Thursday, September 8, 2011

Brown Bag Challenge vs School Lunches


I see a lot of kids in the lunchroom every day. I see a lot of kids who bring their lunch from home every day.
I was definitely in that group of kids growing up, buying school lunch almost never happened. In fact, I can only remember 2 times in my elementary years that I got to buy a school lunch and 0 times in my middle school years that I bought school lunch.
The premise of BB Challenge is to bring your own lunch from home, right? Because lunches brought from home are healthier.....right? After what I have seen in the last 3 weeks, I may have to disagree. Not that I am rooting for the school lunch team, I still don't fully support what they put on the trays, but the choices that some parents make when packing these kids lunches sometimes really appall me.
(I have had many nutrition conversations with my cafeteria manager, but please understand that we all have a boss. It's not like she has her pick from HEB every day, she can only do what she can do)

There is one child specifically that I want to share with you. I won't share names or specific details, so we'll just call the child "D".
D's lunch today consisted of many things, mostly prepackaged. D had a capri-sun, butter crackers with the cheese spread attached, four (4!) Granola thins with "chocolate flavoring", a bag of cookies, and a ham and cheese sandwich on wheat bread.
The sandwich, however, had one bite out of it and then ended up on the seat next to D and then, I'm sure, in the trash.
Everything was eaten, the cookies were first.
(D's father is a chef, should I mention that? A chef!! What's with the packaged crap!?)

Now, of course I should stop and mention that we do have kids that rely on school to provide 2 of 3 meals for them, 5 days a week. and of course there are children out there that don't get the amount of calories in a day as D is getting in this one meal. that, however, is an entirely different post.

Today's school lunch menu reads:
Turkey & Cheese Melt (on wheat bun)
crunchy veggie dippers (celery & carrots)
fresh fruit (specifically, pears)
Milk (low-fat 1%, skim, or chocolate)
OR
Soft or crunchy taco
taco fixins (shredded cheese/lettuce)
seasoned pinto beans
fruited gelatin (pears in jello)
Milk (low-fat 1%, skim, or chocolate)

Now, comparing D's lunch with what the school was offering, which would have been a healthier choice, I wonder??

This is my lunch. nothing spectacular today- turkey and cheese sandwich, carrots, homemade trail mix and under the sandwich are some asparagus spears. I had a plum for my mid-morning snack.


If you'd like a glimpse into what school lunches look like around the world, check this out. There are a few shots just from the USA- the second one is what the lunches at my school look most like.