What we feed our students...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Danny'sNanny, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Mar 5, 2008

    I'm doing my practicum in Head Start this semester, so I have to eat with the kids (I'm just there for the morning session, so I see breakfast and snack).

    The junk we feed them (in my opinion) is stuff I
    -wouldn't buy for myself (or eat if I had the choice)
    -wouldn't feed my kids (when I have them ;) )
    -don't think is balanced or healthy

    How are meals at your school?
     
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  3. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    I wouldn't eat my students meals unless I was starving.

    Their breakfasts are carb infested with barely any protein. They have options. I know one breakfast has cereal, graham crackers, apple juice, and milk. Another option is PB&J, milk, and something else.

    Their lunches gross me out. It's all processed, frozen food. The vegetables come from giant cans. The salads are drenched with gross dressing. I have to say that they don't get typical dessert items (cookies, cake). They usually have some form of fruit for dessert. However, it's canned fruit, not fresh. My school has started to serve wheat rolls instead of white, which is good. But I doubt it's whole wheat. I realize it's hard to make fresh, unprocessed food for 500+ students, but we're feeding them crap.

    I also don't feel like they are balanced meals. I think they should be getting all the food groups. Sometimes the kids don't get protein. Last week they had cheese filled breadsticks as the main dish for one of the lunches. It would be nice to see them serve them a small chicken breast or something. But I never see that.
     
  4. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Mar 5, 2008

    We have strict nutrition guidelines this year. We are seeing a lot less fat, more raw veggies. whole grain breads. The snacks the cafeteria sells must follow the same guidelines and I personally think they taste like cardboard. They do have a secret stash of real potato chips for the adults though.
     
  5. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I haven't eaten school lunch in YEARS, like since middle school. I ate it periodically while I student taught and when I worked at a preschool, but mostly because I could pick and choose what I wanted and it was usually a last resort.

    I am appaulled by the calories in these meals and the carbs. How can we expect our kids to like fruit and veggies when we feed them icky examples of them? I am disgusted even though I realize how hard it is to cook fresh for all of them, but at the very least, don't over cook the food to the point of mush.

    YUCK YUCK YUCK
     
  6. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I can almost understand in a school with hundreds of kids.

    But this is two head start classrooms, with a cook- so about 30 kids in the morning and another 30 in the afternoon. Ok, so that's still a lot to cook for, but...

    Breakfast is milk, cereal, fruit, and some type of bread (granola bars, muffin, sticky bun, etc). Ummm...that's a days worth of carbs- and not "good" carbs either!

    And of course it's chock full of high fructose corn syrup- an ingredient I've pretty much banned from my diet!

    Then, this morning I was reading the label on our granola bar thingy, and not only does it have the high fructose corn syrup, but it also has splenda!

    Sure, I use artificial sweeteners myself, but I don't think we should give them to children. I have a choice, did the reasearch, and decided to use fake sugar as my one vice. That doesn't mean I think it's healthy. If I was a parent, I'd be mad if my child was being given artifical sweeteners!

    So what if it's less calories than sugar? Why do we need either at BREAKFAST!!!
     
  7. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Mar 5, 2008

    Our school lunches are actually pretty good. All of our beef is organic, grass-fed beef from Bill Kurtis's ranch. The fruit is all fresh, the veggies are frozen, not canned, when they are cooked. Often the veggie is raw carrots (which is fine with me). The breads are all whole wheat. There is very little artificial flavoring or food dyes in any of the items sold in our cafeteria. The desserts for sale are FRESH MADE in our cafeteria daily. The rice krispie treats are the best I've ever had.
    I buy lunch about once a week. Since I do weight watchers, it is hard for me to fit many of the lunches into my program. I bring from home most of the time.
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    We always have two choices in meals. But some days, you have a choice between pizza or ravioli! What kind of choice is that? One thing with tomato and cheese, or another thing with tomato and cheese.

    Often, they serve a roll and corn with ravioli! How starchy is that?
     
  9. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Mar 5, 2008

    I don't let my own personal kids buy lunch, ever. Sure there are fruits (canned, in syrup) and veggies (canned, loaded with salt), but no whole grains, and all of the meats are processed and gross. And don't get me started about breakfast...even if it is "enriched," just what are we teaching kids by serving them a "breakfast cookie?" What's wrong with a banana or apple? I once asked the nutrition people at the board of ed about that when they were training us, and they said that kids won't eat apples. So they serve them PopTarts. Gross.
    Kim
     
  10. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Our luches are better....almost everything is whole wheat now, down to the whole wheat chicken fingers! Each meal served comes with some kind of rep. from each food group ie, chicken fingers (chicek and break) with a veggie, fruit or juice (100% fruit juice...so it says) and milk. I can't vouch for the quality of the food....but at least they are trying!
    The cookies and ice cream are gone from the lunch room!!!
    It is the kids that each school lunch every day....it is just so sad they eat some of this garbage!
     
