What are the School Lunches Like in Your District?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I saw something about school lunches online the other day and it made me wonder what the school lunch is like at your schools?

    I don't always like the main entree option at our schools, but I totally LOVE the fruits and veggies. About 15 yrs ago some parents got upset about the lunches and a district committee made largely of parents was created to look into the quality of the lunches. Three years later some amazing changes were put into place. Most are still there because the KIDS have fits when they change.

    The only thing that did not stick was having every item made with wheat be made only with 100% whole wheat. Now it has to be whole wheat for the bread/buns/muffins, but they do use reg flour for the cookies and the very infrequent cobbler.

    From elem to high school, the kids get 2 hot veggies though they only have to take one. Then at the end of the lunch line there are little cups with clean raw fruits/veggies and little cups of applesauce (sometimes for the applesauce, always for the others). The kids have to take 2 but they can take up to one of each or if there is a surplus up to 2 of each.

    While every family is asked to fill out the free lunch paperwork, every child in our district can have a free breakfast. Up through middle school they also have free lunch for every student. Parents income does not matter. parents CAN choose to pay if they wish, and a few do, but only a very few. The school has had grants from several sources to help fund this because they feel it makes a big difference in student test scores AND in how the kids behave. Across the board there are fewer fights and bad behavior from the kids if they have had a healthy breakfast and lunch, so our administration and the parent group that actively does fundraising (a local foundation to benefit the schools - they do major fundraising, find and get grants, and do long term budget planning for the district) work to make sure the meals are funded for each child.

    Are the lunches healthier in your schools than they used to be? Or are the what is shown on some of the shows like that food revolution show with that chef (can't remember his name but can see his face in my mind, sigh)? I would be furious if they were counting french fries as veggies here, but they couldn't get away with it here. The kids wouldn't tolerate it.

    Kids here younger than Jess have always had these options. When they started there was a lot of grumbling about how the school was going to waste a fortune throwing away the veggies and fruit because the kids would not eat any of them. I remember hearing parents ranting about what a waste it was to buy the veggies etc... Only it didn't happen that way. The kids were a little slow to try some things, but with some gentle encouragement an teachers taking some time to introduce some of the foods in class if the kids had not seen them before, the kids soon were asking for seconds and even thirds on the fresh fruits AND the veggies. One day I was listening to a mom rant about how her kids were being 'forced' to try 'weird food' like arugula and fresh spinach in salad instead of iceberg lettuce. Suddenly one of her kids said, "Mom, we LIKE them. How come you keep telling us that we can't have them at home?" I swear you could hear a pin drop because she had been incredibly vocal with her protests against the changes.

    It actually changed the produce selection at the area grocery stores. They now stock a much wider variety of fresh produce because our kids like more types of fruits and veggies.

    Have any of your schools made changes like this? Are your schools still counting ketchup and a pickle slice as a serving of veggies? I was a bit surprised when I learned that some of the schools in the cities around us are still doing that.
     
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well I wasnt sure so I went and looked up the menu for Monkey's school. I will list it;

    Lunches: Fish SticksCorn Dog
    Baked Beans
    Coleslaw
    Applesauce
    Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk

    General Tso`s Chicken
    Beef Rib on Bun
    Oriental Rice
    Egg Roll
    Oriental Vegetables
    Peach Cup
    Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk

    Turkey with-Gravy
    Baked Ham
    Cornbread Stuffing
    Sweet Potato Soufflé
    Green Beans
    Cranberry Sauce
    Mixed Fruit Cup
    Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk

    BBQ Chicken
    Sloppy Joe on Bun
    Creamed Potatoes
    Mustard Greens
    School Baked Roll
    Fresh Orange
    Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk

    Cheeseburger on a Bun
    Chef Salad with- Cheddar & Ham
    Baby Carrots with-Ranch Dressing
    Oven Baked Crispy Fries
    Baked Apples
    Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk

    Breakfasts range:

