0 School Lunch

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I know what you're thinking. She's about to launch into a diatribe, Jamie Oliver-esque, about the evils of the modern school lunch.

Not so.

I can't help but be impressed by the lunch offerings at E's school. I volunteered in her classroom today and as I often do afterwards, I join her for lunch at one of the special guest tables in the lunch room. E relishes helping me make my selections in the line, and I'm always flabbergasted by (and admittedly jealous, considering my own 100% processed school food experience growing up) the great selections they purvey.

Today they had fresh, real fried chicken, homemade chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese, with a plethora of fresh fruit and veggie options. I opted for a mixed green and spinach Caesar salad with a whole sliced orange and a frozen strawberry cup (ingredients: strawberries, sugar - tastes exactly like one of those expensive frozen fruit bars, but with MORE fruit!)

My only complaint is the "grilled" chicken they serve with the salads - it's not grilled and it's not whole chicken, it's molded chicken paste, like unbreaded nuggets. I don't eat them and I don't let E eat them either.

Some of the other delicious, diverse and surprisingly nutritious dishes offered throughout the week include popcorn shrimp with Mac n' Cheese and homemade cornbread. Squash casserole, sweet potato tots, cheese omelets, vegetarian bean quesadillas, beef and cheese baked potatoes, and of course - baked okra and Georgia peaches. Of course. There are always fresh whole fruit and veggies. I also love that they source their food from local farmers through the Farm-to-School initiative.  There is also the Fresh Fruit Friday program sponsored by WholeFoods where barrels of fruit are distributed throughout the day to kids as they want them.

I kind of want to eat here every day. $1.65 for kids, $2.75 for adults, which also includes milk.

Caesar salad with real shredded Parmesan cheese, whole grain croutons, Saltines and chicken strips, sliced whole orange and a frozen strawberry fruit cup.  As an adult, I also got unsweet tea.

So, do tell - what is your school lunch like?  Is it pretty impressive, or is there room for improvement?
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