JUNK for school lunch!

My son has just started elementary school. I usually pack him a healthy lunch, but he wants to eat the school lunch and is quite adament about it. So we agreed to letting him eat school lunch once a week.

Then I looked at the school lunch menu and was pretty horified. The food is all JUNK!

For example, today it’s pepperoni pizza, applesauce, and a cookie. The listed nutritional information says that’s 27 grams of fat and 742 calories. For comparison’s sake a Big Mac has 22.9 grams of fat and 493 calories. And this isn’t even a particularly bad day, some times the fat content is as high as 39 grams!

At least some people are starting to get aware of this problem. “Soggy canned vegetables and gluey white bread have no place in school meals and ought to be replaced with fresh produce and whole grains, experts told a Congressional hearing Tuesday.”

There is now an ‘epidemic of obesity’ in this country! “One in three Americans born in the year 2000 will develop adult-onset diabetes,”

For many poor children this is the only food they get all day, and it’s full of fat and empty calories. Almost no whole grains, fruits or veggies.

I pit thee, school lunch program!!!

If the school lunch is not healthy, then he doesn’t get to eat the school lunch.

Case closed. Make sure you take pictures in case he throws a tantrum to show to his future girlfriends.

Hey, at least you get information on the nutritional content of your son’s school lunch. A lot of districts don’t even provide that. And sadly, this IS a step up from when I was in school, and “the powers that be” wanted to consider KETCHUP a vegetable.

I’m not talking about MY kid.

Many kids don’t have a choice. They get free or very reduced price lunch, and for the low-income, it’s the only food a child may get.

Once a week won’t hurt my son. But eating like this every day will certainly hurt a lot of children.

I remember that at my high school, every day pizza and french fries were available. Two other vegetables and another entree too, but always pizza and french fries.

The problem in that lunch is the overwhelming amount of carbohydrate moreso than than the fat content.

[Timmy Turner]

Gee guys, your lunches sound good, but I’m having candy and violence!

[/Timmy Turner]

I realize that, but your first priority is to your child. If you want to bring your concerns to the school board or your local paper, go ahead. But make sure YOUR son is taken care of first.

This is the end result of a deeply flawed agricultural policy in the United States. The government subsidizes farmers (and in fact, it’s corporations more than actual farmers these days) to grow crops and raise animals that wouldn’t be profitable in a free market. Then, since the products of these subsidies aren’t desirable, the government becomes the consumer of the over-production. And the only place the gov’t has to dump 'em is in the schools and on the military.

I’d call this a clear demonstration of unintended consequences, but the gov’t can’t be that stupid that they didn’t anticipate this. Or could it . . .

"Several experts noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture subsidizes and distributes products like cheese and meat, which it advises Americans to eat in small amounts, but does less for the fresh vegetables that can protect against heart disease, cancer, obesity and other ills. "

This is from the third link in my OP.

“We tell schools to serve more fruits and vegetables, and then supply them with heavily processed foods and surplus commodities.”

If obesity and diabetes because a huge and costly problem for our health system, will this madness finally stop?

While probably not intentional, if a child is going to get only one meal a day, a good dose of some fats and carbohydrates just might be the ticket to maintain body weight. This in no way addresses the plight of tuning a child’s palate to fatty foods or an absence of fruit and vegetables. When I was cooking for the homeless, you’d best bet I’d bump up the butter and protein content wherever I could so that their day out on the streets didn’t see them dying of exposure. In a vignette of intense irony, I’ve been investigating how to reproduce cafeteria style baked spaghetti for a while now.

I agree that children should be fed healthy meals in their schools. One of the best ways to do this is to ban any M[sup]c[/sup]Donald’s outlets from educational facilities and eliminate all soda pop vending machines.

This is true, and it’s the meat and dairy industries that benefit most when it comes to the content of school lunches, which explains the outrageous levels of fat and cholesterol in many of the meals.

My kids’ school sells coupon books. The kids are supposed to turn in a coupon in the morning for their lunches, which the school has brought in from various restaurants, so the kids get pizza or subs. Last year one of the vendors was McDonalds!:eek:

Sorry, little beetles…it’s peanut butter on whole wheat for you.

At least it’s peanut butter and not your home’s more adult fare (which might resemble peanut butter).

But who is ultimately responsible for feeding the kid properly? The parents, or the government?

Many parents cannot feed their kids properly. Whoever’s fault that is, it certainly isn’t the kids.

It’s been proven that hungry kids do bad in school, and that school lunch and breakfast programs can signifigantly raise the performance of poor kids. I’m not gonna begudge some hungry kid a green hotdog and a spoonful of canned peaches.

I wouldn’t wish a green hotdog on a hungry kid. Or anyone.

You know parents worry way too much about fast food outlets in the schools: what they serve is often FAR more nutritional, and resembles actual food a great deal more than the junk that the cafeterias themselves turn out.

Back when I was in high school, it was cheesy this, chorizo sausage that, and everything so greasy it stood out in dark orange blobs on top of whatever sauce etc. was on the food. Burritos, Pizza, Lasagna, Tacos. Basically, any way you can imagine chorizo sausage being cooked, it was served. And the cheese (or was it processed chesse food?) resembled plastic. When I bought the name-brand pizza, I knew at least that I would get a sauce that tasted like tomatoes, cheese that acted like cheese, and meat that had an italian name.

I did buy cafeteria-made food for breakfast in high school: an enormous chocolate chip cookie (so full of butter/oil that they were perpetually soft, which I prefer but it doesn’t help the waistline or the teen complexion) and a milk. Yeah, real healthy stuff there…

I think schools also want to serve what kids will eat - and a lot of kids won’t eat the fresh fruits or vegetables when they are offered. Whether this is a ‘kid thing’ or whether it is due to the fact that some parents aren’t introducing their kids to tasty things made with those fresh foods, I don’t know. Either way, when my husband was doing his student teaching in an elementary school, he told me that the lunches there usually included one item of fresh fruit - typically oranges, apples or bananas. Very few kids ate them. He told me he couldn’t bear to look in the trash cans after lunch was over, because they were filled with perfectly good fruit. The horrific waste made him sick.

When I went to public school, the vegetable offering was sometimes two small celery sticks. Just plain celery sticks about two inches long-- no cream cheese, or penut butter to garnish them, just plain celery.

Not surprisingly, I never saw a single child consume them.