Today I received an article from the National PTA Association about the FDA’s new health guidelines and how school lunches will change for the better soon. I certainly hope so, because school lunches suck (more on this in a minute). However, I couldn’t help but think that the school lunches fed to our children today were created by that same government entity.
Have you gone to school to eat with your child lately or any child? Here are a few common school lunches in our school district. After talking to parents around the country, this is pretty much par for the course, so if you have a better selection count yourself lucky.
Sample School Lunches
You know, the lunch lady has to fill all those little sections on the tray and that isn’t easy, so there are also “manager’s choice” specials, which can be any type of disgusting leftover you can imagine.
- Pepperoni pizza, salad drenched in sugary dressing, fruit cocktail in heavy syrup and corn (always corn and frozen peas).
- Chicken nuggets, corn, roll, fruit roll up (what? They have to get fruit in there somewhere.)
- Hot dogs, french fries, applesauce (the kind with corn starch, of course) and peas.
Okay, enough! I’m gagging just thinking about it. There has to be a better solution and there is, but it involves a little time. Pack your child’s lunch. I know it isn’t cool, but insist on packing it at least three days a week. This will still allow your child to get the “cool” school lunch, but will also get all important nutrients in his or her growing body. On the days your child has a school lunch, make dinner extra healthy (grilled chicken, fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grain brown rice, etc.).
Going Bonko for Bento
One of the newest trends are the Bento lunch boxes and I’ll be writing an article on that in the near future. We are also trying to get a contest going and will have some recipes for the lunch box. Your kids are going to love these and you’ll have so much fun putting together fun lunches that it won’t seem like so much work.