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what do school lunches look like at your school? - Page 2

post #21 of 40
My kids school is private, with no hot lunch option. They will heat up a lunch for the children 6 and under (primary program in M school). Processed foods are highly discouraged, lunchables, goldfish and any boxed drinks are forbidden, as are cookies/candies, etc.

Children are given the option of water or whole organic milk for lunch. I have sent kefir probiotic drinks, and not gotten introuble. Normally, we'll send 1 piece of cheese (ranges from really nice cheese, to string mozzerella which also somehow slides under the schools radar), yogurt, fruit, either small bowl of leftover dinner or sandwich. Typical sandwich might be sunbutter & jelly or some meat/cheese combo. Occassionally we'll include raw veggies or double up on fruit (mango as well as grapes, etc.) Or swap out the yogurt for a kefir drink, etc.

I try to use all recyclable packaging, only waste is an individual yogurt container or wrapping on the cheese.

Our school has a no PB policy for snack in the classroom, but you are allowed to send it for lunch, as the kids aren't permitted to share - and I can only guess the children with the allergy aren't THAT sensitive that it being present in the building will set them off...
post #22 of 40
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
I wish we could pack PB!! Or even snacks with nuts .
My concern is for my dd, certain foods to cause her to feel badly and that translates into tiredness, unresponsiveness, irritability, headaches.
Yeah, I don't think we have any peanut allergic kids this year. Last year they had a peanut free table for a Kindy kid, and kids who didn't have peanuts would sit at the table with him.

I eat lunch with my 2nd grader and my kindergartner 2 times a week and I've subbed in the lunchroom a couple of times. I never see kids oohing and ahhing over other kids lunches. Dd2 often points things out that other kids have, but only to say, hey mom, look at that, we have those at our house! The kids are just too busy eating to compare. And food sharing is not allowed at our school this year.

You gotta send what your kid will eat and not be concerned about what is in Susie's lunch next to her. We all love and care for our kids and want what is best for them. Your OP sounds more like you're concerned about what other kids are bringing than what your kid is bringing.
post #23 of 40
DD1 attends a tiny private school, they offer lunch two days a week. Monday is pizza day, veggie or cheese pizza is the option with fresh fruit and veggies. Plain popcorn is the dessert. On Thursdays parents take turns cooking for the kids, it must be a vegetarian meal. This week it was potato and chickpea soup with bread and salad. The worst meal I saw was a veggie Frito pie, all are usually great meals.

The packed lunches are all decent that I have seen. Candy/soft drinks, anything high in sugar is strongly discouraged. There are no children there with PB/nut allergies so that is not a rule. There is at least one child in DD1's class that can not have red dye, even DD1 knew that and when we went to pick out gum for the class she made sure it was gum he could eat.
post #24 of 40
Hot lunches are pretty lousy around here.

I pack for DS:

sandwich on whole wheat
piece of fruit
pretzels or goldfish
some kind of sweet thing
half a reusable drink box of juice

and he brings a 16-oz reusable bottle of water every day.

I don't know exactly what other kids bring, but I have had conversations with DS about why I'm *not* buying individual bags of goldfish or premade jello (I *did* buy a value pack of individual chip bags one time but then felt lousy about it so I haven't done it again ), and why we use the reusable drink box instead of juice boxes. I have reusable containers I put the crunchies and fruit in, and I've made him jello a few times and put in little containers.

So while I don't know exactly what other kids bring, I do know that there is enough convenience food brought that he noticed it and asked me about it.
post #25 of 40
I've seen a pretty wide diversity of packed lunches. The whole range from the kid that brings a pizza lunchable every day, to things like kimbap, Indian dishes, or take out from a local restaurant. Most kids bring sandwiches of some sort, or a thermos full of noodles or soup, with things like cookies, chips, fruit, pretzels or veggie sticks to fill it out.

There's one kid who comes up to me every day (I'm a noon aide), asking me to open his Z Bar and fruit leather packages. There's another kid who raids the "leftover cart" where kids leave their unopened milks that they don't want, and takes a couple of cartons of chocolate milk. There's a little boy in my dd's class who brings nothing but junk... crappy fruit snacks, Trix yogurt and a Hi-C.

Our school lunches are fairly healthy. Not always tasty, but relatively healthy. Certainly healthier than a Lunchable.
post #26 of 40
I am so shocked at the amount of schools that allow peanut butter. I know that almost all of the schools around here are peanut free, and most are nut free as well. I wish I could pack DS a PB sandwich occasionally. He won't eat Sunbutter, and I hate soynut butter, so I won't buy it to try it out on him.
post #27 of 40
Our school allows PB and even has it on the hot lunch menu! A PB and J sandwich.

