Your School's Lunches

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Ms. I, Apr 12, 2011.

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  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Apr 12, 2011

    On the way to work this morning, I heard on the radio that a Chicago school has banned kids from bringing lunch from home & must either go hungry OR eat the school's food because the school feels their food's healthier than anything the kids can bring from home. This is outrageous!

    Have YOU ever eaten your school's lunch (that are fed to the kids)?

    I wouldn't eat the processed foods I see being served at the schools in my district (pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, tater tots, burritos). It's definitely not the healthiest. I've never once tried it so I have no idea how it tastes.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My district has food brought in from local restaurants. It's preordered by families on a quarterly basis and there are different restaurants each day...one day pizza, another day deli, another is bagel day, another Asian food... Each restaurant offers a variety of menu items from which to choose. I've had sushi that I ordered one quarter. It was quite good. The pizza is hot and fresh. I'd say that most items look tasty and fresh and the kids enjoy them.
     
  4. iateach

    iateach New Member

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    In the 4 years at my school I have to eaten a single lunch here. First, they look terrible and unhealthy. Second it is cheaper for me to take my lunch then to buy it on a daily basis. That way I know what is in my food. IMO school lunches have gone downhill in the last 10-15 years. When I was in HS all of our lunches were handmade and very good. Nowadays school lunches are just heated up and nothing else. Most of our kids could use a good home cooked meal.
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I read an article about it this morning. No, I would NEVER eat normal school lunch food that is brought in by Sysco. However, I do know that there are some schools that actually do work with the local farmers. There is a school in Maine where they do this and the cafeteria workers actually MAKE the food, not just heat it up. This is a case where I would encourage families to eat the school lunch food.

    So, I need to know more about this case. Where is this school in Chicago getting their food from and are they actually preparing it fresh in the cafeteria?
     
  6. midwestteacher

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    Our school cafeterias staff used to be really good about making things from scratch. Over the past three years or so, they have started buying more prepackaged foods. They told us that new regulations require them to have records about nutritional information for everything served. If they make it from scratch, they don't have that information.
    They still make homemade soups - chilli, chicken noodle, and vegetable, homemade hot rolls, homemade cinnamon rolls, homemade cakes. They offer salads, but only to staff that preorder. I think the kids would love to access to the salads.
     
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I eat what the kids eat almost every day.

    Not real happy about it, though.
     
  8. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oh, brother. :confused: That's just ridiculous. I mean, so, prepackaged food is better than making things from scratch using locally grown food, perhaps even organic, because it has information on it? Doesn't make sense.

    ETA: Oh, and I just went to Sysco's website and couldn't find ANY nutritional information or a list of ingredients that they use in their food. I think that this information should be well known to the public.
     
  9. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Apr 12, 2011

    When I worked in the San Francisco Public Schools, we did not have a cafeteria. The district would send a truck over with the lunches in these soft foam boxes with straps and they would sit in our outdoor halls for 2-3 hours before they were served to the kids. The lunches were just reheated tv dinners. Since they had been sitting all morning, they were room temperature by lunchtime and the plastic over the top had condensation all over it. All our kids were free and reduced lunch, so they just set the foam boxes out for the kids to take lunch from when it was lunchtime-the kids were suppose to sit on the concrete and eat them. Very few of the kids ate them-I found the janitor bringing huge boxes of them home with her one day.
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    When I was a student myself, I've never eaten any of my schools' food, except once or twice in HS, I ate their cheeseburger, which had a funny taste. In elem school, many kids including me got the school's milk.

    Now that's what I call a school's lunch!

    Don't know. My radio station just said a school in Chicago.

    Why don't you bring your own?
     
  11. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Today was actually the first day. OMG they have almond crunch bars! BF and I were determined that they didn't exist anymore after an extensive search. Who knew they were right downstairs?

