School finally started back in session today. I know many of you have students that started weeks ago, but we are the post-Labor Day crowd. Since my kids' lunchboxes are getting kind of worn (but still usable for a couple months) I wanted to make sure they had back-ups that were PVC and lead free, so I ordered some from Lands End. It's much worse to wait until you need them in a hurry and have to buy some off-gassing PVC product because you don't have time.
Buying their back-up lunchboxes reminded me of the crappy school lunches that are offered through our public schools. They certainly aren't as bad as in some areas, but they aren't good either. The times that I've visited the kids during lunch have always ended in me feeling sorry for those students who were eating the school lunch. I don't know if it's because they like them or because their parents don't have time to pack a lunch every day, but I'm always depressed watching them eat this, how to I put this delicately? Crap. And, I'm not the only parent.
Our school doesn't have a regular kitchen. It's staffed by nice folks who basically reheat frozen meals encased in plastic, covered with a plastic film and, no doubt, zapped in the microwave, potentially dripping yummy plastics back into the food. The food offerings are less than creative and, all told, it's just gross.
Where's Jamie Oliver when you need him? If you haven't heard of his Food Revolution to get better food in schools, now's a good time to learn about it. Not that I expect a celebrity chef to make much of a dent, but hopefully his focus on awareness will push parents into getting their local schools and districts into making better choices when it comes to the food offered in their schools.
If you are concerned about the lunches offered in your schools, please complete this survey hosted by Healthy Child, Healthy World in collaboration with Jamie Oliver.
What's the state of your kid's cafeteria? Do they eat the food there or do they pack a lunch?