Courtesy of the wonderful Linda Perlstein over at The Educated Reporter comes a little post about an anonymous teacher (Mrs. Q) who is eating her school’s lunch every day and blogging about it. Linda references a USA Today story that says fast-food standards for meat are higher than that at most school cafeterias. If so, we have to worry about the teacher eating that food and, obviously, a millions of school kids on the free-and-reduced lunch program who have no option but to eat what is served. Today, Mrs. Q. ate a bagel dog, six tater tots, mixed fruit cup and chocolate chip cookie. She declined the offer of milk.
I made my kids’ lunches and when they were old enough to handle knife and peanut butter, they started making their own. Once a week they got to buy lunch – more often if they had a job and their own money. They ate crap those days, and I knew it would be thus, but I figured because they ate healthy home-cooked (and often home-grown) food the rest of the time and snacks like this ….and this never darkened the door of our home, they’d survive. When they went to college they binged on all sorts of junk for a few months then returned to the “I need some veggies” mantra of home.
But the problem is, some kids – most notably the poorest among us – don’t have those options. For some of them, school lunch is all there is for that day. Shouldn’t we, as a nation then, be more concerned about what we offer in school cafeterias?