Monday, August 22, 2011
Last year there was talk of improving the quality and freshness of the school lunches at my kid’s school. Well, I checked the menu for the next month and a half and the only thing that has changed is the price. It’s gone up.
Like in so many schools across the country. The food is the same pre-cooked, heat it up, no cooking involved processed crap as past years. I want my kids to eat healthier, I want my whole family to eat healthier both at home and outside of the home and while we’ve taken steps to have more fresh “real” food at home, the list of pizza (often two times a week in various forms), processed chicken products, hot dogs, french toast stix etc. repeat repeat repeat at school makes me really sad and near as I can tell the only people actually “happy” about the meal options are the kids – and frankly they don’t know any better. As it is now – we’ll be packing lunches more than ever.
Today there are more options than ever available to bring healthy food into the school cafeteria and still offer cost effective options that kids like. I just don’t know how to make it happen at our school. I know that Jamie Oliver is doing his “food revolution” all over the place but I’m also not sure that radical sudden change works either – I think it needs to be an addition of fresh ingredients into the meal options that kids already like and getting rid of the pre-processed crap. They like the chicken nuggets, so make fresh chicken tenderloins prepared in various ways. They like potatoes in just about any form so give them fresh baked potato wedges instead of processed french fries. They’ll eat a number of different vegetables but why give them crap from cans when you can go with fresh or frozen for a more healthy option. They like soup – make home made yummy soup for the kids rather than processed canned stuff. And I wonder if the fruit they are being served is packed in syrup or juice.
Why is it so hard to improve the quality of the food and still provide food the kids will eat? What are the answers?
There are farm to school programs and subsidy programs available to getting better foods on the table in schools – how does a school become a part of that? I’ve looked up resources but don’t know how to do it and I think it is going to come down to the parents demanding better options for their kids and the school administration and those running the school lunch program working to provide better food. Anyone interested in starting our own food revolution? Why are we letting the school feed our kids crappy lunch foods? There are delicious meal options of real food that kids like – why aren’t we providing that? How do we do it? Who can help?
I don't have the answers but I'm looking for comments and feed back and ideas and help here.