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Old 04-18-2008, 01:59 PM   #1
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School dinners

How do school dinners work in North America? I love in London and, as a mother of a primary school aged child, I can tell you they are not too popular. My son's verdict is: "Yuk". For lunch, my 10 year old might expect pasta, two vegetables, and for dessert maybe what he describes as a “biscuit”. This costs around £1.50 per day. He is usually ready to be fed when he arrives home from school. What happens in your part of the world? I, personally, think school meals are a fantastic idea. What do you think?


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Old 04-18-2008, 02:18 PM   #2
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From the time he was 3 years old, my son had an appetite that could never be satisified by a school lunch, and those Lunchables that Oscar Meyer came out with wouldn't even be enough to serve as his mid morning snack.

The first day care center he attended served a hot lunch every day, and he would eat his, then go around and scarf up everyone else's leftovers! After that, he carried a lunch to preschool and school every day, and it was so big I had to buy special bags because normal lunch bags wouldn't hold it. I don't call him "Plague of Locusts" for nothing.

Oh, and he's now 26, 5'11", and weighs around 165 pounds, without even one ounce of body fat!

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Old 04-18-2008, 02:27 PM   #3
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Hello, Caine:

The problem - if it is indeed a problem - with my son is that he doesn't eat a great deal. There are enormous restrictions upon the staff who prepare food for our school children: they have to watch salt, sugar and fat intakes. All music to a mother's ears except the children are not too keen. When I was at school (don't ask when!) no consideration was given go calories, fat or sugar. But, then again, we did more - a lot more - exercise.
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:39 PM   #4
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In the Annapolis Maryland area the lunch's are I think $1.75: they are generally over cooked, greasy, and flavorless. You either love them or hate them. My daughter teaches at an elementary school and will not go near the cafeteria because of the smell. She grew up going to the schools in the area and has many tales of the food served in the school system, nothing really good.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:05 PM   #5
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At our schools here, they are now serving things like pizza, burgers and that sort of thing. There was a protest when that first started but the school officials said the kids just didn't eat the healthier foods. I think the high schools also have salad bars now, too and it's kind of like a McDonald's where they can order ala carte. But.....San Antonio is one of the "fattest" cities in the country so we definitely have issues. My kids are home schooled so I don't really deal with this.

BTW welcome to DC, London! I'm very glad you've joined us!
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:57 PM   #6
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It varies by school board, because they each hire different contracted companies to work in their cafeterias. The most common things offered are fries, pizzas, pastas, salads, fruit, chicken wraps, chicken strips. Depending on what day it is - there are different menus each day of course. This is a high school cafeteria btw. In elementary, they usually bring their lunch. Also it depends on the school board, and how many kids go to that school.

Keep in mind that small business owners see alot of business from high schools if they have a small shop - such as a sub place, pizza, etc.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:41 PM   #7
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Our kids have both school lunches and school breakfasts (they are both in elementary school). The cost is $1.50 a day per child and in my opinion worth it. Our school takes great pains to make sure the meals presented are healthy and balanced. No, the kids don't get huge portions but then again with so many overweight kids I can't see that as a bad thing, and you can't beat the price in my opinion.
Both kids seem to like what is being served them and have no complaints (except to say they want more, LOL!). I just make sure there are healthy snacks waiting for them when they get home.
Our neighbor worked for the school cafeteria, which is not contracted out but run by the school district in this case, and she said they keep a clean kitchen and care about what they serve, I think it shows.
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:49 AM   #8
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I'm amazed at how reasonable the cost of your school meals are. They must be fairly heavily subsidised.

Thank you Fisher's Mom for the welcome!
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:05 PM   #9
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Most is paid by the Federal Government, the second largest portion is paid by the State Government, and the left over is paid by us (the $1.50 part). So yes, pretty heavily subsidized here.
Now if we can just get them to back music and art again...
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:08 PM   #10
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i attended high school in a small town in tennessee. the lunch ladies served robust food. big meals that seemed to be more like an evening meal to me.

they made a killer piemento cheese from scratch served really piled on a wheat bread. i ate one everyday for two years. with chips and a coke. haven't had one as good since.

i transfered to a large school in florida. don't know what they had. only twenty min. for lunch, ate from the vending machines when i didn't carry a lunch.

aw the good old days, old being the key word here.

"life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain"
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