Opinion: Fed Up With School Lunches

| 4/22/2010 4:33:18 PM

GinaAlthough I’m not a mother, I find myself worrying about my future children’s health.

When I was a student—both elementary and high school—I ate a lot of hamburgers, crispitos, chicken fried steak and pizza. In kindergarten we took a milk break every day and I remember always choosing chocolate milk because I was never allowed to drink it at home. Throughout elementary school I never enjoyed eating my vegetables (as many kids don’t) and I remember hating the few teachers that made me eat a bite of my vegetables before I was allowed to leave the lunchroom. By high school my palate had changed. I was finally starting to enjoy foods that were healthy and not necessarily deep fried, but my bad habits were easy to feed with the four different lunch options my school offered. These included:

1. The main dish. This offered the choice between two main dishes. (Today’s meal at my old high school served a soft taco or a chicken fajita along with rice, refried beans, a selection from the fresh fruit and vegetable bar, and milk.)

2. The salad bar. This offered salads, dressings, soups and crackers.

3. The pizza bar. This offered the pizza of the day, which more often than not was pepperoni.

4. The a la carte line. This offered snack foods such as nachos, hot pockets, pre-packaged burritos and chips.