When I went to school in southern Ohio many moons ago there was no cafeteria lunch. There were vending machines or you could bring your brown paper bag. There was a very strict rule though about eating IN the cafeteria. For some reason that escapes me now (we are having our TWENTIETH HS reunion this summer) we decided that eating outside of the band room would be cool. Yes, we were geeks thinking about total rebellion. So we hung out, outside the bandroom talking about boys and weekend plans eating our sandwiches and apples. Unbeknownst to us, the Vice Princial could see us from his office window as we hung out, no doubt looking guilty as hell because we were upstanding citizens breaking the law. He sent his henchmen for us and dragged us into his office. All but one of us were first time rule breakers, there were many tears. The others got sentenced to Saturday School. The Veep said he didn't actually see me eat anything and gave me credit for being Big Jim's daughter and let me slide. There was serious fury in our little circle about Saturday School and no one was particularly happy about me not joining them. I will say it was the only time in the six years my father was a teacher in my school that it worked in MY favor.
Wow, that was a long time ago. Now I'll actually have a daughter eating in the school cafeteria next year. Today they are having a trial lunch, I can't wait to hear her reaction to the chicken nugget and pizza extravaganza provided by the school to entice them into buying lunch next year. This has been something I've given a lot of thought to, face it, I am basically lazy and for the past six years my daycare provider has provided lunch for the kids. Next year I am faced with fixing at least one and perhaps two lunches everyday--things my kids will eat, that pack easily and last but not least are nutritional. My husband and I have both fought our weight nearly all our lives and want to spare our children that pain.
At the suggestion of Parent Bloggers Network, off I went to check School Menu and its parental counterpart Family Everyday, two sites that work together with School Food Services Directors to provide and promote healthy eating and physical fitness for kids and their parents. I read the first article on the Truth About School Lunches that filled me in on the requirements that the school must meet in their lunch offerings. It made me feel better about what needs to be offered by the school, I know that I need to play my part in making sure my daughters are well informed on what good choices are--considering that edamame and celery are two favorites I hope we are well on our way! The Family Everyday site is geared towards parents with articles and discussion boards on good nutrition, school lunch, and fitness. Its offshoot School Menu is definitely aimed at kids. Bright graphics, music, a general High School Music with and edge, kind of feeling. I'd definitely let my daughters cruise through hear and play the games focused on Veggies, Cheese and Knowing Your Fats. I was disappointed not to find my school among those with the menus linked to the site but know just where to find it on my school system website. Check out the sites, a good reminder aimed at the parent and child audiences how important nutrition is and how to make it fun!