      • Scooby Doo Grahams or Cereal

      • Juice

      • Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk


      • Fish Sticks

      • Corn Dog

      • Baked Beans

      • Coleslaw

      • Applesauce

      • Skim or Unflavored 1% mother in law
        k


    • TUESDAYNovember 19, 2013
      BREAKFAST
      • Strawberry Pop Tart or Cereal

      • Juice

      • Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk


      • General Tso`s Chicken

      • Beef Rib on Bun

      • Oriental Rice

      • Egg Roll

      • Oriental Vegetables

      • Peach Cup

      • Skim or Unflavored 1% mother in law
        k


    • WEDNESDAYNovember 20, 2013
      BREAKFAST
      • Blueberry Breakfast Stick or Cereal

      • Juice

      • Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk

      LUNCH
      • Turkey with-Gravy

      • Baked Ham

      • Cornbread Stuffing

      • Sweet Potato Soufflé

      • Green Beans

      • Cranberry Sauce

      • Mixed Fruit Cup

      • Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk


    • THURSDAYNovember 21, 2013
      BREAKFAST
      • Maple Waffle or Cereal

      • Juice

      • Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk

      LUNCH
      • BBQ Chicken

      • Sloppy Joe on Bun

      • Creamed Potatoes

      • Mustard Greens

      • School Baked Roll

      • Fresh Orange

      • Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk


    • FRIDAYNovember 22, 2013
      BREAKFAST
      • Super Donut with-Graham Crackers or Cereal

      • Juice

      • Skim or Unflavored 1% Milk




     
  3. Castle Queen

    Castle Queen Warrior in training

    Lunch is in my opinion crazy expensive for what you get in our district. 2.65 a day and breakfast is served for an additional sum. My kids don't usually buy the breakfast because it's expensive too. When difficult child was in K and 1st grade it was only 25 cents, then 50 cents, now somewhere over a dollar. Some examples from this week's menu are Corn Dogs, Hash Browns, Fresh Fruit one day, Softshell Taco, Corn & Apple. Deli Ham, Baked Beans, Fresh Fruit. French Toast, Sausage, Juice, Applesauce, Broccoli.To me it doesn't sound like much food, but neither of my kids are generally hungry at lunch anyway due to their medications. Personally, I don't feel deli ham, corn dogs, and hash browns are all that "healthy." Seems they had more choices a few years ago, but we were in a bigger district then.
     
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Here's a sample of ours... It's waaaaay expensive in my opinion. And a traveling taco isn't nutritious... FRITOS?

    Purchase any $2.80 'Pick a Meal Deal' and get an extra sandwich for $1.50.
    'Pick a Meal Deal' with Milk: $2.80
    À la Carte Milk: $0.55
    À la Carte Entree: $2.45

    MONDAY
    Pick ONE Entrée
    Mac & Cheese and Roll
    Spicy Chicken/Bun
    Soft Pretzel/Cheese Cup
    Creek Sub
    Chef Salad and Goldfish Crackers*
    PBJ Uncrustable
    Pick up to TWO veggies
    Steamed Broccoli
    Tossed Salad
    Fresh Baby Carrots/Dip
    Pick up to TWO fruits
    Chilled Diced Peaches
    Fresh Fruit
    Fruit Juice Raisins
    Pick ONE Milk

    TUESDAY
    Pick ONE Entrée
    Traveling Taco with Soft
    Pretzel Nugget, Fritos,
    Seasoned Beef, Salsa and
    Shredded Lettuce
    Cheeseburger/Bun
    Soft Pretzel/Cheese Cup
    Chipotle Turkey Wrap
    Chef Salad and Goldfish Crackers*
    PBJ Uncrustable
    Pick up to TWO veggies
    Refried Beans
    Romaine or Tossed Salad
    Fresh Baby Carrots/Dip
    Pick up to TWO fruits
    Strawberry Cup
    Fruit Juice Raisins
    Fresh Fruit
    Pick ONE Milk