    I just grabbed a salad. (and the ice cream) The dressing was GROSS but the salad was ok. Had a lot of veggies in it. But the kids complain that they just took tastycakes away. They had ice cream still, and most of the main lunch options were full of processed carbs. Most of the kids get Swiss Tea, which I am thinking has about as much sugar as a soda.
     
  12. AKPuffin

    AKPuffin Rookie

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    My first year teaching I ate school lunch and gained 10 to 15 pounds. I've eaten lunch at my current school a couple of times, but every time I've ended up with a terrible stomach ache requiring Tums. The cost to teachers is at least $2 more than it is to the students for the same meal so that also keeps me from eating in the cafeteria.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Here's a link to the Chicago school lunch story. As a parent, I'd have an issue with shelling out $$ every day for my kids to eat school lunch...I definitely make a healthy lunch that my kids would eat...this is just an expensive idea for both parents and the taxpayers who will be paying more for those who can't afford to pay for the mandated lunches every day....:2cents: just another example of how personal liberty is being eroded.:(
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelo...ade-lunches-the-latest-in-national-food-fight
     
  14. peachacid

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    I think this kind of action depends completely on what the school is serving and what the kids are bringing. Our students bring chips, candy, and soda as their lunch, or they have sandwiches on wonderbread. No vegetables. Nothing healthy. The school lunch at least contains protein and vegetables, though it is ridiculously bad.
     
  15. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    My girls would starve, they do not like school lunch for the most part.

    I eat anything - so yes, i will eat school lunch although, it is not the healthiest meal you can eat. Our cafeteria also makes soup every day, and has pretty good salads. Sometimes they make special lunch for the teachers, like peppers and egg sandwiches :) mmm
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Some of the people who make our school lunches are trained chefs so yes, they are mostly from scratch (except for twice a month pizza from a local restaurant). They post the nutritional information for each meal in the lunch room. There is definitely a way to keep track of NI when making food from scratch. We have dieticians who plan the menus. I do not necessarily like most of the foods they prepare but since I have to eat with the students I will eat some of it (it is free after all).
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I have a feeling that many students in that school are going to suddenly come down with food allergies...
     
  18. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    When I eat school food I GAIN WEIGHT!

    School food has been loaded with carbs that a kids need not what adults need
     
  19. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Not only have I never eaten a meal from my school's cafeteria, I have never set foot anywhere near the cafeteria during lunch. There are about 900 students in there for each lunch period and I have no interest in finding out what that feels like to be in!

    As a vegetarian with vegetarian children I have to wonder if their allergy exception includes dietary restrictions by choice. And I'd be so annoyed to have to pay for lunch each day for two kids since I know the healthy brown bag lunch my kids have most days cost less than $2.25.
     
  20. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Kids were more active in the good ole days now kids don't seem to be as active.

    I don't know but my mom made my lunch
    [​IMG]
    and I was a healthy kid played sports, played all day. (as an adult I have just a weight problem not related to my mom's cooking)

    My lunch would be PB&J, Cheese or Ham & Cheese sandwiche, some carrots and/or celery, and an apple, a Pear or an orange and 2 cookies.

    BUT I was active
    we only had 4 TV stations,
    [​IMG]
    so we didn't watch a lot of TV
    I had a bike
    [​IMG]
    and I did not have to be home till the street lights came on.
    [​IMG]
    The only arcade machine was pinball and I was not allowed to go to the arcade without Dad.[​IMG]
     
  21. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Right. I didn't think about that. I know when I was in high school, there were many days I had to go hungry because there were no choices for me (I was on free lunch so my parents didn't pack me a lunch).
     
  22. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    When I did my student teaching at a high school, I ate the school lunch once. It wasn't bad--there was a meat dish of some sort (roasted chicken, maybe?), squash casserole, and fruit. I remember being very pleasantly surprised by the lunch. Most students were eating hamburgers and fries or pizza, though.

