Steak, lobster, McDonald’s. Those are the top three things
public school kids want in their cafeterias, says Ariel Kaminer of The New York Times. New York City
I find that really funny. It’s as if they’re saying, "Let’s dream BIG. And if you’re really asking what we want to eat at lunchtime, let’s go with a dream meal. Steak – definitely; lobster – why not?; and, whoo-hoo,
’s to make lunch a really special occasion." Mickie D
Kaminer reports that the parents aren’t much more helpful. They want the food to be restaurant quality. Well, I guess, if the restaurant is
(no offense to the great purveyor of the square hamburger), then no problem. Sorry for the aside, but THIS should be in the category of Strictly Illegal. White Castle
story coincides with the problems my gorgeous New York City Jamie is having over in LA. He wanted the LA schools to be his next place of reckoning. The only wrinkle was that they weren’t interested. They did welcome his input into the nutritional and outreach aspects of his Food Revolution. They just didn’t want it all on-camera and the school district to be turned into the next reality flashpoint.
I understand that. But the shame of it is that if
Jamie could engender enough publicity, enthusiasm, and especially CASH, with a few more of these highly touted nutritional makeovers, maybe there would be enough resources to take his program national. I think his goal was legitimate that if it can be done in , it can be done anywhere. Los Angeles
All of this is well and good, of course, but I also can’t help feeling that the hard truth is that FEEDING SCHOOL CHILDREN WELL STARTS AT HOME. Definitely self-servingly, I’ve always believed that if my kids ate absolutely no (or hardly any) crap in MY house, then even an occasional ghastly school lunch wouldn’t do them in. And I completely admit to many moments of relief when they told me they were going to buy lunch that day or the next and I didn’t have to think about what to put in their recyclable, renewable and reclaimable lunch bags.
I know I’ve told you the story before of my daughter’s trauma (one of the many, she would say) at my hands, when she was in preschool. It was the day after Halloween. Like every good food police lieutenant, I let the kids have whatever they wanted ON Halloween, then I carefully doled out the rest for a week or two, after which I got rid of it. (Ok, who am I kidding? I HID it from them and kept it for me and the VERY occasional sweet tooth of H). Anyway, one November 1st, I packed her an apple with her sandwich and milk. When I picked her up from school, she was deeply distressed. She had been the ONLY kid who didn’t have candy to trade and she felt like a freak. (This was in the days before swapping candy was like trafficking drugs.) I learned my lesson. The next year she took a pillowcase FILLED with candy to school and all was well.
But back to the real issue of school lunches and how important they become when they ARE a kid’s main meal of the day. That thought alone is truly heartbreaking and the major reason why it’s critical to get the junk out. School lunches shouldn’t cater to the lowest possible denominator – i.e. school kids who hardly ever have to eat them and get plenty of fresh food elsewhere, but to the HIGHEST denominator of children, who depend on them for their main nutrition and don’t always know how their next meal is being cooked.
Jamie’s revolt against revolting school lunches is so important. I wish the LA school system would take the bitter with the better and suffer the cameras to get new nutritional programs in place.
I hope that even if they don’t take up the fight on-air, Jamie will still agree to their plea to develop wonderful in-school menus with the state’s nutritional guidelines AND a budget of 77 cents per meal. It’s probably a deal that would be a long shot for even the devil, but it’s one worth making.