    WEDNESDAY
    Pick ONE Entrée
    French Bread Pizza
    Pulled Pork/Bun
    Soft Pretzel/Cheese Cup
    Creek Sub
    Chef Salad and Goldfish Crackers*
    PBJ Uncrustable
    Pick up to TWO veggies
    Tossed Salad
    Corn
    Fresh Baby Carrots/Dip
    Pick up to TWO fruits
    Seasonal Fruit
    Raisins
    Fruit Juice
    Pick ONE Milk

    THURSDAY
    Pick ONE Entrée
    Chicken Patty/Bun
    Chicken Nuggets/Roll
    Soft Pretzel/Cheese Cup
    Chipotle Turkey Wrap
    PBJ Uncrustable
    Chef Salad and Goldfish Crackers*
    Pick up to TWO veggies
    Whipped Potatoes and
    Gravy
    Grape Tomatoes
    Tossed Salad
    Fresh Baby Carrots/Dip
    Pick up to TWO fruits
    Fresh Fruit
    Trail Mix
    Fruit Juice
    Pick ONE Milk

    FRIDAY
    Pick ONE Entrée
    Pancakes or Waffles with
    Syrup and Scrambled Eggs
    Mini Cheeseburgers
    Soft Pretzel Cheese Cup
    Creek Sub
    Chef Salad and Goldfish Crackers
    PBJ Uncrustable
    Pick up to TWO veggies
    Sweet Potato Waffles or
    Crispy Tri Tators
    Tossed Salad
    Baby Carrots/Dip
    Pick up to TWO fruits
    Chilled Mixed Fruit
    Fresh Fruit
    Fruit Juice
    Raisins
    Pick ONE Milk

    Alternate Menu
    Big Daddy Pizza $3.25 À la Carte $3.00
    Clux Delux $3.75 À la Carte $3.55
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The only kid still in regular school is Jumper and she told me last year that she usually skips lunch because it's "gross." This year she comes home for lunch. Seniors are allowed to go off campus to eat unless they have serious behavioral issues. I asked her today what kinds of choices she has at school and she made a face and said, "Just the smell is gross. I don't look at it." I really doubt it's THAT bad!
     
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I don't know about junior high or high school, but the elementary kids get two choices of entrée every day. Yesterday it was a choice between cheeseburgers or corn dogs. They advertise as being more healthy, but neither of those choices sound very healthy to me.
     
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Our district really is different I guess. About ten years ago there was a statewide mandate for each district to form a parent-school committee with parents, teachers/admin and a registered dietician/nutritionist to examine and define the school lunches. Many districts had hissy fits over it because they didn't want parental involvement and didn't think it was needed. Ours had one already in place and was found to have better meal options than some of the most expensive private schools in the area - ones that really marketed that they had the best nutrition in their lunches in the state.

    Our schools after elem post a menu and it usually says assorted fresh fruits/veggies but the assortment is quite varied. Plu they have at least entrees for the reg meal and once you hit jr high there are four or five options for the entree that you can choose from with-o paying the ala carte price. Portions can't be that skimpy or awful because my pickiest eater (thank you) is usually not starving or even super hungry when he gets home from school. He prefers the school lunch and always have, at least as long as he had another choice besides the uncrustables pbj sandwiches. Which are not served in our elems because peanuts are not allowed in the schools, not for any reason. Before that rule, thank you would refuse to eat if served an uncrustable. He calls them frozen slimy playdough, lol.

    I find it interesting how the definition of 'healthy' varies so much, esp between parents and the schools. Of course I was in school when they decided that pickles and ketchup on a burger counted as two veggies as long as you had three slices of pickles and 1 teaspoon of ketchup. I thought it was nuts even back then, lol.

    Our high school kids (grades 10-12) have off campus lunch mainly because the cafeteria cannot produce enough food to feed everyone, not even after the remodel a few years back. They just don't have the capacity. Plus there are so many restaurants near the high school that would go out of business if the kids had to eat at school that the community gets upset when the topic of closing campus for lunch comes up.
     
Loading...