    I prefer to bring my own lunch because it's more cost effective. From what I gather from this Chicago school, both the school AND the food supplier are profiting from this arrangement. I think the policy is a cash cow as opposed to a program intended to improve the health of students.
     
  23. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Same here. We also just an amazing cook, and the new person isn't as willing to try different things. We used to often have fresh fruit, for example. Now, it's very rare. Our kids can get salads on M, W, and Fri, but they are just iceberg lettuce with a few carrots or pieces of tomato. There are still a few things I enjoy, but not many...
     
  24. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    School lunches are subsidized by the government for students, not teachers. Make sure you are paying full price or next thing you know, they will be complaining about that, too. "You get summers off AND your lunch is half paid for." :)
     
  25. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Good question. I bike almost an hour each way to school. Bag space is very limited - everything must either go securely on my bike or attach to my back - and I usually have quite a bit of stuff to carry. Food is actually quite heavy and bulky.
     
  26. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    In regard to cost
    most lunch programs are federally funded the price we pay is the "actual" cost
    The kids pay a reduced price or free
    The reduced price is meant for kids only by law


    Edit did not see silverspoon's post
     
  27. pete2770

    pete2770 Comrade

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    When I was in school I ate school lunch all the time. Mainly because I was really active and my parents couldn't have packed enough food to satisfy my generous appetite. ;) A lot of the food was processed, but I can't remember them ever serving fried foods.

    The school I'm at now...all the options are fried, cheesy bread, mozzarella sticks, egg rolls, etc. Domino's Pizza deep dish. Nothing ever healthy, but I eat it sometimes because I work in the cafeteria and it's hard to resist the smell.

    They used to have pop (soda), but were forced to switch to calorie free drinks and 100% juices.

    I guess next year they're going to start listing calories and providing healthy options (to beat the regulation that's coming). So I'm pretty excited about that. ;)

    It's sad though, my father went to this school and said school lunches were his favorite (back in the 60's). He said every meal was home cooked and absolutely wonderful.
     
  28. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I usually don't, unless I get a small salad (we have a salad bar daily). The menu is usually pizza, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, and the hot lunch switches out every day. Not exactly the healthiest... but I do like the beef stew and potatoes.

    Even when I do get a side salad, I have to pay $3. Kids pay $1.25 for the whole meal. And most of the kids are bigger than me.
     
  29. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Just getting in on this.

    This is ridiculous! GAG!!! Most of our school lunches are nasty. I have a little hispanic boy in my class that shoves his plate out of the way when we have burritos or just about anything for that matter, well, except for the yummy mystery meat steak fingers. *GAG A MAGGOT!!*

    As for gaining weight... one of the teacher at a local elementary school lost weight... by NOT eating the lunchroom food!!!!

    I just don't think that P is right in this decision. I hope she is right there with the kids eating all that mess. I would DARE her to bring something from home to eat for lunch one day. All heck would break loose, I'm sure!

    Here is a sample of our menu... (Any typos are from the person that posts it on the website... not me and my 2 cents are in bold)

    4/4/2011
    Breakfast: sausage biscuit juice milk
    Lunch: Steakfingers Mac&Cheese English Peas Mixed Fruit fruit cocktail Salad

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4/5/2011
    Breakfast: B Pizza Juice Milk
    Lunch: Corndog Sweat Potato Cass. Cabbage Applesauce Salad

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4/6/2011
    Breakfast: hard, wheat *GAG*Pancakes Juice Milk
    Lunch: Pizza Broccoli STEMS!!/Cheese Veg. Sticks Blue Berrie Cake Salad

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4/7/2011
    Breakfast: Chicken Biscuit Jice Milk
    Lunch: Hot Ham&Cheese Sand. Corn Chips W/K Corn Lima Beans Oranges Salad

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4/8/2011
    Breakfast: Apple Strudel Juice Milk We did NOT have apple studel... we had LEFTOVER open face "hot" ham and cheese on a wheat bun
    Lunch: Rib-E-Que Sand. Fries fries are blah!!! Baked Beans Apple, Salad
     
  30. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Yes, I think I would gag over steak fingers too LOL
    I print out the menu ahead of time and pick out the lunches I want to eat. The grilled chicken is my favorite (served a few different ways) and I usually skip the white bun or bread. We never have processed foods, not even hot dogs!
     