  11. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    The other day when I was observing at one of the local elementary schools breakfast was...

    cherry pie!

    Ok, so it's really sticky red goo in a pastry crust, but the label said cherry pie!

    I eat pie for breakfast once a year- the day after Thanksgiving.
    And I'm an ADULT- I can evaluate my options and make that decision for myself.

    But these are kids. We are making the decision for them. Pie at 8 am. During testing week. Argh.
     
  12. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    My theory is this: Kids will eat whatever you put in front of them enough times. If they are hungry, then they will eat.

    Where is our mathematician!! I did a math problem correctly!!

    Anywho...I am also very disturbed by what most students have in their lunches from home, it's not much better. It makes the kid who has a healthy lunch look like the odd duck by the time they are the only one sitting their with lettuce on their sandwich and carrots w/o dip (and don't think they won't be eatting their neighbor's) and an apple for dessert.
     
  13. RainStorm

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    Here's what our kids could have today for breakfast and lunch:

    For Breakfast:
    Keebler Graham Crackers (available at no charge)
    Home-Made Donut,
    Smucker's PB&J Pocket,
    Kellogg's Pop Tart,
    or French Toast Sticks w/ Syrup
    Fruit, Juice and Milk

    For Lunch
    Chicken Nuggets w/ or w/o Wheat Roll (student may request 2 wheat rolls)

    Hard Taco (Beef)

    Choice of Three:
    Sweet Kernel Corn
    Spanish Rice
    Chilled Applesauce Cup
    Garden Salad
    Ice Cold Milk


    I should note that even thought the menu always says "wheat roll" it is a regular white roll at our school. They've only had wheat rolls once this entire year, and they ran out of those.

    Am I the only one who notices that there is no protein choice for breakfast? Or that lunch is VERY starchy?
     
  14. RainStorm

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    Oh yes..and the "garden salad" is one piece of brocolli, once tiny carrot, and about 5 pieces of lettuce in a small (smaller than a 1/2 cup) size container.

    And the children will drown it with thick gooey ranch dressing. There is no "not creamy" dressing.
     
  15. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

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    Mar 5, 2008

    Our lunches are also all processed food. There is always a vegetable, but corn is considered a vegetable a lot and is a starch served with more starchy food.
    The best lunch is the beef stew or soup. Even though it's served from a can...at least there is some protein in it.
    My question is, after watching the kids consume copious amounts of carbs and preservatives, what do you see as the effect on their behavior?
    My kids are WIRED every day after lunch and I can only attribute it to the majorly unhealthy lunches they eat.
     
  16. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Mar 6, 2008

    These are the choices at my school today...

    Yogurt w/ Toasted Bagel or
    Cereal Choice, Toast


    Reduced Fat Pepperoni Pizza or
    Club Sandwich
    Veggie Nibbles w/ Dip
    Garden Salad w/ Fat Free Dressing
    Pink Applesauce
    fresh fruit & milk or juice
     
  17. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Mar 6, 2008

    Today snack was ramen noodles and peas.
    A lot of the kids asked for banannas during center time, so we passed what we had out.
    They had graham crackers after recess.

    Not terrible, but ramen noodles are far from healthy
     
  18. TampaTeacher

    TampaTeacher Comrade

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    Props to the cafeteria ladies at my school for making yummy teacher lunches with healthier options (salad bar, light dressings, fresh fruit). Don't get me wrong - I certainly can (and often do) choose much naughtier meals like gooey lasagna or mac and cheese with ham. The food usually tastes great but isn't great for you.

    The kids' meals can be a different story - chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks, mac and cheese, etc. Oh! And the breakfast that made me laugh out loud at its creepiness - sausage on a stick, wrapped in pancake batter - kinda like a breakfasty corn dog that you dip in syrup!
     
  19. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    For the most part; gross and the lunch ladies are mean.:help:
    I wouldn't allow my child to eat that stuff plus it doesn't look sanitary. In an effort to maintain school spirit, I eat the annual Thanksgiving and Christmas lunch and it is awful, just far too bland and salty at the same time. :eek:


     
  20. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Our kids call those piggle-sticks. We found out today that Sausage and State Testing - not good. We had A LOT of bathroom breaks.

