“So much waste!” say the skeptics, but I don’t necessarily agree.
When I went to elementary school, we were given little if any choice. While I’m sure the quality of the food was better back then, school lunches were not highly regarded by classmates or myself. I remember fruits and vegetables being put on my plate that I would never have chosen, and might not have eaten at home.
For example, I don’t think my mother ever bought canned pears, but I remember them as a staple of school lunches. I liked them and ate them every time.
There were other items that went in the trash, not just vegetables. There were meats I didn’t like. Some of my food was wasted. I don’t mean to imply that wasted food is good, just that when you’re dealing with kids eating cafeteria food, there is going to be wasted food. It’s nothing new.
So the new plan takes a risk, putting some different foods onto a kid’s plate, where it MIGHT be eaten. “Might” is a step in the right direction, but far from solving the problem.
The problem of school lunches is not going to be solved until a) the junk food disappears and b) healthy, appealing food is offered. That second requirement can get a little complicated, but how complicated is it to cut the junk?
When my older daughter attended kindergarten, I remember something called “breakfast pizza.” It was a piece of sausage pizza! How is that a proper breakfast to offer to a kindergartener?
My solution is to pack my kids’ lunches. Our family decided that the school system is simply not getting the job done. Our solution costs our family more, a lot more. But it is healthy and the kids are eating it, not throwing it in the garbage.
Do you think giving every child a fruit or veggie is a good solution or just a waste?