There is a new hot lunch everyday plus they have a salad or PB and J sandwich. There is also a breakfast option. I have seen that menu and its laughable at best. A string cheese and donut plus milk or orange juice. A spakly donut and crackers ?????

DD likes the days when tator tots are served and its usually with a waffle or french toast. I have learned to let her have that since its only about twice a month. She also like the nacho day. But she wont eat the food at school on any other days. In kindy she would do the salad until one day she got sick, end of story.

She brings most days, a cheese sandwich, or a turkey sandwich, or a peanut butter sandwich. But the boy with the peanut allergy is that one boy all the girls are crazy crazy about so she would not miss out on sitting at his table...seriously, this kid is a girl magnet, sweet and cute! She also brings cut up fruit- pears apples strawberries, grapes basically what I have on hand. Also she brings a snack everyday. It can be a piece a of fruit or a strawberry bar from Tjs.

Occasianlly, she will have fruit leather, packs of doritos as a treat, fruit roll up as a treat. This past week, I have put a smaller piece of the halloween candy in her lunch as a small treat too.
post #28 of 40
Celeste attends a private school and they offer hot lunches but I have to check the menu to see if she'll like it or not (picky eater here). For monday they're having:
Grilled Cheese
Ceasar Salad
Tomato Basil Soup

They also offer assorted fruits but they don't offer pears and grapes and those are the only two fruits that she eats. She's not a fruit fan, she can eat every veggie in the planet but she dislikes fruits. So I usually pack her some of those...
post #29 of 40
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Hatteras Gal View Post
Your OP sounds more like you're concerned about what other kids are bringing than what your kid is bringing.
I already subsequently explained that my child is in fact concerned about having the treats the other kids have, and so I am concerned about it only so far as it influences my child's preferences and becomes a 'forbidden fruit' scenario.
You are fortunate that your kids aren't concerned and are happy with their lunches.
Why would I care what the other kids eat aside from how it affects my own child? I don't.
post #30 of 40
The vast majority of kids here eat school breakfast and lunch. I dont even remember the last time I saw a kid with a school lunch/breakfast.

An example of breakfast/lunch:
Breakfast: Ham/eggs/wheat toast or cereal/toast; juice, choice of milk
Lunch: Ham/Turkey/Cheese Hoagie, baked chips, sandwich garnish, apple wedges, fresh veggies w/low-fat ranch dip, choice of milk

Breakfast: Breakfast Pizza or cereal/toast; juice, choice of milk
Lunch: Ham or Chef’s Salad; mashed potatoes, green beans, orange glazed carrots, whole wheat rolls, choice of fruit, choice of milk
post #31 of 40
My son eats lunch at school 3 days a week, but other than wanting me to cut his sandwiches in cool shapes b/c his best buddy gets them that way I have no idea what the other kids bring. He's only in preschool though. I typically send a turkey and swiss sandwich with mustard on whole wheat cut into a dinosaur shape , steamed cauliflower/carrots or butternut squash soup, snap pea crisps, and a fruit (he loves cantelope, strawberries, grapes...), and a box of organic milk or probugs kefir. I might throw in 2 newman O's on special days, but he usually doesn't eat them if I do and they are still there to eat in the car after school.

They have a lunch program that most of the older kids use...it seems relatively healthy (it's a small private school that goes from toddler Montessori to grade 6)

This week it is
Chicken and Dumplings, steamed carrots, grapes
Fish sandwich on whole wheat, Sunchips, Carrot and raisin salad
Salisbury Steak, mashed potatoes, veggies, grapes
Chicken Tenders, Mac and Cheese, snap peas (appears to be the worst meal of the month)
Chili, salad, banana, brownie (apparently they have desert on Fridays)
post #32 of 40
Originally Posted by Pumpkin_Pie View Post
I am so shocked at the amount of schools that allow peanut butter. I know that almost all of the schools around here are peanut free, and most are nut free as well. I wish I could pack DS a PB sandwich occasionally. He won't eat Sunbutter, and I hate soynut butter, so I won't buy it to try it out on him.
Our particular school discourages sending in peanuts and tree nuts, but hasn't outright banned it because the school board is not okay with that.

I don't send in peanut/tree nut items, but 2 of my kids have peanut and tree nut allergies, so go figure there.
post #33 of 40
Up until this year ours was peanut free because of a child that had ana reactions to it. Now that he is in High School they have brought it back even though there are still kids, including my dd, who are peanut reactive and possibly ana allergic .
post #34 of 40
Our daycare prefers nut-free stuff and you HAVE to label it if you do send it so they don't let it get near certain kids.

Most elementary schools here have "allergy tables" and the kids with nut, etc allergies + anyone who brings an allergy-free lunch sits together, and all the nut, egg, etc eating kids sit at another table.
post #35 of 40
The pre K I work for is private, so we have a caterer, and I am not thrilled with what they serve. I think public school food is better.

