School Lunches

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/11/2011

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Hmmmm...something makes me think that it is really the $2.25 PER school lunch that is bought rather than a nutritional thing....cause that is not really that great. Glad to see the carrots...but come on.

Jenn - posted on 04/12/2011

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Wrong - the kids ARE allowed to bring in their own lunches and that is NOT what they are being served. Poor journalism at work yet again.

Isobel - posted on 04/12/2011

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if you don't count in a profit (the assumption is that schools are running "not-for-profit", the "cost" should be below $2.25.

a piece of lettuce costs 1 cent
a piece of fake cheese costs 2 cents
pink milk...probably 40 cents,
hot dog bun, 20 cents
fake,compressed hoof meat, 10 cents
three slices of fruit out of a can the size of your head...
one cent.
carrots, 30 cents
tator tots, maybe 30 cents

then you pay for the labour the the hour it takes 5 women to make and serve this slop

voila...$2.25

Nikki - posted on 04/12/2011

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Blah, every picture I have ever seen of school cafeteria food makes me want to vomit. Look at Jamie Oliver's show, those school's were disgusting and more worried about the cost than the children's health.

Thankfully I am an Aussie too, so packed lunches for my daughter. Interestingly she started daycare this week, the crap in some of the 2 year olds lunch boxes is disgusting. What on earth are these parents thinking.

Sylvia I just have to comment about the peanut policies in schools. I understand it is frustrating however if your child could die in minutes from coming into contact with a food substance I am sure you would be pleased with the strict rules. The fact is that peanut allergies are so common these days, it's not worth the risk to a child life.

[deleted account]

I wouldn't feed my daughter that! It isn't even real food!!! We eat organic home made everything. I would be furious.

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Tracey - posted on 04/14/2011

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Easy answer, come up with a food intolerance and send in a packed lunch.
According to some figures, can't cut and paste link as mouse not working, but article was in UK newspaper the telegraph, up to 50% of population has a food intolerance.

Sherri - posted on 04/14/2011

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Our schools have a no junk policy. No soda, candy, snack cakes etc. for hot or bag lunches. If a student brings such items they are confiscated. However, do I have a problem with school lunches No. My boys eat school lunches everyday. What do they get. A main meal, veggie, milk or water, dessert consists of fresh fruit, yogurt or granola bar. However, do I think home lunches should be banned NO. I just think there should be restrictions put on those lunches.

Stifler's - posted on 04/14/2011

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I would have rathered eat hot lunches every day for $2.25 than a ham and mustard sandwich and a muesli bar or bag of cashews as a school kid to be honest. I'd rather pay $2.25 a day and not have to worry about lunch for my own kid too to be perfectly honest. Then again Australia sucks for that kind of thing. We didn't have cafeterias with seats and tables inside in case it rained at any of the schools I went to. It was always crap cement and an *under cover area* which got wet then we all got in trouble for playing in the rain but no one was allowed in the classrooms at lunch.

Sarah - posted on 04/14/2011

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As a parent it is my decision as to what my child eats, NOT the schools. I'm sorry I'm not this super health person, I was laughing reading some of your posts because hmm, my son had fruit snacks today. And he gets juice couple times a week or I make him chocolate milk, and oh yeah he loves string cheese. If I want to send these things in his lunch that should be my choice. Unless there is allergy issues (ie peanuts) the school should have no say in what I pack. The key is everything in moderation, imo not everything we eat needs to be preservative free non processed organic food... slightly off topic, but do you realize that unless you personally grew the food (or know the person who did) the word "organic" is pretty meaningless?

Happy - posted on 04/12/2011

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I read the commentary to say that the picture is what is being served at a Chicago school NOT at the school ruling no more lunched from home.

Happy - posted on 04/12/2011

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I read the commentary to say that the picture is what is being served at a Chicago school NOT at the school ruling no more lunched from home.

