Posted in Food, Life

Did I really eat a better school lunch?

I just read the news that Lunchables will now be included in school lunches next fall. I’m sure that raised a lot of eyebrows. I was under the impression that Lunchables, though loved by children, were one of the unhealthiest meal choices. Kraft Heinz, who produce Lunchables, says they have reformulated them to meet government nutrition guidelines. Hmm.

My daughter told me that in her school district, every child gets free breakfast and lunch. Everyone. On the one hand, that’s a blessing for those families who are struggling financially. On the other hand, I remember what school lunches were like when I was growing up. That’s why I usually brought my own lunch with me. More on that later.

When my children were in school, spring standardized tests were a big deal. So big that the schools served breakfast on test days. Brain food they called it. It consisted of honey buns and mini-donuts. Brain food?

The only days I didn’t bring my lunch to school was pizza day. I guess you could call it pizza. It was more like a piece of cardboard with some red sauce and melted cheese on top. When you’re in elementary school, there’s nothing better.

The rest of the time, all the way through high school, I brought my own lunch. In a brown paper bag. My mom wanted me to save the bag to use a second or third time, but I rarely did. Typically I had a sandwich made with white bread with Oscar Meyer bologna, sliced ham, or peanut butter and jelly. Every once in a while, a tuna sandwich wrapped in aluminum foil. I also had an apple, once in a while an orange. I bought milk or juice to drink. And that was it.

Unless the desert of the day was a peanut butter bar or a slice of cake wrapped in cellophane. If I had a little bit of money, I would get one of those. But those moments were few and far between.

I never envied the kids who bought their lunch at school. It was often hard to identify what the cafeteria served, even though the school published the menu each month. (That’s how we knew when there was pizza.) I doubt that our lunches were much more nutritious than Lunchables or whatever else is available today. We survived. I guess our grandkids will, too.

One thought on “Did I really eat a better school lunch?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s