The School Lunch Menu

We all know that kids love to buy lunch at school. It doesn’t matter what is available at home for them to take to school, it seems most kids would rather buy lunch than make their own. I guess it boils down to what is cool. Cool today must be buying lunch, not brown bagging it like I used to do when I was in school. Frankly, when I was growing up, we didn’t have enough money to have an option. We either made our lunches and took them with us or went hungry until we were able to bring our own money with us. Times have changed obviously.

It strikes me as funny that my kids want to buy lunch. Kids complain about the food being gross, yet they would still rather spend $5.00 a day to buy “gross” food, rather than just bring something much healthier and tastier from home. I realized that I was going to have to reach a compromise on the buying lunch situation early on, so what it has boiled down to is that the kids can pick one day, usually Friday, where I will give them money to buy lunch. The other days, lunches are made the night before from whatever is available in the cupboards. Of course if they want something specific, like granola bars or juice boxes, they have to remember to let me know before grocery shopping, otherwise they are stuck with whatever is in the kitchen.

I’m sure this is the same for most households, but during that first week of school there were so many papers sent home that I am almost certain that I missed some important school announcement. Last night as I was going through the pile on my desk, what should I find nestled in with the open house dates and the list of important numbers, but the high school cafeteria menu for this fall. Lucky me for coming across this! Here I was worried about the money and the fact that my kids would rather buy from the cafeteria rather than making their own lunch, when I really should be worried about the menu choices on the school cafeteria calendar!

For example, here is one of the weeks listed for October:

  • Monday – Hot dogs, chips and tossed salad, cookies
  • Tuesday – Chili, bread and green beans, chocolate cake
  • Wednesday – Hot turkey sandwiches, mashed potatoes and broccoli, choice of ice cream cup
  • Thursday – Hamburger, French fries and mixed veggies, vanilla pudding
  • Friday – Pizza, tossed salad and fudge brownie

Typically in the high school the kids have a choice between two hot entrees or a cold sandwich, a choice of two sides and two desserts, although this is not all inclusive. Also, there are certain items that are available every day, as well as plenty of snack foods. The elementary menu is a bit more rigid with less choice, which can be good or bad I guess.

I am so happy that we laid the once a week school lunch rule down early on, so this way I will only have to worry about what my kids are eating on Fridays. A menu like this every day can only make the potential for weight gain and acne flare ups worse than ever.


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