Michele - posted on 04/12/2011

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I just saw this on msn, too. The food served at elementary school is emphatically NOT mroe nutritious than what I pack for my kids! I will allow them to buy school lunch on occasion. My daughter doesn't really do so very much. My son wants to do so, but only when they serve "pizza"

Jocelyn - posted on 04/12/2011

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You know, if the school was offering food like pita and hummus, veggie plates with dip, non-breaded chicken breasts (cooked, not fried!), veggie burgers on whole wheat buns (etc) then I would have NO problem shelling out $2.5 per lunch. As it is, if the school offered food that looked like the stock picture, no way in HELL would I be ok with that. Don't get me wrong, I love tatter tots (lol) but certianly not every day.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/12/2011

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Not as far as I know Cathy. But in some regions I would not be surprised. It sounds like your menu offers a good variety. I wish more schools would do something like that....bag lunches would just be boring then. This would make the kids have variety, and a real baked potato instead of fries or tator tots....impressive.

Isobel - posted on 04/12/2011

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apparently there's no ban on bagged lunches...just a recommendation that your child SHOULD eat their food.

Bonnie - posted on 04/12/2011

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I may have missed it in the article, but did it say how a child qualifies for a free or reduced price lunch?

Really it is just another thing parents have to shell out money for. I don't see why parents should be forced to have to do something like this. Schools need to pay more attention on education, it's primary focus.

Jodi - posted on 04/12/2011

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"Random question... Is it true, that in the US, ketchup is considered part of your fruit and veg portions? "

O..o
Wow.
j/k right??

[deleted account]

This ban (*edit* recommendation) has been in place for six years. Why only now is it headline news?



I can't view any pictures included in the link but if it is in fact the pictures of hotdogs served at the school, that I found in other articles, then that is a poor food standard.



My son has school dinners 3 days a week. They are pretty good here. School dinners work in three week rotations so they get a variety. Mondays is baked potato day with a choice of three toppings which can be things like baked beans and cheese, vegetable chilli, bbq chicken, tuna and sweetcorn, it changes with each rotation week. They get salad with that. Tuesdays you can choose from rice, mash or wedges depending on the week, they then also get to have pizza or a burger but it rotates so it's not a regular occurrence to eat junk. Wednesdays is roast dinner day with a good choice of vegetables. Thursdays is pasta day. They only get the option for chips/french fries on Fridays with which they get fish (or whatever the veggie option is)and beans or peas.

For dessert you have the option of the menu dessert which is usually fruit crumble, yoghurt or occassionally a chocolate brownie type treat, OR you can pick fresh fruit.

To drink, kids can choose fresh milk (never sugared flavoured milk) or water.



Restriction exist on packed lunches but they are minimal. No snacks are allowed to be brought in for break time. The school provides fresh fruit or vegetables for kids to eat.

No soda/fizzy drinks are allowed in any of the packed lunches.





Random question... Is it true, that in the US, ketchup is considered part of your fruit and veg portions?

JuLeah - posted on 04/12/2011

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On the flip side, and this is sad. This pictured lunch is healther then some of the brought lunches I have seen kids at my child's school show up with. The lunchables things ... a candy bar, a coke ... well, okay, the pictured lunch is not better then that, but also no worse.
Of course if this were really an effort to get healthy lunches on the menu, and not just make a buck for the school, then parent education and and actual healthy lunch option would be part of the program. I think this is simple about money.

Isobel - posted on 04/12/2011

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yeah, I did notice that it was a stock photo when I went looking for more info...I still argue though that if healthy food is all that is offered, they'll eventually get used to eating it.

Isobel - posted on 04/12/2011

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This school has made that against the rules...the kids MUST eat the lunch they provide

Amy - posted on 04/12/2011

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I packed my lunch nearly every single day and that was way back when? No reason my kids can't pack too so I know what's in there. They'll just have emergency money in case they leave lunch at home so they don't starve.

Stifler's - posted on 04/12/2011

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I'm interested to know why this food is only $2.25. A sandwich alone is like $3-something in Aus.

Isobel - posted on 04/11/2011

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I'd pull my kid out of school if that's what they had to eat...fake cheese, fake meat on a white hotdog bun, pink milk, and canned fruit??? I don't think so. Sorry.

What makes me wonder is...how disgusting is the local diet that the school can even CLAIM that it's healthier to eat that shit than what the parents are sending?

