Jump to content

Perception Of School Lunches..


Lizard
 Share

Recommended Posts

Not sure if this is the right place, if not, perhaps a mod will move it?

 

I'm pulling this from another thread, a statement that was made, which I personally find offensive.

 

Cattle are also being fed cattle by-products from slaughter houses. That's right - cow cannibals.

 

Yeah. And it's still higher-quality than the garbage fed to kids in school lunches. I envy the cows.

 

I guess this is the right forum, because I feel like ranting.

 

This is outright bullshit. I don't know about the schools where the person who made this statement is, however, there are FEDERAL guidelines that MUST be followed.

 

We just completed meetings and are having more on wellness and nutrition.

 

 

I also have a question for the general assembly here..

 

What are YOUR perceptions of school lunch?

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Keeping this site online isn't free, so we need your support! Make a one-time donation or choose one of the recurrent patron options by clicking here.



My school's lunches were fine, pretty good in comparison to reports of all the "garbage" school lunches all over the nation (i graduated high school this year).

 

They actually would try and make an effort to keep the meals nutritious. They even stocked some of the vending machines with helth stuff. (yuck) Needless to say its the students who choose what to ea tin the end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I graduated high school in 1981, from a city district surrounded by several more affluent school systems. Yet we were the first in the area to offer a salad bar. I've no knowledge of current situations, but I'd guess that school lunches are at least as (and probably more) healthy than kids get at home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We got chicken that was turned down by dog food companies, fish that still had bones in it, and soy "meat" that was so dry it could choke a goat. The chili highschoolers got was recycled from the grade school's previous day's lunch, and the hamburger in it usually had mroe gristle and bone fragments than actual meat. The "eggs" were inedible gunk that was rock-hard on top and foul-tasting liquid on the bottom, no one in their right mind ate the sausage or the "macaroni and cheese". The pizza had the consistency of cardboard, the burritos virtually required one to use a chainsaw to get through the shell, the french fries were consistently either stale or cold. The peas were more suitable to horsefeed than feeding to human beings, the pasta looked like worms and often had the consistency of mashed potatoes, and everything had a very... unique smell.

 

The only edible things served in that school were the soft-serve ice cream and the foods out of the vending machines. But they removed those.

 

And, last time I checked in with my brothers, they weren't letting kids bring their own lunches, either. It doesn't say much for a school's menu when they're having to resort to forcing kids to either eat that garbage, or go hungry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We got chicken that was turned down by dog food companies, fish that still had bones in it, and soy "meat" that was so dry it could choke a goat. The chili highschoolers got was recycled from the grade school's previous day's lunch, and the hamburger in it usually had mroe gristle and bone fragments than actual meat. The "eggs" were inedible gunk that was rock-hard on top and foul-tasting liquid on the bottom, no one in their right mind ate the sausage or the "macaroni and cheese". The pizza had the consistency of cardboard, the burritos virtually required one to use a chainsaw to get through the shell, the french fries were consistently either stale or cold. The peas were more suitable to horsefeed than feeding to human beings, the pasta looked like worms and often had the consistency of mashed potatoes, and everything had a very... unique smell.

 

The only edible things served in that school were the soft-serve ice cream and the foods out of the vending machines. But they removed those.

 

And, last time I checked in with my brothers, they weren't letting kids bring their own lunches, either. It doesn't say much for a school's menu when they're having to resort to forcing kids to either eat that garbage, or go hungry.

 

 

Okay, you have to be kidding me. Those were all just rumors. Seriously... at least I don't believe it is true. ;)

 

My school lunches weren't bad at all... they were like low quality frozen food from the regular grocery (like Tony's Pizza, canned ravioli), but they weren't anything as bad as what LadyFeline suppsedly had. My only complaint about school lunches is that they are heavily processed, but I got more variety of foods at school than I did at home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, you have to be kidding me. Those were all just rumors. Seriously... at least I don't believe it is true. ;)

Oh, I'm hardly kidding. You could WATCH the cooks haul the grade school's leftovers up to the high school... And I heard horror stories about the food they bought straight from the cooks...

