

by Anonymousreply 610/02/2012

Back in my day we considered ketchup a vegetable!

by Anonymousreply 710/02/2012

That would actually make some sense. Ketchup is at least eaten a bit. Vegetables get dumped in the trash. It's insane how much money is spent to fill up trash bins.

by Anonymousreply 810/02/2012

They have recess still? I know some schools did away with P.E. Is that the replacement? Ive heard some schools have fast food in the cafeterias now. Taco Bell or ranch dressing packet and lettuce leaf.....at least if they throw it out they will reduce their calories.

by Anonymousreply 910/02/2012

Yes they have 15 minutes for lunch followed by 15 minutes of recess. I think they have GYM as well.

by Anonymousreply 1010/02/2012

I saw something about this on TV recently. Jon Stewart maybe? Middle school and high school students have been complaining of hunger following changes in the school lunch program. One school even made a video with students saying how hungry and feeble they were. This was contrasted with how much food the students were throwing in the trash cans.

I don't have kids, so I haven't been involved with school lunches in decades. But providing healthy lunches kids will eat seems to be an eternal struggle. If it's actually harder these days to find the balance, I suspect it's because more American adults rely on prepared food. Cooking from scratch seems to be a luxury to some people and an oddity to others. Really, if parents feed their children a steady diet of chicken nuggets and Go-gurt tubes, they'll be trained to eat a diet of over-processed, high-fat, high-sodium food.

by Anonymousreply 1110/02/2012

Why not suggest the kid pack his lunch? If you depend on government controlled mass produced lunches at discount prices expect crap. Seriously.

by Anonymousreply 1210/02/2012

OK then OP. Benefit of doubt here, since you seem earnest beyond sense and discretion.

If you're proceeding on this, before bothering the principal with an uninformed rant that leaves you looking dumb and results in a call to your university, please:

Consult the current federal state and regulations for your area;

Consult the school district staff person responsible for food services - these people are usually degreed nutritionists;

Talk with the staff person actually responsible for the food service at the school about policies, history and plans for the future already in place;

Check into what is being served at breakfast. You DO know about federal programs, right. And NSLP, the proportion of students receiving free meals at the school, etc?

Got the picture, cookie?

by Anonymousreply 1310/02/2012

R13, Packing school lunches is workable ONLY if the packer knows basic nutrition. You would be surprised at what many adults don't know, and refuse to learn. OP maybe you could start by giving your bud lessons in health.

by Anonymousreply 1410/02/2012

When I did an internship years ago, I had to spend time at several Chicago Public Schools. I remember one day, one kid didn't eat his grilled cheese sandwich which I found bizarre since they were favorites when I was in elementary school. He said it was soggy. It was wet looking so I picked it up and managed to wring the sandwich. Yes, oil dripped from it. How can such a lunch mainstay be ruined like this? Protein, calcium, grain? No. The most salient thing about that sandwich was grease. This was around the time CPS began to outsource lunch prep, so the cheapest contracters with the best kickbacks probably got the bids.

by Anonymousreply 1510/02/2012

The kid sounds like a moocher

by Anonymousreply 1610/02/2012

[quote] pumpkin spice dessert

Kids do not like pumpkin. Why don't they at least serve something children like?

I'm 45 and after 7th grade I never ate school lunches. They were gross. Even before 7th grade I only eat certain things (bread, milk, salad). The cooked food was disgusting. Nasty sloppy joes, bizarre looking "pizza", fish sticks and other gross stuff. We didn't chicken nuggets back then. I probably would have eaten them.

by Anonymousreply 1710/02/2012

All I know is that apparently our local schools have implemented the new guidelines. I hear from several Facebook friends with kids..."Fuck Michelle Obama and her healthy food!" They are complaining about fruit and healthy foods their kids don't like being forced down there throats....and of course its Obama's fault!

by Anonymousreply 1810/02/2012

I do think some schools needs to give a longer lunch break. I visited my 2nd grade niece at school and by the time she went through the lunch time she only had a few minutes to eat. She usually is a good eater but she barely had time to eat and ended up throwing half her food away.

by Anonymousreply 1910/02/2012

OP misspelled "pumpkin," and R1 misused "hopefully." This is a thread for illiterates.

by Anonymousreply 2210/02/2012

I work in a high school with kids who get free lunch. It is one small gross entree and one piece of fruit. It's a pretty pathetic offering.

by Anonymousreply 2310/02/2012

I'm in college too OP, and I think you need to stay out it. Bring it up to the child's parents.

by Anonymousreply 2410/02/2012

R22, allow me to correct you: AMERICANS are EATEN by fat pigs.

by Anonymousreply 2510/02/2012

Unless you are a parent of a student or property owner that pays school tax it's really not your business. But if you must, take it up with the director of food services. My school district has a registered dietician in charge of meals. She issued this letter in response to the new federal rules.

by Anonymousreply 2610/03/2012

Maybe the girl lead in "One of the Guys" was on to something when she wrote about the nutrional value of the school's lunches.

by Anonymousreply 2710/03/2012

[quote]Kids do not like pumpkin. Why don't they at least serve something children like?

