USA Hot Lunches good, bad are we sometimes just too lazy to make a healthy lunch for our kids

Angela - posted on 06/17/2011 ( 261 moms have responded )

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Recently on Facebook A friend was telling me in the USA they are fussing about chocolate milk and how some think it should be banned and some say no. I wrote that parents are responsible in the end for healthy food choices. That chocolate milk is not a problem really but the entire hot lunch program is mostly crap food. I stated just stop being lazy and pack a lunch for your kids! WOW I got two Moms yelling at me! They thought I was a snob and that I was judging them for not making the lunches....

Any who who is responsible for your child's healthy lunch you or the government?

Also I realize there are children who are poor and need a hot lunch or do not eat. I realize some parents do not have a choice. However as a former single teen Mom I was able to pack my daughter lunch and I did qualify for free and reduced lunches over the years. I allowed my kids to eat hot lunch once a week on pizza day or hot dog day... that was it.



Interesting Links on School Lunch Programs

http://www.foodmuseum.com/exhbitschoollu...



http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/AboutL...

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Lady Heather - posted on 06/17/2011

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You know what? No, I stand by spoiled. I think we're probably all spoiled. We can just not eat something just because? Spoiled rotten would be kid who basically gets to just eat crap because that's what he/she prefers.

I remember when I was little I was eating an orange with my grandma and she was telling me how when they were kids in the war they got an orange one Christmas and the kids were all so excited that they ate the peel and everything. THEY ATE THE PEEL. That had a big impact on me and I have to say, I never looked at an orange the same way again. Here we had them every week at soccer practice and those kids got one a year.

Fuck that. We are all spoiled and we should all consider ourselves bloody lucky to have been born in the time and place we were. At least if we acknowledge our luck and do our best to maintain our health we aren't basically giving a big fuck you to every starving person in the world.

Kate CP - posted on 06/21/2011

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Folks, milk is just NOT that important in a kid's diet. So if you're having to add crap to it JUST to get them to drink it it's really not worth the added calories, sugar, preservatives, caffeine, chemicals...etc etc.

Mrs. - posted on 06/17/2011

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Listen I know that folks drink that crap and they think it is okay if it is just one treat in the day....but no option for water instead - that's just nuts.

Seriously, though have you seen the shit they put in the flavoured milk? What might be looked at as one "treat" in the day could make the difference in some undiagnosed kid's ADD. Some kids are just naturally high energy and it could be the difference between them sitting down in class/listening and them bouncing off the walls. Even if your kid isn't affected that way, any number of kids might be. How could it hurt to make a small change to help out those kids it affects negatively? What, because some kids won't like the taste? Come on, that is not even comparable.

As well, it strikes me as short sighted when people say, their kids are slim and healthy drinking flavoured milk and corn dogs everyday for hot lunch. Well, it is more than possible to be thin and be lacking in nutrition, the proper food needed to reach their full potential mentally and physically. Besides, many people don't start putting on the weight until they get into their 20's/30's. By then, they can't understand why they got all fat suddenly and have no idea how to eat healthy.

It saddens me that more people aren't upset that water is not provided, but strawberry "milk drink" is. Nasty.

Sherri - posted on 06/26/2011

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Amie my homemade cinnamon rolls the filling is just butter cinnamon and sugar. I have never heard of corn syrup being used.

[deleted account]

my rule of thumb when choosing food is to choose what is made from recognizable ingredients...margarine does not fit that rule =)

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261 Comments

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Nina - posted on 07/21/2011

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When my daughter starts school I will ALWAYS pack her lunch. My mom did that for me. It saves money AND you know what your child is eating :)

Alexandra - posted on 07/13/2011

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what most people do not know is that the school lunch program goes to the LOWEST bidder. That means whichever company says they will make the food for the least amount money gets the contract. When i worked for a headstart/afterschool program the govt would reimburse them .51 cents for a snack and .97 cents for a hot meal per child. With that budget each child needs to get a protein, vege, milk, and fruit. That is why sometimes most of the fruit your kids get come from a can, or how schools had ketchup as a vege. I think if you can go ahead and pack your kids lunch but remember with all the food allergies in schools there are limits. Like most schools just dont allow peanut products in the schools.

Angela - posted on 06/27/2011

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Thanks all for the recipes! How fun!
You know what I was thinking I think I confused Cinnamon buns with sticky buns! Maybe that is why? but anyways not to matter I will take all the recipes and enjoy. I am very interested in the pecan pie one because all of my recipes are with dark corn syrup. I am originally for the USA so maybe that is why so many recipes I got are with corn syrup?
Know that I know a bit about some alternatives I might be able to find some ingredients over here :)

Mrs. - posted on 06/26/2011

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Some people say that. All I know is that I don't get sick or get run down when I eat it. If I eat sugar, that all happens. I go by what my body responds best to and agave is usually okay.