Jenny - posted on 04/11/2011

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Sara, nothing rich people do in the US is illegal unless they steal from othe rrich people. Laws are for poor people.

Jessica - posted on 04/11/2011

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Schools should NOT have that level of control over your kids life... to the point where they tell you what you can and can't eat. That's fucking ridiculous! And, healthy my ass- they just want everyone to pay $2.25 every day!

Sylvia - posted on 04/11/2011

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When I was DD's age, Laura Secord pudding in individual tins and horrible orange goopy cheese which you spread on saltine crackers with a little red plastic stick were very popular. That was also the dawn of the Fruit Roll-Up and the chocolate-chips-and-marshmallows granola bar :P At the time I was very bitter that my mum refused to buy these things; now I'm like, Go mum!

Stifler's - posted on 04/11/2011

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Oh yeah kids brought Maggi noodles dry to school at my school too and put the flavouring in the bag and shook it and ate them crunchy!

Lady Heather - posted on 04/11/2011

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You know what some kids had when I was a kid? Raw Mr. Noodles. I don't know if they have those in the UK or Aus. Like dried asian palm oil...err...noodles and a package of MSG,,,errr,,,flavouring. I remember getting mad at my mum because she wouldn't let me join the trend. Ahahahaha.

Stifler's - posted on 04/11/2011

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oh yes how could i forget Roll Ups! and LCM Bars (rice bubbles and m&ms or some other kind of chocolate), cheese sticks (processed cheese in a stick you peel the plastic off and eat), little packets of shapes (biscuits with lots of salt)... the list goes on of foods that were the norm for kids to eat when I was a kid. I'd rather kids be forced to eat that than be allowed to eat all those snacky lunchbox things. It's not the minority who packs their kids that either.

Lady Heather - posted on 04/11/2011

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Pretty sure that's just a stock photo and not representative of what's being served, I'm sure no one is so stupid as to try and claim that meal as superior.

Sylvia - posted on 04/11/2011

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Emma, it's true, there are kids in DD's class who bring things like bags of Doritos or Cheetohs (probably = cheezels) and chocolate bars and cookies EVERY DAY. Not to mention fruit roll-ups and chocolate-coated granola bars with marshmallows :P

DD is super picky, so I've had to relax my standards a lot, but there are limits. She packs her own lunches, and she knows what it is and is not acceptable to put in there -- treats are once a week on Fridays and that's it.

Stifler's - posted on 04/11/2011

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It's probably healthier than a lot of the packed lunches kids bring to school though. Even when I was at primary school, packets of chips and cheezels, pop tops or prima/golden circle poppas with *fruit drink*, processed cheese slices and vegemite sandwiches on wonder white, cheese and biscuits aka "snak pack", chocolate yoghurt, muesli bars with chocolate chips, nutella in little thingies with a stick to eat it, and other such crap were the in thing to take for lunch. my mum gave me tuna sandwiches and an apple or rice cakes and peanut butter and dried fruit, she was mean at the time but thank god.

Jenni - posted on 04/11/2011

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That's healthy??? Ok. I'm not a health nut or anything but I don't feed my kids processed cheese slices, processed lunch meat, tator tots, strawberry milk. What are these guys on??? How can they even pretend that's healthier than a homemade lunch? The only thing I seen on the plate that's healthy is the carrot sticks... doubt they're organic... but compared to the rest of the garbage they're alright. It's all just a bunch of cheap processed food-like substances. :P I'm surprised they have a sub instead of a hotdog. Oh, wait they probably serve those on thursdays.
*Pushes cafeteria tray away with a look of disgust*

Lady Heather - posted on 04/11/2011

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So I can't send carrots that I pulled out of my garden to school with my kid? In what world does that make sense?

[deleted account]

Sylvia - at the very bottom of the article it says: "(A student's lunch in Gleed, Washington: AP)" So I'm assuming it is a stock photo, but it is a school lucnh from somewhere (but no, it's not from the school that banned home lunches). I can tell you though, that the photo looks a lot like school lucnhes when I was in elementary school...

