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Ok - DS1 who is now 4 is starting pre-K next week. Today was orientation. He is in the afternoon session and will arrive at school at 11:00, eat lunch, then have class, then come home. I thought it might be nice to occasionally let him buy lunch since that can be fun, it gives me a break from making lunch, etc.<br><br>
Well, I just looked at the lunch menu online and I am appalled! I guess I'd forgotton how horrible school lunches are in terms of nutrition. The website makes a big whoop-te-do about the nutrition standards yaddah-yaddha-yaddahg. Well, there is an attempt to offer fresh fruit or veggies every day, but that is sort of blown by also offering students the choice of cakes, french fries, cobbler, and puddings, etc. I can see that a lot of children are going to pass right by that fresh fruit for the sugary stuff.<br><br>
The daily entrees are horrible - "dino nuggets" (not sure what that is), corn dogs, burgers, sloppy joes, etc. I mean, some it is marginally ok - but yuck! Oh, and the breakfast menu (which DS won't be eating) - the "entrees" (only one selection per day) include POPTARTS, cinnamon rolls, and french toast sticks! Since when were Poptarts a) and breakfast entree and b) a good nutritional choice. Its all basically sugar, sugar, sugar, for breakfast.<br><br>
Many of the kids who buy breakfast/lunch at school in Pre-K are there because they qualify for pre-K being low-income. They are eating the school meals daily, many times twice a day. These families may already be struggling to provide healthy fresh food for their children - so they get a free/reduced cost meal plan at school that is filled with junk!<br><br>
Blech! I am just so saddened by this - particularly on the heels of this morning's newspaper story about the rate of childhood obesity in Texas being almost 20%!<br><br>
*sigh* Vent done.
 

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Is there any way to petition the school to change? Maybe point out that oatmeal or scrambled eggs are not only more nutritious, but a fraction of the cost of poptarts? Point to the numerous studies connecting behavior and performance to nutrition, remind them that children need a good source of protein in the morning to avoid lagging by midday? Dino nuggets (dino-shaped chicken nuggets, for the uninitiated) are full of additives & things, does the school really want to pay for empty calories when they could contract with a local farm or three and get REAL chicken for the same price? People have this idea that kids will only eat "fun" foods, but that's simply not true, if they're not OFFERED the "fun" foods in the first place. If the choices are Swedish meatballs, shredded chicken sandwiches, or build-your-own veggie pizza, they're going to have to pick one of them if they don't want to be hungry for the rest of the day.
 

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Sadly, most school cafeterias are run by subcontractors whose main concern is maximum profit. One of my students recently wrote her research paper on school cafeterias...the more your know, the more depressing it gets. Only about 2% of cafeterias nationwide actually meet the nutritional standards set for them, and there is very little oversight or incentive for them to do so.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Make a huge stink. I'm dealing with this as well in Kindergarten. All the moms have to trade off bringing in snacks and the snack suggestions are ridiculous. Teddy Grahams, capri sun, fruit snacks etc... I will not do it nor will I allow my child to eat it. I've already been to the director about this and school doesn't start until next Tuesday. But, our orientation with the teacher is tomorrow and one thing on the agenda is snacks - I think she's thinking she's just going to pass out the snack assignments and have us go on our merry way - umm, not going to happen. I will make a huge stink about sugar, HFCS, trans fats etc...<br><br>
Oh and just a note on the Dino nuggets. They're actually sort of ok as far as nuggets go. Check the brand that the schools use but most that I've seen are breast and rib meat onlyl, lightly breaded and no transfat. Certainly not a superfood but not as horrible as it could be.
 

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Sounds like your kids get served the same garbage kids at our school get. It tastes pretty horrible, too. Our district also sends the menu home in a brochure of ads for movies and toys, another pet peeve of mine.
 

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Our school menus are the same. My kids rarely eat hot lunch, I usually let them have pizza when that comes around, but since we started friday night homeade pizza night, they prefer that and skip it altogether.<br><br>
It is sad, because for some of these kids, this is the best meal they get in a day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 
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