 

Then again, my high school was probably unique. When you funnel all your funds into the football team, you have to cut corners somewhere. With us, it was cafeteria and arts funds...

 

:shrug: I just know I went hungry at school from my Freshman year all the way 'til I graduated. I only ever touched that stuff if I was desperate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lady Feline, I'm so sorry to hear that. Were they part of the National School Lunch Program? That is, did you have kids that were on the free lunch program?

 

If not, then the Feds have no control.

 

I can tell you, we work very hard to make good, nutritious meals. Its hard to compete with MickeyD's though. I would not recommend anyone eat there, but when we see parents bring in hamburgers, fries and soda and then try to say how bad our food is nutritionally, it really pisses me off.

 

I will say, our hamburgers DO have soy in them, as a filler. To keep them from falling apart, much like you would put bread crumbs in a meatloaf. Of course, I'm a fan of soy..I love Boca Burgers.. :P

 

We do make alot of our things from scratch. Second day of school is spaghetti. They LOVE the spaghetti..I use the same recipe at home. We make our own breads too, except hamburger buns.

 

Fresh fruit and veggies outnumber processed, canned crap. Like, we'll offer canned peaches..and then apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, watermelon..all in the same day.

 

But, I know not all schools do this. I heard from my neighbor how crappy her lunches are. She works at the army post school. (and this is ironic, but they don't seem to follow the federal guidelines and regs). They give them crap like hot dogs and potato chips.

 

Oh, and speaking of hot dogs..we use only turkey dogs..

 

First day of school: August 14..menu:

Chicken nuggets (all white meat :grin: )

mashed potatoes/w gravy

sliced peaches

cali veggies

fresh fruit

homemade wheat roll

choice of milk: 1% or 2% white, lowfat choco, lowfat strawberry, lowfat vanilla

 

Alternate lunch:

Baked potato w/cheese

all of the above

 

Wish I could invite you to lunch at my school..I think you'd be pleasantly surprised..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Highschool had some good food and they did their best to make it more healthy (albeit to our dismay). A lot of the food was alright, of course we joked about it but it was not slop. They actually had some good food. Turkey and gravy was always a favorite. We had a few kids who got either free, or reduced cost lunches. Our school amde their own rolls, which we always ate like we never got any bread, we also always had a choice of some kind of fruit. Additionally we always had at least 4 or 5 choices of a main lunch, whatever the main hot lunch was that day and pizza, hamburgers, salad, some kind of sandwhich and usually something else.

 

They give them crap like hot dogs and potato chips.

My school had those some days, but that was rare.

 

Chicken nuggets (all white meat )

mashed potatoes/w gravy

sliced peaches

cali veggies

fresh fruit

homemade wheat roll

choice of milk: 1% or 2% white, lowfat choco, lowfat strawberry, lowfat vanilla

Thats better that what we got. We would get that minus the wheat rool (ours were white bread) and the fresh fruit and veggies, at most for veggies we would have carrots or green beans (these came with the main hot lunch only) and maybe peaches.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have a question for the general assembly here..

 

What are YOUR perceptions of school lunch?

 

Hi Liz,

 

My daughter was in third grade(public school) this past year and I would drop in to eat lunch with her, usually every couple of weeks at least. They always have a choice between two meats plus the regular veggy add-ons which I found pretty good but a bit simple. I'm a fairly low-maintenance fellow but quite picky when it comes to my food so overall I'd say the meals were pretty decent.

