One of the many benefits of homeschooling our 10th grader that I didn’t think about at first, is that he no longer has to eat school lunches.
Before my lunch lady friend gets her hair net in a bunch, let me explain. It has nothing to do with the service. When I taught school, I learnedÂ just how hard that lunch crew works. Arriving early, heaving giant pots and pans around, and doing it all with a smile while many of their little customers will still say, “I don’t like that!” (their Mama’s didn’t raise them right).
The lunchroom ladies get a gold star. I’m talking about two other problems that can be traced further up the line of command. First, the food’s nutrition content meets the bare necessities at best, and second, the quantity served isn’t adequate for most children.
Although both boys took their lunches to school when they were young, as they grew older, it wasn’t “cool” anymore. Even if they ditched Thomas The Tank Engine lunchbox in favor of a generic paper bag, no-way, no-how were they going to carry their lunch to school . . . which of course, would have solved a big part of the problem.
When the youngest developed migraine headaches, I started investigating the school lunch contents. Most days, there was something breaded, frozen and reheated on their plates. Mozzarella sticks were considered a main dish, and “fruit” was often swimming in preservatives and a sugary syrup. You get the picture.
Speaking of pictures, look at this:
Typical school lunches from around the world.
We live in a wonderful farming community, but because of federal regulations, we don’t serve anything locally grown (that I’ve ever heard of or seen). Most of it’s frozen and shipped in on big trucks.
First Lady Michelle Obama had good intentions with her healthy eating initiative, but when children refused to eat the food or worse yet, ate it. but remained hungry, there was an uproar.
Now that my son is home, I can’t believe how much he eats all day. He’s tall and lanky, and has grown at least four inches in one year, but there’s no fear (at-all-ever-never-in-a-million-years) of him being overweight. The kid is just growing!
When I’m feeding him for the third or fourth time before 3pm, I often think about his friends in pubic school who have to go for 7-8 hours with only a tiny lunch. Some of them don’t even start the day with breakfast! This doesn’t make any sense at all. Our school system treats these teens like slow metabolizing adults instead of the fast-growing, hungry, sleepy, moody bundles of joy they are.
What do you think about school lunches?