Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sloppy Joes For Lunch at School

               You must know that this subject would eventually come up!  It is an inevitable subject when it comes to feeding our families’ fitness.  I could go into a long tirade about the nutrition value of school lunches and all the stuff that’s wrong with them.  In the essence of saving time and sanity, I will only share a little of what I have observed in the past few weeks. 
                Recently there was an article in our local paper about a first grader who left school at lunch time.   He realized that he forgot his lunch and he didn’t want the sloppy joes that they were serving.  He opted to walk home from school to get his turkey sandwich.  I was reading this article to my sons as we were eating breakfast.  My older son, Joe’s reaction:  “They shouldn’t have been serving sloppy joes!  They should have been serving something healthier.” 
Another bit of school lunch wisdom came, once again, from Joe who told me that after eating pasta for lunch at school he didn’t feel full.  This started the conversation about what a balanced, hearty, fulfilling lunch should be.  I reminded him that buying lunch is a treat.  I have the kids pick and choose which days they would like to buy.  Some days, the lunch is nutritionally decent.  Some days, not so much.  Yes, it is easier to send them off to school to buy lunch instead of making it in the morning, but at the end of the day, the time saved is not always worth it. 
Without doing research, I think school lunches are coming around to the lighter, brighter, healthier side.  Notice all the –er…  Not completely light, bright, and healthy, but heading that way.  This is why we need to help our children choose appropriately which lunches they will buy and which days they will bring.  Which can be difficult with a Kindergartener.   Jacob has been right along with me in the choosing which days to buy and which days to bring.  However, his account was getting depleted quicker than it should have been.  He thought he could also get a snack (i.e. chips) with his lunch.  He thought they were free!  Nonetheless, I explained to him that I am paying for those snacks and even if they were free, he was not to get a snack every day.  Again, something reserved for a treat.  Ah, the joys of innocence.  So, while I am not sure what the solution to the daily school lunch dilemma is.  I am sure that in our house school lunches get chosen once in a while and not every day.
Oh, and by the way, my kids bought lunch today – it’s French toast stick day!

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