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Confessions Of A School LUNCH Lady

When I decided to take a break from the corporate world and before I started a work-from-home business, I decided to spend a few years working at my kids' school. I thought it would be a great learning experience to find out what the school system was like and how the teachers related to the kids and such. Boy was it ever a learning experience.

If you ever want to know what your kids are eating at school I would advise you to work in your kid’s cafeteria for a week. Your kid MIGHT eat what you pack when you visit but it'll be a real eye opener when you see how most kids eat. You will be amazed.

With school getting ready to start in my district in 2 weeks I thought I would share what I observed.

School Lunch:

School lunch is full of saturated fats, fatty foods and highly processed, packaged foods and sugar. Most of it has no nutritional value at all. I have seen so many types of meals I would never feed my kids. Lots of school districts offer a salad bar but let me tell you what's at the salad bar; salad, fruit, veggies, popsicles (sugary ones), mayo, ranch dressing, catchup, mustard, ice cream.

After witnessing with my own eyes I can tell you that most kids who eat the schools lunch only get the condiments and or popsicle/ice cream. There are some kids who get fruit or vegetables but most of those end up in the trash. All in all, I would estimate of the kids who eat school lunch, 85 percent are not eating a fruit or vegetable and only eat the dessert and a main course like taquitos, nachos with cheese dip, pizza (with ranch slathered on), brunch with tons of syrup, hamburgers or fried chicken.

Some of the kids who eat school lunch are kids who qualify for free lunch and probably don't get much to eat at home. These kids are eating crap and are undernourished. That may be hard to believe with the obesity issue today, but those bodies are filled with hollow calories offering little nutrition.

Packed Lunch:

Lots of parents send their kids to school with a lunch and feel as if their kids are getting a better meal.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Add a Comment2 Comments

alysiak

While my kids were still in schools, the kitchens began preparing real, fresh foods for the cafeterias. While they weren't gourmet meals, they were appealing enough to make a dent in the junk food purchases (a pizza and a taco chain had stalls in the cafeteria). Observing which students were more likely to patron the pizza and taco stalls, I noticed the leaner kids, and even the "oddly dressed," loved the salad bar. It was most interesting to see, and very telling about what kids will go for.

The schools also eventually banned soda vending machines, replacing the products with bottled water, juices and sports drinks.

August 7, 2009 - 4:35pm
CharlotteSal

I do have to add that my own personal friends have been very respectful with making sure my kids are ok to eat certain foods. They ask what is OK and are mindful not to indulge them when they are visiting.

For that I am truly grateful. I have great friends.

August 7, 2009 - 9:59am
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