 

The funny thing to me was sitting at a table with three giggling girls while a dining room full of kids were staring, watching me eat. Funny stuff. :HaHa:

 

cheers,

cho

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I don't know about the nutrional quality but in the 80's when I went to school the lunsches were nasty and thats being nice. However there is concern over foo 'safety' issues. Here is a Dateline Report on How Safe Is School Cafeteria Food

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been ten years since I last had cafeteria food, but other than being overly processed and cheap, I ate there every day. Some of the stuff they had was really good, like the spaghettie and the turkey and gravy. Other things I skipped on like the mac and cheese (which was never good). They had fresh fruit and salad (which I never ate at the time), and they had good hamburgers.

 

Oh, and my middle school had the best cinnamon rolls I have EVER had. Fresh and homebaked. I was so addicted to those I even ordered a box worth my last day of 8th grade before I had to leave the school forever. *L*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read the report. Its always funny how they don't visit any schools with no violations. Those who are doing their very best, working their asses off and making sure all things are right.

 

I had one violation last year..one of my ladies failed to measure the bleach she put in the sanitizing water and it was a little too high. Not a major thing.

 

The thing is, the budget for School Nutrition Services is not the same as the educational budget. In fact, we get no tax dollar funds. We have to maintain and be self supporting.

 

I'll give you an example of a typical work situation:

 

We work shorthanded, nearly every day, being told "you have enough help to get the job done."

 

The people who apply to work are on the lower echelons of intelligence, quite often. Several of my ladies barely speak English!

 

We work with no scheduled breaks. How many of you who work for another company will agree to work 8 hours nonstop? Our policy reads thus:

"A break may be taken, if time allows."

 

That means, if we cannot get out at our scheduled time, no break is allowed.

 

They gave us a raise this year. It sounded good (sort of) in the papers. First raise in 3 years. 5%...that's what the paper said. But..we heard the truth of that matter yesterday. Its 5% of the midrange. For some of us, that means 2-3%. 50 cents an hour! Woo hoo! Send a guard to accompany me to my car as I carry that big check out.

 

Then, they increased the insurance premiums.

 

We take classes. I am nationally certified for food safety.

 

The temp thing is misleading also. Stating that an item is 120* does not mean it was not properly heated. Most likely, the temp fell after.

 

I would like to challenge y'all who see this as a major problem to check the temp of your reheated leftovers..if you made it yesterday, and want to eat it again today, make sure it is 165*. When you pick up that bucket of chicken, or that big mac and carry it home, I can guarantee it will be "in the danger zone" before you get it home to eat it.

 

Sack lunches..Mom makes a bologna sandwich or tuna salad for Johnny at 7 am. Johnny eats lunch at 12. Better throw that sandwich out, its been at room temp for 5 hours.

 

Here's another good one for you. Go to a restaurant and observe the bottle of ketchup sitting on the tables. As they get low, they just refill..and it sits out 24/7. No one sees a problem with that, right?

We have a new rule. We have ketchup in big cans. Use alot of it too! At least 5 cans for one lunch day. Ok, we want all the children to have ketchup if they want it. So, last two classes, last can is empty, we open a new one. It will be out there for about 30 minutes. Won't matter if its nearly full..we have to toss it out.

 

The article was misleading at best. Four hours in the danger zone, toss it out. It made it sound like if you ate say a piece of chicken that dropped to 120* ten minutes ago, you would get sick. That's just not true.

 

Ok..I've rambled enough..

 

It's been ten years since I last had cafeteria food, but other than being overly processed and cheap, I ate there every day. Some of the stuff they had was really good, like the spaghettie and the turkey and gravy. Other things I skipped on like the mac and cheese (which was never good). They had fresh fruit and salad (which I never ate at the time), and they had good hamburgers.

 

Oh, and my middle school had the best cinnamon rolls I have EVER had. Fresh and homebaked. I was so addicted to those I even ordered a box worth my last day of 8th grade before I had to leave the school forever. *L*

MMMMM..Cinnamon rolls! We make the best ever! Totally homemade, yes! Next to biscuit day, its the most popular.

 

There have been major changes in school lunches in the last few years too. How much fat/sodium. Competitive foods, etc. No more fried "fries"..

