Cookies Are Not Lunch and Ketchup Is Not a Vegetable

Recently, I spent an excruciating hour on the web site for the school lunch program. Largely, I think it is generally a good thing I can log in and check to see what the princess chose for lunch. And, it is super easy to add money to the account when the funds are depleted. However, my recent experience has led me to question the system all together.

Now, part of the problem is I didn’t set good expectations. I assumed the choices a THIRD GRADE STUDENT would have available to her would all be reasonably healthy options. I was so wrong. I didn’t even fully understand all of the horrible options available until I learned the princess was eating two lunches every day. That’s right—TWO LUNCHES—everyday for three weeks.

I had been packing a healthy lunch everyday and wondering how on earth the child had been gaining weight. Her clothes were getting tight, and I had no explanation for a child who was eating balanced meals and attending dance class for 8 hours every week. Then, I read the detailed account of what she had been doing to her body.

Along with the carrot sticks and grapes I was sending, she was ordering a side of french fries and chicken nuggets for lunch everyday. We won’t even explore why there wasn’t some more adult supervision of this system. We will simply look at the options from which she had to choose.

During my extensive and ridiculous process of “limiting” the lunch items available for purchase by my near 9 year old, I learned I had to lock the following items from her account: cookies (large), cookies (small), fruit snacks, fruit snacks (alt), fruit by the foot, ice cream (small), ice cream (medium), ice cream (large), ice cream (snack), snack cookie, and the list goes on and on. For an hour I had to individually choose the items that I would not allow the princess to purchase for lunch.

How did the school lunch system become so broken? When did we decide that ketchup was a vegetable and that french fries are an acceptable starch? And, am I the only one who noticed that this is entirely unacceptable?

This is my official plea to the school lunch committee: please make real food and don’t expect children to make good decisions when you put cookies in their faces all day.

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Article by FairyTaleMom

My name is Mom. I live in Fairy Tale Land with a Pirate, a Fairy and the Princess. My job duties include: head cook, Chief Executive of Laundry Operations, Vacuum Maintenance Engineer, Chief of Picking up Random objects and Primary Sherpa. I spend a great deal of time carrying sparkly, sequined, glitter covered tutus and miscellaneous dance shoes for the Princess. I long for moments of quiet and a mani/pedi. Trying to strike a balance between being a grown up and being a good mom. FairyTaleMom tagged this post with: , Read 52 articles by
2 Comments Post a Comment
  1. justheather says:

    I spent much time deleting all of these items from Stacia’s account once upon a time, as well. At their current school, kids aren’t even allowed to bring this type of stuff in a lunchbox from home. No sugar or artificial dyes allowed, and they serve only fresh produce & grains for snacks.

    • Lillian says:

      That sounds like my dream school! My son just started preschool and they give the kids Kool Aid and fruit snacks during the after school program! I was livid! And I of course, pack his lunch.

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