Wednesday, December 10, 2008

School Lunch!

A girlfriend of mine from Leena Eats is doing an internship with the Healthy Schools Campaign, working on making the government sponsored school lunch program healthier. This Wednesday, December 10th, they are hosting a day of blogging called "Fresh Voices for Fresh Choices". I have been asked to create a post about school lunches, link you to a petition, and ask you to sign it.

I think of two things when it comes to school lunches.
First, about a month ago I had a girl's night with some other mom's from my son's preschool. Several of the mom's have older kids, already in grade, middle, and even high school. My oldest son is preschool, so a lot of the worries the more experienced mom's have don't pertain to me, yet. One mom mentioned her son was coming home from school with most of his lunch untouched. Even after asking him if she could tailor it to his tastes, he was brining it home. He told her he didn't have time to eat lunch. She finally took the time to go to school and actually have lunch with her kid. She found out he was right. By the time he got to his table, it was about to time get up and move onto class again. I was appalled! First, because I've never had to worry about anything like this yet, and it hadn't occured to me what lies ahead. Second, I don't know if I'd ever think to go and sit down with my kid at school, and I may have never figured out what was wrong. The mom I'm speaking of is thankfully working to fix the problem. I don't recall any such problems with time at my schools in the 80's and 90's.

The second thing I think of when I think about school lunch is my elementary school experience with sack lunchs. I was a picky eater as a child. I did not like sandwich meat, mayo, mustard, and some cheeses. I also did not like white bread (only Home Pride Wheat). My mom would make me a Bolonga sandwich with mustard and American cheese, and I'd send it right back home. I'd tell her, "Mom, I don't like meat, or mustard," and still, later that week, I'd get a repeat of the same ickiness. She didn't understand how I could have I liked my sandwich so dry. I finally told my mom to keep it to tuna, very easy on the mayo, on Home Pride Wheat bread. Nothing else. I ate the same sandwich every single day throughout elementary school, and I didn't mind one bit. I preferred with it with small bag of cheetoes, and all-natural fruit roll up, and I'd purchase a small chocolate milk from the milk cart. My grandmother sent me to school each morning with 15 cents from this tiny wooden box with lid. I have that box in dining room to this day. I can also remember this natural fruit roll up thing being a problem. I didn't like the boxed fruit roll-ups, the crazy fake fruit flavors like, "Blue Raspberry." I did enjoy the natural dried fruit roll-ups they sold in the produce department of our local Von's and Lucky's grocery stores. I begged for these things, and always tried to squeeze a few in our cart. They must have been more expensive, b/c I did not always win this battle. For most of my school experience, until high school, I ate lunchs from home, except for Chicken Patty day. We had a school lunch calendar and we would mark Chicken Patty daty, which came about twice a month. I'd get the Chicken Patty with a wheat bun and little ketchup. I did not get anything with it, b/c I did not like tater tots. Picky me.

So far with my kids I have not had to send any lunches with them. Ben's been in charge of the whole classes snack twice, and I've let him pick what he likes. The first time he picked yogurt, dry spiced apples and cranberries, milk, and crackers. The most recent time, he took popcorn, teddy graham trail mix, fruit cups, and yogurt covered raisins. I'm thankful my kids have pretty healthy tastes so far. ;)
I hope you enjoyed my rant about school lunch.
Please take a look at this petition and see if it's something you might like to sign:

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