Last week we had turkey wraps (turkey and cheese in a tortilla) with green beans and a canned fruit.

Fish sticks, mac and cheese and canned fruit.

Chicken fingers, peas and canned fruit.

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and canned fruit.

Grilled cheese, tomato soup and canned fruit.

Snacks are goldfish crackers, chocolate chip granola bars, birthday cake, cookies, crackers, etc.

Don't get me started on breakfast.
post #36 of 40
So there ARE schools out there doing WW bread! and I'm assuming on the same federal program my kid's school is on for the most part...

That is probably the biggest thing I wish they would change on his lunch menu, all the white dinner rolls and white buns to whole-wheat.

When they sent out the lunch survey, I also pointed out the fact that "breaded chicken tenders" "breaded chicken nuggets" and "breaded chicken patty" is NOT variety (I remember when they attempted some non-breaded chicken products, they were pretty unappetizing and most of the kids hated them, I worked with elementary and was in the lunchroom every day back then.)

They probably have "breaded something" be it fish or chicken 3 lunches out of the month at least. The only good thing I have to say about it is at least it is not FRIED on top of it.

They have taken french fries and those triangle hashbrowns off the menu.

They do have at least one fresh fruit or veg *almost* every day. Lots of times 2 or 3 if you include the snack (preschool) (I actually scanned his menu once for this reason, to see how much of the stuff was fresh and what was not. I was reasonably impressed, given budget.) So yeah they get canned fruit and veg, but they also get fresh broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce salad, celery, carrots, apples, bananas, oranges, even kiwi. (He's preschool. I'm pretty sure I've seen grapes in the regular lunchroom, worried about choking for little kids I suppose.)
Could they do some more variety? yeah. Is it possible with budget concerns and the area I live in seasonally? Probably not really.
Though I *would* like to see something where maybe they tried to get in a little extra variety by doing a "try it" day every so often or something. Maybe even once a week since it's preschool, under the theory that they NEED a lot of exposures. Since it's a "sample" you don't need to serve (or buy!) as much of it. genius, pure genius lol.

Yeah whenever I was in the lunchroom or on a field trip, I saw my share of UTTER CRAP lunches. My favorites were the 20 oz MT. Dew bottles. I hope they have at least banned soda by now......my kid when he does go to school will be one asking for what his friends have too, I can see it now....*sigh*
Lunchables. But I can say for those at least they have something resembling protein. What's the nutritional value of cheetos, Mt. Dew, and a Snickers??
post #37 of 40
Here is what is on the menu this week. Students bring lunch twice a week, three times a week there is a hot lunch served.
Rice with chicken and burdock root
Rice with seaweed and kelp

Soup with pork, carrots, potatoes, daikon radish, burdock root, leeks

seasoned fish fried with corn starch (so not breaded and fried, just dipped in corn starch and fried)

spinach and nappa cabbage seasoned with sesame seeds


2. rice with seaweed
roasted chicken
lettuce and cabbage slaw
salad of burdock root and carrots and cucumber (mayo dressing)

hamburger with demi glase sauce
cabbage, carrot and lettuce salad
sweet potato, carrot, corn, green peas salad (mayo dressing)
cherry tomatoes

There are no choices, children are encouraged to eat everything served.

Barley tea is served everyday. Each child brings their own place mat, cup, fork and spoon, chopsticks and wet washcloth.

post #38 of 40
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post
So there ARE schools out there doing WW bread! and I'm assuming on the same federal program my kid's school is on for the most part...
Some public schools have amazing cooks like mine. She bakes the bread herself and makes as much food from local ingredients and from scratch as she can manage. We have 2 greenhouses at school--one that she uses for her own needs in the kitchen and one that the students use in class to grow more veggies that are either sold or used in the school lunches. Our school board supports her and encourages her to spend more money if needed to buy local.
post #39 of 40
I was doing a lot of variety in ds' lunch until he told me that other kids were teasing him about his "little" lunchbox. (It is the locknlock lunch set).. since that happened he now prefers a water bottle, a sandwich of sometype and a fruit. Sandwiches do not fit well in this locknlock set unless I cut it into strips. Kind of hoping he gets past this. I love that set!
post #40 of 40
DD usually takes a PB&J sandwich, a fruit, maybe applesauce (she has snack and lunch) a granola bar, I used to send soy yogurt but she wasn't eating it. Maybe some nuts or crackers and two Lemonaid Trader Joe juice boxes.

I also had to pack and emergency lunch and keep it in her cubby. Apparenlty I need a doctors note for her to not be served dairy at school. My word that she is allergic is not good enough.. becuase they everyone would be demanding something other than milk to drink. I could get her a note.. but I resent the fact that as her mother my word is not good enough.. so I just packed an emergency lunch and it's in her cubby.
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