Friday, April 6, 2012

If I was Queen of the Lunchroom...

My district gives us the gift of Good Friday.  I've enjoyed this day with all of my heart.  I got up a little later than usual and made breakfast in my jammies,  The look on my son's face as he was preparing to leave and noticed I was still in plaid, flannel pants was priceless.   After much kissing of daughter she set off on her bike with my husband lagging behind.  Usually I walk with them but her riding the bike makes it much less fun.  I had a mission in mind anyway.  I crawled back between my aubergine sheets and read, The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker, and drifted between reading and sleep.  I love drowsy.

My husband brought me a bowl of cereal and cuddled with me for a few minutes before he left for work/church and I was able to read 5 more chapters (laughing out loud several times under the covers) before crawling out from the warm covers.  I dressed in Saturday clothes (Gap pants with side cargo pockets, Gap oatmeal long sleeve tee and a long cardigan) and took the straightener to my fat hair.  Off to the mall to gather some Easter basket treats.  I love picking pretty Spring items for my kids.  I don't even bother with the basket now that the kids are bigger.  I use baskets from around the house.  The Easter bunny has even been know to use clay pots for his treats.  I finished at the mall and headed home to grab a snack.

On the rare days I've had off and she doesn't Groovy Girl and I love to have lunch together in her cafeteria.  She's brings her lunch 98% of the time.  She's a picky eater and not much on the lunch menu appeals to her.  I'm not happy that she is such a picky eater but I'm glad she chooses our lunch over what the school has to offer.  Today sitting at the small round table with a gaggle of giggly girls I (again) am mortified as to what is served to our children.  Well, not my child, but most of the kids in the cafeteria were eating school lunch.

Today's fare was either a huge slice of greasy pizza or 2 huge cheese bread sticks and a cup of vanilla ice cream. The bread stick in the photo actually has more cheese than the ones I saw today and they truly didn't look done.   On several of the platters there was a large scoop of formerly frozen strawberries, which is at least a fruit or had been, but not one plate had any veggies.  The bread stick kids had a small container, fast food style, of marinara sauce for dunking-was that supposed to be a veggie?

Not only was the food not healthy but this is how the kids ate it:  the ice cream cup was opened and eaten first.  A few that had the strawberry mix added that to ice cream cup and stirred. Hurrah-they accidentally got one serving of a fruit that was also probably sugar-laced!  One girl at our table poured some of her chocolate milk into her ice cream.  All the 4th grade girls at our table had the bread sticks; not the pizza, and they ate some  of the heavily-breaded sticks after downing the ice cream.

If I was queen of the lunchroom I'd make a mandate that you'd have to bring up your almost empty tray to get an ice cream cup.  If I was queen of the lunchroom though they'd have a delicious tray of food, filled with veggies and bright colors.  While I can't blame the kids for eating the ice cream first-who am I too judge dessert first-but I find it appalling as to what the "experts" call nutritious for an afternoon of learning.

Not to brag but here's what Groovy Girl's frog lunch bag contained;  a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, a small container of grapes, a small container of baby carrots, a clementine, and an organic juice box.  I could tell she was a little green with envy as she watched her friends scarf down vanilla ice cream, or chocolate /strawberry-infused ice cream but she quickly turned her attention back to her own lunch.  We shared the clementine and the small handful of blue chips with flax that I love.  One bonus was that she (and the other "brown baggers") get to sit first while the other students wait in line for their lunch-her sandwich was mostly gone before the lunch trays were sliding across our table.  She only had to nibble at her other healthy food choices as she conversed with her friends.

I don't have a cool phone or I would have snapped an amazing photo of this lunch adventure instead I borrowed my photo from this blogger, Eat Hoboken, who wrote about school lunches back in 2010.  Click the link to check it out.  Too bad she's not still chronicling her journey.

I don't know if Groovy Girl's school and my school have the same lunches but I constantly look at what the kids at my school are eating (esp. book club days) and am sad that no vegetarian option is available.  Public schools need  to find funding for better food choices for our children.  Hyping them up on sugar and carbs is no way to learn. Have you ever read about what professional sports teams eat and now even college-level players?  They are working hard to make sure their players are eating well for best performances.  Why can't we get that for our youngest generation?

On reading; I finished and loved The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich.  What took me so long to pick this book up, I'll never know but it was wonderful to read.

Blessing on this Good Friday.


Elaine said...

Loved your peaceful morning description! I am so enjoying this long weekend. I really needed some down time.

Lisa said...

I think I'd look forward to that day all year long. I wish someone would give me the gift of a day!

I have The Queen of Kentucky on my library shelf, maybe I'll start it soon.

T takes his lunch every day as well. I've never actually SEEN the lunches at our school, but he's just not interested. He does like to eat on chili day, and if they have "Mr. Ribb on a bun" (ew), which ends up being less than twice a month. I'm ok with that.

Janssen said...

The world would be such a better place if you were! I am ill at what kids eat at school. No WONDER there is such a correlation between income and school performance, when they're eating mostly school food. Ugh.

NatalieSap said...

I thought the Queen of Kentucky had its hilarious moments too. And our school lunches are by no means healthy, but we certainly don't put ice cream on the tray! Yeesh! We actually got a grant for a fresh fruit & veggie program, so students at least get a healthy snack three times a week. Baby steps. :)