Jenn - posted on 06/26/2011

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Corn syrup in cinnamon buns? Eww!!!!!!! I have used corn syrup for making butter tarts, but other than that, it's not something I use - and I have been referred to as Jenny Crocker, because I'm always baking something yummy! :)

And as for the butter vs margarine thing - I use butter occasionally in baking, but usually I use margarine, and always use margarine as a spread - no butter. I think it is healthier (the kind I use anyway) and it's cheaper.

Rosie - posted on 06/26/2011

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i've also heard that agave doesn't affect your blood sugar levels the way that sugar and honey do. at least rachael ray always says it does, lol.

Mrs. - posted on 06/26/2011

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Agave syrup or nectar is everywhere in North America. If you buy it raw, it is much darker than the regular stuff.

Here's the run down from Wiki:
"Agave nectar is 1.4 to 1.6 times sweeter than sugar.[16] Agave nectar is often substituted for sugar or honey in recipes. Agave is commonly used as a Vegan alternative to honey in cooking.[17] Because it dissolves quickly, it can be used as a sweetener for cold beverages such as iced tea.

Agave nectars are sold in light, amber, dark, and raw varieties. Light agave nectar has a mild, almost neutral flavor, and is therefore sometimes used in delicate-tasting dishes and beverages. Amber agave nectar has a medium-intensity caramel flavor, and is therefore used in dishes and drinks with stronger flavors. Dark agave nectar has stronger caramel notes, and imparts a distinct flavor to dishes, such as some desserts, poultry, meat, and seafood dishes. Both amber and dark agave nectar are sometimes used "straight out of the bottle" as a topping for pancakes, waffles and French toast. The dark version is unfiltered and therefore contains a higher concentration of the agave plant's minerals.[18] Raw agave nectar also has a mild, neutral taste. It is produced at temperatures below 118 °F (48 °C) to protect the natural enzymes, so this variety is an appropriate sweetener for raw foodists.[19]"

Rosie - posted on 06/26/2011

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sent you the ricotta cheese recipe in your inbox angela. i've never heard of cornsyrup being used for it either. it's odd to me. my family is amish and i feel they have the BEST cinnamon rolls if you want the recipe i can send you that one as well. :)

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011

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Angela, I am currently sitting on hold on the phone, and then have some errands to run, but I will dig one up and send you a PM as soon as I get a moment to breathe. It is one I've been meaning to give a go because I adore pecan pie, so one of my books or magazines will have a marker in it somewhere :P

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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@Jodi I dont have a recipe like that, do you got one? I would like to give it a try. It was alway a holiday favorite, pecan and pumpkin and I think it would be fun to share my American foods with my family on the holidays.

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011

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And most of the pecan pie recipes I've seen here are brown sugar and honey. But I will admit, I've never made it so I don't know how it works out :P

Stifler's - posted on 06/26/2011

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Golden syrup is made out of sugar cane, it's a bit like molasses just not as strong.

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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@Emma have not seen that here eaither nothing of the likes, just apple stroop(syrup) I might have to go to amazon and see if I can do an order from the UK or go to my neighbors in Germany they have a bigger selection. I don't use it often not good for you but I would love to make some good pies to share with my Dutch family.

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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@ rebecca what is dark, raw agave syrup, where would I get that? Will be interesting trying to translate that one in Dutch :)

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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Not sure where you all are from but I don't think you can make a pecan pie with out it! Maybe it is a north American thing... I have been trying to create a substitute to no avail for pecan pie.

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011

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Emma, I must admit, I've never seen corn syrup or Karo syrup on the shelves either. But then, I've never seen a recipe that requires it :\ It must be an American thing.

Mrs. - posted on 06/26/2011

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As a replacement, I have used dark, raw agave syrup. It is never as sticky as Karo, but I haven't touched that stuff in over a decade.

Stifler's - posted on 06/26/2011

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Ohhh so this Karo syrup people talk about for constipation is corn syrup :S i don't know if you can buy it in Australia, never seen it on a shelf.

Mrs. - posted on 06/26/2011

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You can buy corn syrup easily in the states or canada. Growing up my mom just called it Karo Syrup, an American brand name.

Mrs. - posted on 06/26/2011

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This is an awesome vegan version of sloppy joes, originally from the Veganomican cookbook. It isn't made with soy or tofu like a lot of vege chilis or mock sloppy joe recipes do. I eat meat now, but me and my family still prefer this recipe to the real thing. It is awesome with a vinegar coleslaw on top.

http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/snobby-joe...