You can be sure there's no actual pumpkin in "pumpkin spice dessert," just sugar and artificial flavors.

by Anonymousreply 2810/03/2012

1.) What is "pumpkin spice dessert"? Is it a pumpkin bread, is it a muffin, is it a spoonful of gelatinous canned pumpkin pie mix, is it pumpkin pudding?

2.) My son complained throughout jr high school of the short amount of time they were allowed for lunch. By the time the assholes in class quieted down and everyone finally got served,, he had about 5 minutes to eat. And he said it was the same asshole kids who were disruptive every single day and the whole grade had to suffer instead of the principal and teachers removing the disruptive kids, letting everyone else get lunch, then letting the asshole kids get lunch. When I was in jr teachers patrolled the lunchroom. Now teachers no longer do this. It's not part of their job description and the school asks parents to do it. What parent is going to mess with the asshole kids (who are destined to become gang members), knowing their kid will be singled out and punished by the assholes?

3.) My son is guilty of everything they say about kids and school lunch. He shuns anything healthful. I've tried salads, fruits and vegetables all sorts of ways and be won't eat them at home or at school. My partner does not think good nutrition is worth a struggle and let's him eat pizza and chicken fingers and shun healthful food. It's my partner's socio-religious background which can be summed up as "Give the kid whatever he wants as long as he eats. He needs to eat! Don't pressure him! Don't make him nervous or uncomfortable over food! He is the most wonderful child on the planet, let him do what he wants!"

I have lost out on the clash of nutritional values since my son's babyhood. and yes, he is now overweight. I can only hope he develops a more sophisticated palate beyond white rice, buttered pasta, pizza, hot dogs and fried chicken product.

by Anonymousreply 2910/03/2012

When I was a kid and got to spend a few years in public jr high, I loved that I could buy a hot lunch. I ate everything except jello. I hate jello.

My mom was a horrible cook. Aside from that, she wasn't home 4 nights a week, so we had tv dinners those nights. Ask then there were only 3 tv dinners -- turkey, fried chicken bones and Salisbury steak. And all of them got covered in liquid cranberry sauce or apple dessert that boiled over and leaked into all the food.

I'd spent elementary school in catholic school which meant lunch came from home in a brown bag. By the time lunch period came along, there were grease spots on the bag and the sandwiches had been lying around fermenting. Tuna,, baloney or bread and butter were my sandwich choices.

When I went to public school for a few years and could have meat loaf that was't filled with dried-out green peppers and burnt to a blackened crisp on the outside, I was delighted. Meat without a stomach ache! Whoo-hoo! I couldn't understand why the other kids made jokes about "mystery meat" and dead dog stew. The food tasted really good to me. Spaghetti with meatballs made with pasta that hadn't turned to mush from being over boiled? Bring it on, baby. Canned cling peaches? I'll eat yours if you don't want them.

by Anonymousreply 3010/03/2012

Glad to have lived through the era of crumbling up saltines in a chili bowl and enjoying that big cinnamon roll for dessert.

by Anonymousreply 3110/03/2012

I had the same experience as R31 with my elementary school lunches. My mother wasn't such a great cook to begin with, very basic just salt and pepper and she cut salt out entirely when my father developed high blood pressure. Eating around my house was an annoyance and a chore because I had to finish everything on my plate. Beyond her fried potatoes, everything was usually overcooked, tastless, and repetitive. Frozen dinners would have been a treat!

School lunches were a feast for me. Mind you, back in the '70s the quality of the food was much better even if they were packaged or prepared foods like fish sticks. We actually did get home cooked stuff like real spaghetti sauce or open-faced turkey sandwiches.

by Anonymousreply 3210/03/2012

What happened to taking a cheese sandwich and an apple to school?

by Anonymousreply 3310/03/2012

OP, I commend you for being concerned about the garbage food being served to children.

I think you are a great person to be concerned and to meet with the principal about the lack of nutrition.

That garbage food is actually doing harm to children.

by Anonymousreply 3512/13/2012

r35, you are a freak.

by Anonymousreply 3612/13/2012

[quote] When I was in jr teachers patrolled the lunchroom. Now teachers no longer do this. It's not part of their job description and the school asks parents to do it.