 

Its hard to get some kids to eat healthy. That's why I love the elementary level..teach 'em young!

 

I even got the kids to eat grapefruit :grin: Of course, it was the naturally sweet Rio Star..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am an elementary school teacher. I am also horribly disorganized in the morning and rarely bring my own food to school. So that means I often eat the school lunches.

 

My only complaint, they're boring. The food is often great. The mac and cheese we have at my school is to die for -- which is probably why I ate way more than I should have when it was out. Sometimes the stuff looks really dull or maybe the bread used to make the grill cheese was baked for too long and got harder than it should be.

 

There isn't too much of a selection of fruits and veggies on a daily basis but on a day to day basis they try and change it up.

 

The burgers, actually pretty good.

 

Of course, there is a teacher's food bar so I don't always hit the student line (but I do when their food is better). Usually the teacher food is the same with some variation. We'll have some bacon on ours if they're having burgers for example. And we have a full salad bar.

 

School lunches aren't terrible but they are what they are. Mass produced meals. That's not a bad thing but it does mean it's not going to the same food Grandma used to make for supper. Often the mass produced meals are damn good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

MMMMM..Cinnamon rolls! We make the best ever! Totally homemade, yes! Next to biscuit day, its the most popular.

 

There have been major changes in school lunches in the last few years too. How much fat/sodium. Competitive foods, etc. No more fried "fries"..

 

Its hard to get some kids to eat healthy. That's why I love the elementary level..teach 'em young!

 

I even got the kids to eat grapefruit :grin: Of course, it was the naturally sweet Rio Star..

 

 

Never got the hang of grapefruit, but I remember in elementary school we had these things called "Cheese Zombies" that they would serve with a bowl of tomato soup. They were like grilled cheese sandwiches except the cheese was baked into the bread and they were light and fluffy and oooh so tasty! Everybody LOVED Cheese Zombie day. I've missed having them for years. This thread made me go on a google search for them, and low and behold, look what I found:

 

Cheese Zombies

 

Excuse me, I have to go make some of this up and revert to being 8 years old again. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Fallenleaf, it is hard to mass produce homemade..we currently have over 1000 students enrolled. Of those, about 750-800 will eat lunch on any given day.

 

All of our Mexican entrees are homemade (except we don't actually make tortillas or nacho chips).

 

We have been instructed on color. Its sorta funny, but the exec director will let us know about it if everything is one color.

 

Kurari..that recipe looks really good. When we make french bread, I'm gonna play :grin: We have taken a small bit of dough, put in mozzarella cheese and jalapenos and baked. Yummy! Of course, they won't let us serve it to the children, too hot, added fat with the cheese.

 

Our pizza is actually quite good-not the cardboard type. It is frozen, but you can get a decent frozen pizza.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, and my middle school had the best cinnamon rolls I have EVER had. Fresh and homebaked. I was so addicted to those I even ordered a box worth my last day of 8th grade before I had to leave the school forever. *L*

 

That reminded me, in my freshman year of high school the cafeteria had these huge, fresh baked chocolate-chip and m&m cookies. About the size of your hand, a buck apiece.

Sold at lunch, nice and warm right out of the oven. Possibly the best cookies I have ever (and will ever) have in my life.

 

Then in my next school there was the chocolate cupcakes with Reese's peanut butter cups baked right in. Then again they only served those about twice a year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Fallenleaf, it is hard to mass produce homemade..we currently have over 1000 students enrolled. Of those, about 750-800 will eat lunch on any given day.

 

I know what it's like to be subject to unflattering generalizations, so I'd like to throw some support your way. At my school, the lunches are nutritious and affordable. Breakfast is delicious: biscuits from scratch, gravy, real scrambled eggs, fruit juice. I'd eat it every day, but I have to go the Slimfast route four days a week to avoid becoming a lardass. I usually eat a frozen dinner in the lounge with the other English teachers to avoid the line at the cafeteria (most teachers just go to the front of the line, but I despise that practice). On those rare days when I'm out of food, I find the cafeteria lunch satisfactory, often even savory. The workers are pleasant, despite the rudeness of some students and teachers.