Amie - posted on 06/26/2011

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There's a forum called recipe swap on here. I think that's what it's called. I can't remember now!

That's so odd about the cinnamon rolls! My gramma's and mom taught me a lot of what I know. I've always used butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling.

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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@Dyan I would love to learn how to make ricotta cheese! can you email me on here the recipe. It is hard to find here and if you do it is so expensive!

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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@Amie T Every recipe I have looked up including in my cook books calls for light corn syrup! I won't use the stuff!!! Besides they don't sell it here in The Netherlands. Just like pecan pie, you need dark corn syrup.
You are so right Amie so many do not know how to cook! When I was a kid they had home economics...probably call it something different now it was an elective I took it because I loved to cook. But I think learning to cook should be a mandatory class in schools, nutrition, cooking and budgeting meals IE the cost and health content of meals. For EVERY student!
For all of us who like to cook and bake we should do a recipe swamp! Maybe theiris a forum on here you all know of? I love food talk! :)

Amie - posted on 06/26/2011

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Ok so I was just reading this over. I didn't know people used corn syrup in cinnamon rolls? What's that about? You mean the filling, right? Odd.

I've also found, some people really don't know how to cook. At all. It's not always a skill people can learn. My cousin being one of those people. Her food is edible but that's all I can really say about it. =/

Angela - posted on 06/26/2011

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Constance, Where is the recipes for the Cinnamon rolls and bread PLEASE!!! Looking forward to it

Angela - posted on 06/24/2011

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Get a big pot, stocks are so easy. I freeze my in ice cube trays and then I can use as much as I need. i only have to make stock about every couple months or so. Veggie stock is so easy you use all the stuff you normal wo uld toss like onion ends and peals, ends of carrots so no waste. Once you use real stock and not that junk in stores you wont go back makes a big difference.

Rosie - posted on 06/24/2011

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i love to make my own food as well guys! sara and i were just talking the other day on facebook about making our own butter, lol. i make my own ricotta cheese, i can't stand store bought now.
i make my own bread, i do supplement sometimes with store bought though, it's about half and half right now. i love making cinnamon rolls, i just got done making strawberry jam, and freezing strawberries with sugar. i use it on icecream (which i make, lol) and cereal. i freeze sweetcorn in july/august when it gets ready here. spaghetti sauce, cream of mushroom/chicken soups.
i tried canning my own tomatoes but it was too much work. it saddens me cause i would really like to not use the can's since they most liekly contain BPA.
when i make enchiladas i make my own tortillas, i CAN make my own chips out of them too, but it is a once in while treat. every week you will see on my facebook status my new adventure into cooking and baking. it is my passion as well. i havn't made my own stocks yet, i don't have a big enough pot. i would like to do that in the future though.
i wish more food was available that didn't have food dyes, hfcs, and so much salt in them. sometimes i need a break and don't want to cook, or don't have the time, and i wish there was good food out there. it seems impossible to find, it should be readily available.

Angela - posted on 06/24/2011

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THANK YOU CONSTACE FOR SHARING THE RECIPE!!! iI have been looking for one for a long time with out corn syrup would love to make a batch for my Dutch husband and family.

Angela - posted on 06/24/2011

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Oh I want the recipes please email me on here with them.
Slopppy Joes are a lose meat sandwich with sweet tangy tomatoe sauce served on a bun or roll. You can do as stated add veggies I puree some carrots and spinich in mine to hide the veggies because my daughter won't eat veggies otherwise. I use ground turkey or chicken but also lean ground beef. Kids love them! But yes they are sloppy!!!!!

Constance - posted on 06/24/2011

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No corn syrup completely all natural filled with all those lovely cream gooey fats. I am going to eat my potaotoes for lunch and I will give it to you in a little while. I will be honest though I have never given it to anyone not even my own mom. So this is different for me cause I am going topost it where thousands can have it.

[deleted account]

its ground beef in tomato sauce and other seasonings on a hamburger bun. it's very sloppy. =)

i make a variation called chicken joes with tons of veggies added in...yummy yummy

