If your kids attend a regular public school district that has managed to serve lunches that don't consist of so much "fast food" type food as the main entree---breaded chicken items, burgers, hot pockets, etc etc etc
and they have managed to make it fairly inexpensive and meet the USDA guidelines...
WHAT are they serving?
Our school district is entering some sort of national competition of healthy school lunches. Yet, while I feel they honestly HAVE come a long way especially in the elementary level, which is the menu they're using
the good--there's no fries. There is a vegetable and a fruit item on the menu every day. One of these items at least is always fresh. When they do use canned fruit (and they have a budget to keep to, so I get that fresh is expensive) it's in juice, not sugary syrup. The vegetables are frozen steamed if not fresh.
I get that they need to appeal to kids' tastes, and those will be "mainstream" tastes.
I'm even not such an "extremist" that I would say that "fast food" type things have NO place as the main item...BUT....I find lots of things besides breaded chicken products and hot pockets that appeal to my kids' sense of "fun" ;)
I'll be back later to post specifics. I just really think they could improve by replacing some of this junky stuff.