    We have free breakfast during state testing, but its all carbs - bagels, french toast sticks, etc. I can't believe they can stay awake.

    Lunch is worse. We actually have mozzarella sticks for lunch a lot. Guess what the veggie is? Yep, the marinara sauce.

    Fortunately we have a culinary program in my school and they cook for the teachers so I get yummy lunch.
     
  21. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Our lunches are a mix. Most are not what you would call healthful, and most are loaded with carbs and very little protein, which is what the kids need to get through the rest of the day! We do serve fresh fruit or veggie just about everyday. I would never allow my own kids to eat our school lunches, and I have pretty much cut them out and bring my own leftovers from home.

    I think the real issue is the budget. It is cheaper to serve starches than proteins. I really worry about some of the kids. Sometimes one of my kids comes to school with a pack of pop tarts to eat at snack - but I always tell her she can have it after school and I get her some p.b. and crackers or a cheese stick or something.

    I got really brave this year and banned sugar from our classroom snacks! I haven't had any negative feedback from the parents either. I do allow a treat for birthdays, and once in a while they get a Hershey's kiss or a small KitKat for a birthday treat, but we are a sugar free classroom otherwise! The parents have been sending great snacks - lots of fruit, veggies, cheese, pretzels, yogurt. Ok, so one sent an entire pie last fall - :haha: I personally took care of that problem! :2up:
     
  22. Mrs LC

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    Mar 7, 2008

    We don't serve food - the majority of kids bring lunch from home but there is a canteen (tuckshop) from which kids may order lunch and which is open twice a week for 20 minutes at lunchtime for drinks, icypoles, popcorn, fruit, etc.

    For recess, the kids bring their own from home.

    And if you think what schools feed kids is scary, you should see what the parents send!:eek:
     
  23. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    omgosh! what a cute word! I've never heard the term "icypole" before. I assume it is like a popcicle or an icee-pop or something.

    it is just too cute!
     
  24. SpaceAngel

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    This was our lunch today (daycare):

    Mini pizza (meaning, an english muffin, with tomato sauce and american cheese, some with more hceese than others)

    Corn (canned, but most of my kids did take seconds)

    Milk

    Fruit (pears or peaches, canned)

    Now don't get me wrong...the pizza things were semi-tasty in a wierd sort of way....but that isn't what I'd want MY kid eating as a meal.
     
  25. Poisontipped

    Poisontipped Rookie

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    Mar 8, 2008

    An Icypole is like frozen fruit juice in some plastic. You cut the top off and then, you suck on it. It's not milky or anything...

    The canteen at my old school has recently undergone some changes and they aren't allowed to sell some foods anymore. I believe things like supershakes and milo bars aren't allowed. The sizes of Sausage Rolls, Pies, Pasties and Hot Dogs have also been reduced. However, sandwiches and lebanese rolls are being brought in to counter it...
     
  26. Here2Learn

    Here2Learn Companion

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    Head Start has the worst everything (I wonder why). The first time I went to a Head Start to observe I noticed everything they ate almost was pre packaged....uncrustables pb&j....froot loops (sp) in the packages. And there were FIVE cooks in the kitchen. I was like what in the hell are they doing all day? five people? My kids go to Kindercare....where they do have healthy lunches/snacks...and there is one person who prepares all the food. The schools where I live really do have quite healthy lunches...and even daycares have "healthy lunchbox policies" ....so I've never had any complaints until I went to Head Start. But, I've had a lot of complaints about Head Start (the one I saw, anyway) After they got finished eating all of their junk....they would never brush their teeth. They have a rack that holds all of the kids toothbrushes..and that's part of the Head Start program...but they never did it once. They never learned anything....I was in a three year old class where the kids had no clue what colors were what....they would say that white was purple. I should stop now because I could really write a book about the things I've seen at Head Start. So, in response to the question....there are healthy lunches at most schools (from my experience). However, Head Start operates on another planet in regard to everything. I'm glad I had been involved with some really great programs BEFORE I ever went to a Head Start ....so I was able to see the difference. If you haven't had much experience outside of Head Start....I would reccomend getting some. It's a totally different place. Some people love it....it's not somewhere I could work.
     
  27. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    Mar 9, 2008

    Actually, what you call an icypole is what we call an iceblock or an icestick. And we have milky ones available, called Milky Freezes. Icypoles are more like what I think popsicles are - frozen chunks of goodness-knows-what (fruit juice and lemonade are favorites) with a wooden stick for a handle. If they are made with creamy liquid then they are ice creams.

    Writing about all these lovely cold treats makes me want one now! We had 39 degrees (Celcius!) here today. :eek:
     

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