 

I think most of the students eat better at school than at home. Students here are free to bring their own lunch and eat it in the cafeteria or in the breezeway if they prefer.

 

You are right to be proud of your work. Don't let the criticism get you down too much. and never hesitate to defend yourself and your colleague from the charges of ignorant, insensitive clods.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read the report. Its always funny how they don't visit any schools with no violations. Those who are doing their very best, working their asses off and making sure all things are right.

 

Lizard,

 

I hope you didn't take me posting the report as a personal attack on you or anyone who works in a cafeteria...I loved the cooks in school, not the food though. Sorry about that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Fallenleaf, it is hard to mass produce homemade..we currently have over 1000 students enrolled. Of those, about 750-800 will eat lunch on any given day.

 

I know what it's like to be subject to unflattering generalizations, so I'd like to throw some support your way. At my school, the lunches are nutritious and affordable. Breakfast is delicious: biscuits from scratch, gravy, real scrambled eggs, fruit juice. I'd eat it every day, but I have to go the Slimfast route four days a week to avoid becoming a lardass. I usually eat a frozen dinner in the lounge with the other English teachers to avoid the line at the cafeteria (most teachers just go to the front of the line, but I despise that practice). On those rare days when I'm out of food, I find the cafeteria lunch satisfactory, often even savory. The workers are pleasant, despite the rudeness of some students and teachers.

 

I think most of the students eat better at school than at home. Students here are free to bring their own lunch and eat it in the cafeteria or in the breezeway if they prefer.

 

You are right to be proud of your work. Don't let the criticism get you down too much. and never hesitate to defend yourself and your colleague from the charges of ignorant, insensitive clods.

Thank you, Ro-bear..I am proud of what we do and it does sometimes get to me when people spout off about what they really don't know. :scratch:

 

I fully understand the slimfast thing! School lunches are, by creation, geared for children, whose needs are different than adults. Being higher in carbs is one thing that makes some of our teachers a little nuts, but we do offer alternatives, such as chef salads and the like.

 

I read the report. Its always funny how they don't visit any schools with no violations. Those who are doing their very best, working their asses off and making sure all things are right.

 

Lizard,

 

I hope you didn't take me posting the report as a personal attack on you or anyone who works in a cafeteria...I loved the cooks in school, not the food though. Sorry about that.

I didn't take it that way at all, Jubilant. I know how the news folks work. The story of the school cafeteria that never received a demerit and fed the kids who were happy and pleased..that just doesn't make such a good story. At least, not for Dateline.. :P

 

I really can't speak for other schools/districts. I just know what WE have to do. We had our back to school meetings, and you would not believe the paperwork involved in making lunch and breakfast..the feds love to add regs, the newest is HACCP-Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. Boils down to knowing at what point any hazard can be controlled and when its too late and time to toss. LIke the temp thing. If the spaghetti sauce drops below the 140* (soon to be changed to 130*) mark, reheated to 165* within a certain time limit. If it drops again, its garbage. That is our CCP..the health dept says you can reheat endlessly :eek:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps it is my age, but when I was in elementary school from 1965 to 1972 the public school I attended (in a Los Angeles suburb) provided NO LUNCH whatsoever. If you did not bring your lunch then you had nothing to eat at all. I do not recall anyone ever making an issue of it. The only thing the school offered in the way of food was a program that you could buy into at the beginning of the school year to provide your child with an 8oz container of milk everyday.

 

We also had no cafeteria to eat in. We all ate outside on wooden picnic tables everyday. (The teachers had a nice lunchroom inside) If it rained (remember this was LA) we sat on the concrete floor outside the classrooms. The area had a roof but no walls and was exposed to the elements. Fortunately I lived close to home and was able to go home for lunch on inclement days.

