school breakfast and lunch programs

[deleted account] ( 11 moms have responded )

This was discussed briefly in the SAHM VS Working Mom thread. Here is what I posted:

I taught in the top school district in my state. They are number one in academics and rank near the top in athletics. The buildings are beautiful. The teachers are top rated and there is a very low turn over rate. There is no lack of supplies and technology.

So I don't understand why they continue to contract out the cheapest school food provider. IT"S CRAP! I had morning cafeteria duty. I watched what the kids were served every morning for breakfast. Cinnamon roles, breakfast pizza, pancakes and syrup...crap crap crap. I considered making a chart based on what was served for breakfast and the behavior of the kids throughout the day. I seriously noticed more hyperactivity on cinnamon role day.

What is your opinion on school lunch programs? What are the rules and regulations in your school/state/country. I live in the southern United States. The only rules I know of is that the school must serve something from each food group. Fries are considered a vegetable.


Sara - posted on 07/26/2010




I think it's horrible. Did anyone watch Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution"? It was great. And he made the point that you can, for the same amount of money, make healthier food from scratch than what the government sells pre-made to our schools. There are healthier lunch programs out there, and I think we do need a food revolution in this country to make people more aware of not only the health impact of what we consume, but the economic impact as well.

Here's a link to the Food Revolution site, it's really interesting:

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Meghan - posted on 07/26/2010




Here is the ACTUAL guideliine for Bc, Canada

A lot of mumble jumble but there it is!
My boy isn't even 2 yet so I have a while to even think about this sorta stuff...but as it is right now...I think I will pack his lunch. He can do tradsies if he wants LOL.
I just went to interview a lady to take J for daycare in the fall...she provides all the snacks and showed me a menu outline that she HAS to follow based on her licesnse. It looked as good-if not better than the food I give him! My only issue was with giving juice-but lets face it that is a persnal thing and not the end of the world!

[deleted account]

I don't know where you all are, but I made sure that my daughter's school offers a variety of healthy foods before I would allow her to have a school lunch (I normally pack her lunch). The cafetria ladies make sure each child gets an apple, orange or banana and the food options are always healthy (turkey burgers instead of hamburgers for example) and there are always vegetarian options. Maybe that's what I get for living in a more upscale neighborhood in CA! gqtm...

Amie - posted on 07/26/2010




Ours are not that bad. Though some of the schools can participate without getting the Nutrition Positive Program. The ones who do register for it are held to a higher standard though and do have to fill out paper work to make sure they deserve the status or can continue getting it. Each year the administration has to resubmit the paperwork.

They follow Canada's food guide, incorporate a healthy lifestyle into all classes, have teachers lead through role modeling, have different lists for allowed foods, sometimes foods and not recommended foods, activity time is factored in as well since it's not just food they are talking about. There's a few other things as well but the entire document is 109 pages to read. That's way too much to go through right now. I have it downloaded and saved though so I'll go through it later.

For now the list of not recommended foods for schools that are registered for the Nutrition Positive Program are:

“Not Recommended”
These foods are low in nutrients and fibre and also high in calories, fat, sugar and/or
salt. These foods are not appropriate in schools.

• cakes and pastries
• chocolate and candies
• doughnuts and muffins
• high fat, high salt processed meats
• cookies and granola bars
• ice cream and frozen desserts
• French fries
• deep-fried foods
• potato chips, nachos and other salty snacks
• soft drinks
• fruit flavoured drinks
• sweetened hot or cold drinks
• energy drinks
• alcoholic beverages

The last one is pretty obvious though, for all schools, you'd think? LOL!

My kids school has breakfast, lunch and snack programs. Anyone can access them and you do not have to pay for them. They do encourage those who can afford to bring their own lunches or go home to do so though. Which I can understand.

They also have a lunch staff who is there everyday preparing meals and snacks for all students.

HS I'm thinking is run differently though, in regards to being free anyway.

LaCi - posted on 07/26/2010




LOL. So I checked the nearby grade school food menu and it is all crap. However, I'm completely amused by the fact that "burger" is seriously misspelled in a variety of different ways.

No vegetarian options, which pisses me off personally. Mostly fried and packaged food. Although it doesn't surprise me, I lived off bottled water and pretzels in high school because they served chicken patties, pizza, and french fries just about every day. We lucked out once a month or so and got a nice salad.

Anyway, just another reason I don't want him going to that school. This is the lunch menu from the school I'm trying to get him into when he's of age:

Very nice. I'm pretty sure in Indiana they're only required to provide something edible. No restrictions on what is healthy or not healthy.

[deleted account]

The lunch programs her are not acceptable either. Parents of elementary schools pay between $2.10-$3.00 depending on the lunch their child buys, unless they qualify for free/reduced lunch.
I do not know where the $$ for free and reduced lunches comes from. In my son's school, less than 9% of the students qualify for that program, but in another school in our district, 88% of the children qualify for the program, so I do know it is handled on a district wide basis and not by individual schools. I do not know about the percentages district wide. The lunches sold for $2-$3 cannot possibly cost that much, so I would think that the free lunches are paid for using part of the profit from the full priced lunches.
The lunches go up in price for middle and high school children, and most middle and high school students now have the choice to eat a salad bar (which barely constitutes a salad), cafeteria lunch, or eat from a fast food restaurant located in the school--our highschool has Subway, Chic-Fil-A, and McDonalds, but they vary.

My son will be bringing his lunch, as do most of the children at his school, and forgoing the cafeteria lunches. The principal mentioned that at the end of the year, the cafeteria sold lunches only accounted for about 60% of the lunches that would have served the whole student body on a daily basis. Meaning, most of the students brought their lunch at least twice a week, with many students never eating the cafeteria lunch.

[deleted account]

Yeah, I think there is a misconception that eating healthy costs so much more money. What gets me, is that the school lunch program is there to serve the kids who wouldn't get a proper meal otherwise. There are kids whose only meals during the day are the school breakfast and the school lunch. Forget supper and weekends. So the only meals these kids get are sodium, grease, sugar, and artificially loaded. These are the eating habits they learn and therefore continue with into adult hood.

[deleted account]

I'm not sure exactly how the programs work here in Canada but I'm going to ask someone who does as soon as it's "acceptable" to call's still only 7:30am here! I'm pretty sure it's like Sara said. "I'll be back!"....haha, did you see Ronith on Americas Got Talent? Sorry, random!

[deleted account]

Who pays? It depends. In public schools, if a family is under a certain income level, the student qualifies for "free or reduced lunch". That is how it sounds. Depending on income level, the family either partially pays, or doesn't have to pay at all. The rest of the students pay full price which is less than $2/meal in my district.

And yes, deep fried potatoes loaded with salt sadly meets the vegetable requirement. And sugar loaded artificially flavored strawberry milk meets the dairy requirement.

Jodi - posted on 07/26/2010




Sara, before I answer (which won't be tonight because it is late and I am seriously tired), I am interested on how these programs are paid for in the US. Is it government funded, or do parents pay?

And aren't they fries because they are fried? Vegetables deep fried.......are still vegetables?

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