My kids are teenagers now--and thus entirely too cool to pack a lunch and take it to school. But for years I got up every morning and packed their lunches. Mostly because they are picky eaters--but also because the school lunch menu was truly horrid around here at one time. I mean, who says nachos and cheese is a healthy main course option?
Luckily--since it's not cool to pack any longer--things have changed a little. The schools still offer pepperoni pizza and hot dogs every danged week. Sigh. But they've ditched the nachos and added some better choices such as yogurt and fruit, quiche and chef salad. Most of it still comes from a can or bag, though, and that's what makes me nostalgic.
Am I the only one who remembers when lunch ladies actually cooked? I'm not that old. But I remember our stomachs growling at the good smells wafting down the hall as the morning wore on. I remember meat loaf that was mixed by hand and not pulled from the freezer. The chicken might have been the cheap cuts, but it was seasoned and roasted right there. I'm guessing the whipped potatoes might have come from a box, but the biscuit dough was from scratch and my favorite lunch was when they wrapped it around roast beef, baked it and poured gravy over the whole thing. :-)
I know that the same set up is impossible in these days of budget cuts and in the face of so many other school concerns, but indulge me as I exercise my imagination. Wouldn't it be great if the school lunch rooms were fully staffed with plenty of time and money? I can see a cafe-topia where the nutritionist has dumped the pizza and hot dogs and everyone regards it as a challenge to come up with fresh, wholesome ways to tempt even the picky eaters.
What about you? Do you yawn your way through multiple PB&J mornings? Do your kids eat nachos for lunch? Did your cafeteria workers cook for you, back in the day? What was your favorite lunch?