T Nation

Vegetables in School Lunches


So I had parent visitation today at my son's elementary school. I got to hang out in his class and then go to lunch with him. He's a great kid and I enjoyed getting to be there with him. If you've heard any of the media buzz about school lunches not being really healthy or balanced, maybe I can offer this example:
Going into the cafeteria to get our food, they had one of the lunch ladies standing where we lined up. She says to everyone "And today's vegetable is french fries." Now technically yes it is a vegetable, but no, no, it isn't.


Why not give him a brown bag? It's got to be cheaper as well.


My daughters school lunch costs 1.50 the only way a brown bag would be cheaper is if I don't put anything in it.


i am ok with this. Without parental supervision, i wouldn't expect many kids to voluntarily eat vegetables. It should be the parents job to provide their child with 2 or 3 other meals during the day outside of school lunches to make sure he or she is eating healthy. Kids need calories and as long as they understand the value of proper nutrition in their teens, i see no reason why fries can't be enjoyed. But, of course the average American is not as responsible when it comes to nutrition as the T-Nation reader is.

with that said, it is pretty damn sad an elementary school is allowed to get away with referring to fries as a vegetable.


Its Federal regulation I believe ketchup is also a "vegetable"

My mom packed our lunches. They were crappy but healthy. Damn Hippie.


So you value your pocketbook over your child's physical well-being? I like it....


If i remember correctly most elementary schools dont allow kids to bring there own luncjes atleast thats how it is for my cousins and some of my friends kids.


What does she get for that?

I give my kid leftovers, she's on day 4 of the turkey diet. Think I'll give the rest to my dog, getting fed up myself at this point.


My younger daughter's school doesn't serve lunch. Bring it or be hungry. However, they do have a healthy snack program that is organized by parent volunteers that supplies fresh fruit and vegetables for all the kids every day. I spent 5 years cutting vegetables for it. Judging by the crap a lot of kids have, it may be all they get. For $1.50 I can put together an easy, healthy lunch and do it every day. Mind you, my youngest daughter could live on the crumbs in the bottom of the fridge.


Man I think I'm the only person that misses school lunch. Country fried "steak", scalloped potatoes, green beans, 2 rolls, 2 milks. My high school even had "heart attack on a plate wednesdays": biscuits and gravy with hash browns.

In all seriousness, at schools like the one I went to, in a very rural part of the state where 95% of the kids are either on free or reduced lunch, it's the school's job to pump them full of calories because those kids probably won't be eating again until they get back to school tomorrow. After all, mommy and daddy have to also pay for beer, marlboros, mt. dew, and cable tv (with their welfare check). Can't be bothered to actually cook dinner for the pain in the ass kids.

Anytime we had an early dismissal day, they never let us out until after lunch, because if we let out before lunch, most of the students wouldn't get to eat lunch that day.

It really comes down to the most food the school system can buy on their limited budget.


I'm a proud graduate of the Texas free meal program.
Even though it was a large 4A school, the lunch ladies would start piling up Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes, white gravy on both and biscuit upon seeing me.


Turkey sandwich, a few carrot sticks, apple sauce. Less than $1.50.


My buddy and I would basically spend the entire lunch period in the cafeteria. We'd get extra on our way through the line, then they'd give us whatever was left. The best days were when we'd do that, plus they'd lay out leftovers from the day before. The week after Thanksgiving was the best because they had leftover turkey, stuffing, and apple crisps.

Also both of us wrestled in the 152 & 160 weight classes, so school lunch def ain't makin anyone fat.



At the time, I was embarrassed to go to school with a chicken drumstick and apple in my lunch bag. I wasn't even allowed the dime to buy ice cream like all the other kids.

But now I'm happy my mom was such a stickler. My teeth are fucking perfect.



Wait till one of the classmates has a peanut allergy. Whole fucking world shuts down for the one kid.


I had brown bag lunches when I was a kid -- way healthier. Leftovers, if someone in your family can cook, taste better than anything a cafeteria can come up with. By high school I was kind of the odd one out because I ate a normal lunch every day. Most kids, because they were so busy with activities, would either skip lunch or just have fries and candy.


I'm hoping I can eek out a few more years of packing my daughter's lunch before she realizes they look nothing like what the other kids are having.

A lot of times I will plan my dinners around what will work for her lunch. She has had cold salmon so many times she doesn't even think twice about it right now. Though if she even catches a glimpse of the satanic yellow boxes of Lunchables she instantly turns into a whiny little brat.

Her: "But Hunter has them every day"
Me: "That's because Hunter's mom is lazy and doesn't love him enough to feed him good foods"


I carried a metal lunch box through elementary, awesome weapon. Brown bag 7-10 grades. Lifting hot lunches by going back out the entrance and spending my lunch money on pot 11-12 grades.

The lunches they offer in schools as nutritious are deplorable. I think they finally are taking the pop machines out of my kids school though.


My sons first year in HS the cafateria lady tapped on his shoulder after the first week and complimented him on the healthy lunch he brought everyday and not shit like 99% of the other kids, she said "you got good parents". I felt pretty good when he told me that.

Testy: I did the exact same thing in HS with my lunch money(when I got any, which was rare). In my case we just held a sub under the tray and bought something cheap and placed it on top, it should have raised some suspicion when you have a chocolate bar and nothing else on a tray lol.


I'm not at all concerned with brown bag price or school lunch price just stating a fact.