Angela - posted on 06/24/2011

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Maybe the term lazy is not quite right...I mean if you are a Mom you are probably not able to be lazy :) but I have found that one can make quick healthy meals in minutes and you can make some short cuts I use spice mixes that are low salt. To make your own sloppy joes is just as quick as out of the can and you can adjust the salt, sugars etc.
I was a busy single Mom so i get it. We had nights were we ate eggs and tomatoes with whole wheat toast, took minutes. I think the convenience stores, food places etc sold us on this idea of we are too busy to cook. So many people do not know how to cook and so many think cooking out of a box or jar is cooking!
I would love your recipe and I am like you I love to cook, bake and be in the kitchen. I respect it is not everyones passion but we do have to eat! When I was a single Mom I got my kids to help as they got older. I made meals and freezed them etc.
Their were days when we did pizza of course but it was rare and a treat. I use to have one day of the month and still do where I do not cook and we order out and eat junk or whatever we want. I don't think that will kill anyone. I also would love love that recipes does the cinnomen rools it call for cornsyrup? If so I can't get it here! CRY. But would like to try the bread. For fun!
Once a month we have bake/cooking day with all the neighbor kids it is a blast. The bread would be great fun!
So sorry I used the word lazy I just mean condtioned to think we can't or maybe we forgot or don't know how. I really can't ever recall a time I could not find the time to make a sandwich, add an apple and call it a lunch!

Constance - posted on 06/24/2011

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I wouldn't necssarily say lazy but our parents mine included just got to the point where they we so busy between work, school, and parenting that a drive through has just been easier. We have lost the sense of beeing in a kitchen. I have always been passionate about being in the kitchen. I live for it and I love it. I use to make bread with just my hands but now that I had so many problems I use my stand mixer to do the work for me. Less kneading and if you put the bowl of dough over a bowl with hot water. The steam will help the dough to rise quicker and you can have a nice fresh loaf for dinner with in about an hour. I also make a mean cinnamon roll if you would like the recipes but I promise it is the one time to leave you scale under the sink, but great for a special occasion.

Angela - posted on 06/24/2011

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That really was my point that I feel many parents are too lazy or do not realize how easy and economical it is to pack a healthy lunch!

Angela - posted on 06/24/2011

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I 100% agree with you constance and its is cheaper! It is not that much time really. I use my food processor for peanutbutter and cashew which my Clarie loves. I also have always made my own sauces spaghetti sauce is so easy!
I don't make homemade bread, butter and stuff like that but I do make all my meals almost always from scratch. If I am having one of those busy days we do Dutch pancakes, they are kind of like crepes, and you fill them with cheese, veggie anything you like, my husband loves apples and i like cheese so does Claire. But they are healthy and quick and fun!

Constance - posted on 06/24/2011

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It is defidently a fact making something from scratch is always the best way to prepare anything. It seems so time consuming and when you start it is but once you get the hang of it it really doesn't take a lot of time.
I make fresh peanut butter really any kind of nut butter. I bought a magic bullet several years ago throw a cup of peanuts in it turn it on and within about 10 seconds you got peanut butter. Spagetti sauce is the same way I can vegetables that is time consuming but if I run out of my tamatoes then I buy the canned version from the store. Acouple of cans of tomatoes chopped, tomatoe paste, and seasoning. Throw it all together and by the time the noodles are done you have a really good spagetti dinner.

I get my kids involved in the kitchen they love to eat their handy work.

Angela - posted on 06/24/2011

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We use it sparingly also, I never put it on peanut butter for example it already has fat. But my Claire likes just bread with a little bit of butter, she won't eat jam! If I make a sandwich it is butter and chicken but she takes the chicken off and then eats the bread and proceeds to eat the chicken. She is picky picky however! She never has been a sweet eater which is good! She does not even like chocolate!
Also some foods like potatoes are good with butter but I have also used olive oil. To me some foods with a little butter is not bad and some foods just taste yummy with a bit of butter. When I make veggies I never use butter and I trained my family to live with out it, They never ask anymore but I do add sometimes a bit of olive oil and spices with no or low salt seasonings. I like using flavored olive oils. They add so much flavor and it is healthy fat.
Another trick I do is take a very ripe avacado mash it with a bit of season and lemon to a spread consistancy. This is an nice spread with turkey, chicken, ham and cheese sandwiches for example. Healthy fat too! We do need fat in our diets but the healthy kind is best!
I do not think butter is bad for you per say unless you eat too much of it.
Making butter is fun!!! My Grandma use to do it, she had a farm :) But I remember it being a lot of shaking. She had this old fashioned butter churn not the big thing you see in movies or books but it was like a container with a metal thing in it...years ago so that is how I remember it.

Jenny - posted on 06/23/2011

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We just poured the cream in a tight fitting jar and shook it. It took about 20 minutes but we got a pretty good amount out of it.

[deleted account]

Jenny, I've been wanting to try it in the food processor. Did your daughter actually churn it the old fashioned way?

Stifler's - posted on 06/23/2011

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I don't even eat it unless it's in cooking like quiche or white sauce, cake etc. I just spread the peanut butter, jam etc. straight on the bread.

Jenny - posted on 06/23/2011

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Sara, it's not that hard. My daughter made butter a few weekends ago and it tastes great!

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