Sep 21, 201211:01 AMHome & Garden
Bob Carey, D.B. Frank and All Things Home
The Confusing World of Children's Lunches.
Schools confuse me these days. At fifty, this should come as no surprise to me at all, as I spent most of my childhood days confused by schools.
Some things never change, I guess.
However, my confusion now is slightly different than it was way back then. Today, I’m confused about lunch and lunch shouldn’t be confusing at all.
Lunch is such a simple thing - a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, maybe some potato chips or a cookie or two.
Simple, right? Not so much.
You see, back when I was attending school, that’s basically what we got. We had a choice of one hot meal - perhaps a bowl of chili or a toasted cheese sandwich. And there was always our choice of a dessert. I liked the egg custard, personally.
With that we also got a drink, with a choice of white or chocolate milk or an artificial drink that was supposed to taste like orange juice being the usual fare. If we were lucky, our parents gave us that extra fifteen cents that we could use to purchase an ice cream. Since lunches were fifty cents in and of themselves though, the extra money was often considered a luxury.
In today’s world though, things are different.
Schools today offer a wide array of lunches. The common denominator though is that it must be healthy. The lunches served must meet certain guidelines. To begin, they must have a mix of fruit and vegetables. And of course, the drinks must be non-fat or low-fat. Ice cream? Heaven forbid. They cannot exceed the set calorie requirements for the age group of the children. Things must not be fried, or cooked in any oils that are considered unhealthy.
Now, I am by no means a nutritionist, and I certainly do not have the influence of the FLOTUS, but I do think I have a smattering of common sense. And this is where the confusion comes in, I suppose.
Could someone explain to me how all this healthy food is helping our children when it is ultimately being dumped into the trash can? I mean, really now. We’re paying almost three dollars so the kids can throw away almost fifty percent of their lunches.
You see, they can’t decline the fruit, the green beans, or the broccoli. They MUST take it, whether they want it or not. How many kids do you know that can't wait to gulp down that next serving of beans or broccoli? Exactly. So naturally, into the trash it goes.
And often, since those items are obviously part of the calorie count, the children remain hungry. What do they do then? Why, the only logical thing - they purchase a second lunch! They proceed to eat a second helping of four baked chicken nuggets, and then... Oh yes, again, the rest of the food goes in the trash. Terrific logic.
Now, I understand that the line-of-thought nowadays is to present an environment that promotes healthy eating. I agree that kids should be eating healthier, particularly considering childhood obesity being such a major problem today. I assume we could pack them a lunch from home, although some schools actually monitor the foods we send our children to school with and do not always agree with our choices.
One thing I am absolutely sure of as I sort through the confusing world of children’s lunches is that common sense is dead. Apparently, so is personal choice.
For now, I suppose I’ll just muddle through life, remaining confused.