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 School Lunch, a Mother's Revelation

Allow me to be Captain Obvious for a moment - Proper nutrition is vital to our children’s health.  It’s a topic that should not be taken lightly.  However, for some reason my husband and I are being entirely too trusting of our school district to provide healthy and palatable meals for our children.  I hate to say it, but many times we go on auto pilot when it comes to our daily work/school prep routine.  We carpool and have three kids to drop off in the morning.  Prior to the school year starting, I had plans to channel my inner June Clever and make more homemade lunches for school.  Enter the reality of a newborn baby and work responsibilities and perhaps you’ll understand how that notion was somehow neglected.

Sometimes we do prepare bag lunches for our boys.  For the most part we send the school our money and leave it up to the school to feed our kids.  Tell you the truth, with so many bodies to take care of under one roof, some days I don’t know if I’m coming or going (the struggle is real I tell you).  It wasn’t until recently when I attended the Niche Parent 13 conference and I listened to presentations from Laura Fuentes of Momables and the panel speakers from Mom Rising, that I really started thinking about the quality of my children’s school provided lunches.

My Children's School Lunch, A Mother's Revelation

When I look at the school lunch menu, sure most of the junk food choices have been removed due to child health legislation (thanks Moms Rising), but I still have concerns.  Have you taken the time to look at your child’s lunch menu lately?  I can see why my boys come home so hungry on some days.  Some of the choices are downright blah!  In my district, many of the month’s entrees are fried and contain fillers/rib meat.  There are alternative meals that a child can select instead, but seriously is my five year old going to tell the cafeteria lady “no thanks, I’m limiting my fried food intake”?  I guess if I drill that into his head he would…MAYBE.  The most disturbing thing I observed from the menu is the “bbq rib” sandwich that will be served.  Most cafeteria’s rib sandwiches are close cousins to the McDonald’s  Mc’ Rib sandwich (which I loathe).  That’s the day that I need really get my butt in gear and pack my babies their meals because I HATE fake rib meat.  The other meals listed on the menu aren’t terrible, but several of the meals are carb loaded.

So what’s a busy mom to do?  Believe me, I know that working and managing a family can be rough.  However, unless we take the time out and read our kids’ school lunch menus and talk to them about what they actually eat at school…we remain naïve.   Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to our babies.  We can’t let the everyday hustle & bustle distract us from knowing which foods are fueling our kids.  As they say in the computer programming world, “garbage in, garbage out”.  At this time, I am not ready to make my kids’ lunch on a daily basis.  I CAN at least be aware of the school’s menu for the month and plan ahead for the meal choices that we don’t like.  I can also raise my any food concerns to my children’s principal.  So can you!   Our voices matter, if you think the school needs to do a better job with their menu, speak out & inform the district officials.

How involved are you with your child's lunch?  Do you pay attention to the meal plan?  Comment below.

This post is part of the National School Lunch Week with Healthy Food! A MomsRising Blog Carnival. Take a moment to read and comment on these thoughtful blogs, then tell us your story. Our stories are powerful and are what led administrators to set these rules in place.

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