  31. callmebob

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    I don't even look at the kids menu. I have never eaten their food. No thank you. Doesn't look good, and the price is not right.
     
  32. smurfette

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    When I was little, I sometimes ate the school lunches, but they look so bad nowadays, you couldn't pay me to. I didn't click on the link, so I don't know if I read the exact same article, but the one I did read had a picture of the school lunch with it. This so-called healthy lunch had canned fruit, processed American cheese, tater tots, carrots, and a mystery meat sandwich. The only thing I would touch would be the carrots. (Actually, I do indulge in tater tots from time to time, but only if they are fresh out of the oven...cafeteria tots are dry.) I can't imagine being forced to pay to serve that crap to my child. I imagine that the vegetarian lunch would be the same, with a PBJ substituted every day for the mystery meat sandwich.

    I just don't see how they can legally charge money to parents who want to send in a lunch from home. This might be challenged in court, and would certainly be challenged if it happened in a more well-to-do district where the parents might be lawyers.
     
  33. historynut

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    That sounds a lot like the school I'm at. Their roast chicken is awesome. Our staff just wrote a grant to get more fresh veggies. The problem is with the prepackaged crud and the stuff they do that has absolutely no flavor.
     
  34. JustMe

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    I want to know the same!
     
  35. waterfall

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    That is crazy! I can't imagine that would be legal...especially given dietary restrictions and things like that. That's also a highly offenseive statement to make to parents when they say that the school lunch is healthier than what the parents pack (implying that they can't pack a healthy lunch). Maybe with more background on the school it would help me understand how they are possibly going to implement this. Almost all kids at my school qualify for free lunch. The food doesn't look absolutely terrible or anything, but its certainly not anything I'd want to eat. On days I have lunch duty the cafeteria workers usually ask me if I want anything to eat. I always eat my own lunch before duty so I'm not even tempted to try anything.
     
  36. PCdiva

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    Ours does the same thing 4 days a week and students have to bring in lunch the 5th day....I've never gotten it because you have to order ahead of time. Plus its between 3 and 5 dollars, I'd rather just go out if I want take out. I was suprised, my old school had a cafeteria, That could really add up for the parents with several kids!
     
  37. TeachingNTX

    TeachingNTX Rookie

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    I would be pulling my children out everyday thus allowing them to sit in my car and eat their sack lunch. No way would a P tell me to pay for the junk in the cafeteria. Just the smell makes me sick. Gross
     
  38. EMonkey

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    The district would stop this plan immediately due to all the threatened lawsuits from moms and dads from the school I work at.
     
  39. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    I will say that the majority of our district uses Chartwells Thompson and they do have a meatless version of food every day. We do live in a city with many ethnic populations with dietary restrictions.

    I hear they have been promoting "healthier" lunches this year than in the past- I also hear the kids are chucking tons of it- at least at my school.

    Interestingly enough it is a Chicago based company- but the web only presents menus for DC and Duval county.

    The school presented in the article has 99 percent of students on free/reduced lunch. People often lie on applications.

    Not saying I agree or disagree- just some facts.
     
  40. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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  41. LUCHopefulTeach

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    While I student taught in CPS, I did have students who constantly brought McDonalds, Hot Cheetos, and Pop Tarts. On the same token, I had students who brought healthier lunches than what the school provided- which at times wasn't even edible!

    I wouldn't even say that the food that is distributed to CPS for school lunches is healthy- maybe healthy than Hot Cheetos- but not healthy in a traditional sense. I've seen way too much green containers covered in shrink wrap with some form of brown recooked meat in it way too many times.
     
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