Speaking as a teacher, I can tell you this. We have two twenty minute lunch periods. One of them is considered my lunch period. The other is supposed to be some planning time. I don't take the time to eat lunch and I plan on my own time though. During one of them, I tutor kids who are struggling in math. During the other, I use the time to let kids get caught up on homework they've missed.

What do you suggest I do?

by Anonymousreply 3712/13/2012

R38-

Quit. Schools have become nothing but training grounds for prison, or for mindless drones.

by Anonymousreply 3812/14/2012

I loved school lunches. I ate any vegetable it came with (often a small salad or celery or carrots with peanut butter.) I drank milk. I ate every bit, no exceptions.. Kids these days are spoiled little fatasses. By the time I hit middle school, candy, chips, and soda were sold in school. I had a friend that drank 3 cherry comes daily. I can't think of any reason that garage should be available.

by Anonymousreply 3912/14/2012

*Cokes. Autocorrect made my childhood friend sound like a whore.

by Anonymousreply 4012/14/2012

What I find most horrifying is...

Not a single one of you illiterate bitches can spell a goddamn thing. How the fuck has this happened?! I mean, really, who cares what the children are eating if they're just going to grow up to be barely literate fucktards who can't spell simple words?

My god, how frightening this country is.

by Anonymousreply 4112/14/2012

You realize of course that the OP is the same troll who turns up here from time to time carrying on about causes dear to the hearts of the right wingers.

This post is so obviously phony. OP is a freeper. Ignore him.

by Anonymousreply 4212/14/2012

It's because the USDA are in the pay of the food lobbies, essentially. The USDA sets the school guidelines - schools have to buy a set amount of certain foodstuffs, and each child has to take x amount of items of each foodstuff, in order for that school to receive funding - but the USDA exists to protect the interests of US agriculture, they don't give a shit about child health. Plus there is an incestuous relationship between Big Food and the USDA with many execs crossing between the USDA and various food lobbies. For example one of the top people in the USDA used to be a dairy lobby exec.

The big food lobbies are extremely powerful and aggressive and have a lot of money to throw around - the Sugar Lobby Association, for example, has forced the US government to alter health guidelines stating sugar is something that should only be eaten in moderation, create subsidies for US sugar suppliers, impose strict limits on imported sugar, and create mandates for the USDA to buy all surplus US sugar.

So for example, if US dairies are having a bad year (and dairy sales have been dropping due to the increase in allergies/fear of allergies and the growing popularity of things like soya and almond milk), the USDA has to buy all their excess milk, and in turn they tell the schools (and also prisons) that they have to buy all that extra milk or lose their funding. It's a total scam. That's why school meal rules so heavily emphasize dairy and wheat, but not alternatives - they get funding for giving kids milk and wheat products because dairy and wheat have the most powerful lobbies, but no funding for giving almond milk or rice products. Health and well being does not enter the equation at all.

It really is appalling and I'm horrified it's not a bigger scandal. The relationship between government and Big Food is rife with corruption and abuse of power.

by Anonymousreply 4312/14/2012

I'm with r42.

by Anonymousreply 4412/14/2012

R43 his a hall monitor the most hated of trolls, Kill it.

by Anonymousreply 4712/14/2012

R44, yet another reason to home school.

Well, that and twenty some dead kids due to some psycho.

by Anonymousreply 4812/14/2012

Here in NJ schools used to have cafeteria staff who prepared lunches in working kitchens,often with a supervisor well aware of nutritional needs of children. Twenty five years ago my students had healthy lunches, with real whole fruit, and vegetables. Now, due to union busting and cost conserving measures, most of the cafeteria services are outsourced. Schools have a skeleton staff who unload and serve prepackaged meals.

by Anonymousreply 4912/14/2012

R30, Please don't allow any kid to get overweight. There are healthier versions of fast food, ie low fat cheese pizza with extra veggies, pan fried chicken fingers. There are even cookbooks teaching parents how to make very healthy meatloaf. Then spend weekends doing some form of physical activity together. Make it fun.

by Anonymousreply 5012/14/2012

It was crumbled up cornbread in my chili bowl, R32. We would get huge slices of Texas toast with cinnamon for breakfast, too.

by Anonymousreply 5112/14/2012

[quote]I am a college student and I mentor a third grader.

pervert.

by Anonymousreply 5212/14/2012

R52, Chili, if made with a high proportion of tomatoes, spices, and beans to meat is a very healthy and economical option. Did you know that cinnamon is also good for you, and will reduce your sugar cravings?

by Anonymousreply 5312/15/2012

It was yummy chili, R54.