Amanda - posted on 04/11/2011

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That looks very typical of the lunchs I have seen on tv for children in USA. I use to be pissed that children here dont get made lunchs at school, but after I seen what many children eat at schools with premade lunchs, I am glad I must make my childrens lunchs. There isnt one thing on that plate I would allow my children to eat other then the carrots.

Tah - posted on 04/11/2011

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so you ban homemade lunches and then force the parents to pay 2.25 a day to eat school lunch??? I can see saying no to some things, but to ban the time honored tradition of moms tunafish or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is crossing the line. They would be more than upset to know that when i was in elementary/middle school and catholic at that, your parents could give you permission to come home for lunch, people usually just went to the strip and got pizza or fries though but you had to be back by the time the bell rang..

Sylvia - posted on 04/11/2011

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I think banning packed lunches is the height of absurdity. (I'm even irritated that schools here don't allow nuts or peanut products across the board, even when there are no allergic kids in a class.)

However ... is there actually any reason to believe that the photo of hyper-processed food bears any relationship to the lunches served by the school the article is about? There's no caption; it's just as likely to be a random stock photo of a random school lunch. It certainly doesn't look like it meets the Chicago nutritional standards that the article describes.

The whole culture of elementary-school cafeteria meals is pretty foreign to me, though. Where I live, either you bring a packed lunch or (increasingly rarely) you go eat lunch at home. Some schools do have hot lunch programs, but the schools don't run them -- they're run independently (e.g., Lunch Lady, from which kids at DD's school can order a meal every Wednesday, or Healthy Bites, which brings in lunches 3 days a week at a friend's school).

Jodi - posted on 04/11/2011

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Emma, our school's canteen is open 4 days a week. Some kids get lunch orders every day, but MOST kids bring lunch from home. My son's high school also has a canteen with a lot of crap, but I still send him with lunch every day. He only gets money to spend once a week.

I am really not a fan of the school controlling everything the children eat either. I DO think that it is the parent's responsibility, but that there is nothing wrong with a school placing bans or restrictions on certain things. But to force people to eat THEIR lunch only AND charge for the privilege....no way.

Stifler's - posted on 04/11/2011

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In Australia we don't have school lunch at most schools either, just "tuckshop" one day a week in primary school where you write on a paper bag what you want off the list and put the money in and put it in the tuckshop box then wait for it to come up from the tuckshop at morning tea and lunch. The high school I went to had a canteen every day with all the most unhealthy foods of all time including coke, juice, chocolate milk, pies, sausage rolls, wedges and sour cream and it sure as hell wasn't $2 each bahaha.

Jenny - posted on 04/11/2011

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No way I'd accept that. Gross. My kids eat whole grains, fresh vegetables, and organic whenever possible. They've never had cheese-like petroleum slices and flavoured milks are a treat. How dare a school try to control what a child consumes.

Desiree - posted on 04/11/2011

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Not many schools in South Africa have cateens. So you make a lunch every single day. besides the children here go to school from 8.00am to 14.oopm so they get a proper lunch at home. Just thought I would share and outsiders point of view.

[deleted account]

Dang JuLeah! I came here to post this same article and you beat me to it! :)

I think it is absolutely ridiculous! I make my daughter's lunch every day and it's always healthy (not to mention WAY cheaper than the school's lunches). On the rare occasion that she does get a school lunch she comes home with "I had chicken nuggets and fries and chocolate milk" or "They ran out of salad, so I had to have a cheeseburger." Gross if you ask me... At least her last school made the kids have a fruit or veggie with the school lunch (they couldn't leave line without one). The school she's in this year doesn't do that and it's a bit disappointing.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/11/2011

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They still have kids that qualify for the free lunch. When I was still in school, I think it was like $1.00. I wouldn't pay $2.25 for that crap.

Desiree - posted on 04/11/2011

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What about the families that can't afford the extra money for lunches every day, I am sure those lunches don't come for free.

Jodi - posted on 04/11/2011

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I was wondering that too Emma, about the milk. My kids get water......except every second week when they have a lunch order from the canteen and then they can choose juice or flavoured milk. But not every day.....

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