 

I look back on this now and I amazed that parents did not step up to the plate to provide the tax money necessary to keep their kids off the cold concrete floor and give them a decent and comfortable place to eat. :nono:

 

The school lunch Nazis

 

Lunch at my elementary school was not only uncomfortable when the weather was not ideal; we also had to deal with the ‘Lunch Nazis.”

 

The LNs were parents that volunteered their time to oversee the children during recess and lunch time. At recess they had a hard and fast rule that once the bell rang they would raise their arm and every child had to freeze in place. We had to stand wherever we were until every child was perfectly still; then and only then would they lower their arm to indicate to us that we could return to class.

 

During lunch they would walk the tables to ensure the no child ever ate their Hostess Ding Dong before consuming their sandwich. All sweets were reserved for the end of the meal and it was strictly enforced. I was once rebuked for putting my corn chips into my sandwich and was forced to remove them. I was also denied recess once because I crammed my paper lunch bag into my used cardboard milk container. (I still have not figured out why that was a no-no. Recess was right after lunch, but we were not allowed to go until every child at the table was absolutely silent and well behaved, and then were all allowed to leave in mass. Once a week they would decide to have a Silent Lunch Period, where we were not permitted to speak at all. (Perhaps they had a hangover?) At the time it all seemed so normal, but from speaking with my peers of the same age, no one else had to endure this. I have no idea why my public school was so strict. :shrug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We went to school during the same time period. When I started, we did have a cafeteria (here in San Antonio). I really preferred to take my lunch in my Atom Ant lunchbox.

 

I do recall eating lunch on occasion at school.

 

When my father transferred to Germany, we all went home everyday for lunch. In Nebraska, I recall going home for lunch also. I know that the National School Lunch program began right after WWII, because it was discovered that many of the young soldiers were ill from malnutrition. I think it wasn't until the 70's that it was widespread.

 

We now do breakfast also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And, last time I checked in with my brothers, they weren't letting kids bring their own lunches, either.

 

Uh..... IANAL, but isn't there some sort of law or freedom being violated here?

 

:ugh:

 

If that were my kid's school, I would definitely give the district some grief of my own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We went to school during the same time period. When I started, we did have a cafeteria (here in San Antonio). I really preferred to take my lunch in my Atom Ant lunchbox.

 

 

Picking out my new lunch box every autumn was always a treat. I don’t think I had the Atom Ant lunch box, but I do remember having Casper The Friendly Ghost and a host of other cartoon characters. Of course once I went to Junior High I just used a paper bag. (We had no cafeteria in our Jr. High either. )I remember one kid brining his metal lunch box on the first day and he ended up throwing it away because he was teased so much.

 

I also rememer that my mother would buy the glass inserts for thermos bottles in bulk because they broke so easily. Do you remember what it was like when that happend? Glass shards shaking around in your milk and the content leaking out of your lunch box!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We went to school during the same time period. When I started, we did have a cafeteria (here in San Antonio). I really preferred to take my lunch in my Atom Ant lunchbox.

 

 

Picking out my new lunch box every autumn was always a treat. I don’t think I had the Atom Ant lunch box, but I do remember having Casper The Friendly Ghost and a host of other cartoon characters. Of course once I went to Junior High I just used a paper bag. (We had no cafeteria in our Jr. High either. )I remember one kid brining his metal lunch box on the first day and he ended up throwing it away because he was teased so much.

 

I also rememer that my mother would buy the glass inserts for thermos bottles in bulk because they broke so easily. Do you remember what it was like when that happend? Glass shards shaking around in your milk and the content leaking out of your lunch box!

That was THE worst! Then, you had nothing to drink with your lunch! Now, they don't even put glass in them anymore..

 

I only ever had two lunch boxes..the metal Atom Ant (which is worth $ now..but its long gone) and a vinyl black Barbie one..which we later used to hold crayons..

 

I don't see how a school can make a rule about not bringing your lunch?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.