We would bust a gut if we found chocolate milk instead of the regular whole milk, too.

The tiny cups of grape juice were a treat as well.

My brothers and I qualified for free lunches for pretty much the whole time we were in school.

All the lunches were prepared at the cafeteria. The lunch ladies would come in at some ungodly hour to prepare everything.

by Anonymousreply 5412/15/2012

Heaven forbid a parent should pack a kid a lunch like my mother did.

by Anonymousreply 5512/16/2012

[quote] tomarrow

Hopefully the third grader will return the favor and help with your spelling.

by Anonymousreply 5612/16/2012

I ate cheese sandwiches by choice! I love American processed cheese food product. Kids these days.

by Anonymousreply 5712/16/2012

My fondest cafeteria memories from elementary school are the home made yeast rolls and government butter they served. And we always had codfish on Friday, even though there were only 3 or 4 catholics at our school.

by Anonymousreply 5812/16/2012

I was in high school during the 90s and remember the God awful lunches we had. I had asshole parents who were living off of inheritance money & cheated the system to qualify me for free lunch since it wasn't considered income.

My school had a salad bar, which is what I usually ended up going with, but it was shredded iceberg lettuce, semi-ripened tomatoes, frozen cucumbers and shredded carrots with buckets of croutons, bacos and shredded cheese. The only dressing choice was high fat Ranch. The alternative was usually burned pizza, frankenmeat burgers intact with blue ink marks from the butcher or spaghetti that was so overcooked that it more closely resembled pudding. Green bananas were the only fruit option.

I remember only having 15 minutes to eat and to this day, I still wolf down my food out of instinct. I'm honestly amazed that I'm in such great shape and am healthy after the disgusting lessons in eating I was given by my school and parents.

by Anonymousreply 5912/16/2012

OP, unforgettably, the Principal can't/won't do much. The school board may be prompted by the PTA's of ALL the schools in that particular school system. Better yet, your state legislators would have more influence. You have a huge struggled ahead of you...I think your concern is admirable.

by Anonymousreply 6012/16/2012

If they waste the food that's money down the drain--do away with the school lunch program, they can bring something from home. It was similar with the airlines, they heard the bitching about "airline food" and noticed the obligatory waste of food so did away with it and now one has to pay for any food they want on flights or else bring some food along if you want any. I, for one, didn' mind airline food at all and never wasted one drop or crumb as it is my money that has paid for it and the average person has to work for what money he/she has. Although I will agree that a 15 minute lunch period is idiotic, it needs to be at least the length of a class period.

by Anonymousreply 6112/16/2012

God, reading this makes me happy that my brother home schools his kids, and that my aunt has decided (post Sandy Hook) to pull her sons out of school.

These schools(sic) are just holding pens, designed to control them, not educate.

by Anonymousreply 6212/19/2012

Christina dear once never finished her tuna sandwich, well she learned her lesson when it appeared for one week on her dinner plate

by Anonymousreply 6312/19/2012

We should just make the kids eat pussy or ass for lunch.

by Anonymousreply 6412/19/2012

OP, I'm a parent. That is par for the course, the lunch food and the amount that is wasted. Except for fat kids--who bring high-salt foods, most kids won't eat everything on their lunch trays. I used to help out at lunch opening drinks and other packets. The schools are terrible about allowing a decent amount of time for lunch. Most the kids scarf down what they can stand and want to sprint to recess.

by Anonymousreply 6512/20/2012

R66

I hope you will look at the tragedy in CT and realize that home schooling your kids is better than sending them to prison 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

by Anonymousreply 6612/20/2012

Things were much better in the good old days of my youth. I was in public schools from 1960 until 1972. Almost every day we had freshly baked yeast rolls with a pat of real butter, and together with the milk, that was considerable nutrition which almost everbody liked. Our cafeteria ladies were very hard working, all of them had children or grandchildren in school with us, and they prepared good food for us. Much of the food was from USDA surplus commodities, and the vegetables were just opened up from the giant cans, and not as good as we had at home. But the entrees were usually very good---meatloaf, chicken and spaghetti, baked ham, roast chicken with dressing, meatballs in gravy over mashed potatoes. On Fridays, lunch would alternate between fish sticks and tuna salad. There was always a good dessert---a brownie, a homemade style cookie, and often peanut butter balls which someone invented to use government commodities of peanut butter, powdered milk, and honey. I was spoiled by my parents' home cooking, but we had pretty good food at school also.

by Anonymousreply 6712/20/2012
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