After picking up my boys from preschool the other day, we had this conversation:

Vaughn: Mommy can we buy those cookies that have the white stuff in the middle?

Me:  What are you talking about?

Miles: We had these cookies at school today…

Me: I’m sorry, what?  Why did you have cookies?  Was it someone’s birthday?

Vaughn: Um no, but we had the most delicious cookies with…

Miles:  Chocolate and um, white stuff.

And that’s how my kids had their first Oreo cookie.  At school.

MichelleObamaKnows

My husband will tell you I’m a food Nazi and I won’t deny it.  I’m also a realist.  I know the boys are going to eat junk like Oreos and McDonald’s (because my husband takes them there on “boys day”) but I also think whatever they get at school should not be counter productive to what I’m feeding them at home!  Isn’t this the First Lady’s pet project?  Is it “Let’s Move” and then eat crap?  I thought we just passed unprecedented laws with revised standards that haven’t be touched in 15 years!?  Clearly I needed to open an investigation…so I went right to the source and emailed moms with kids of varying ages.  Here’s some of the responses:

 The unhealthiest items I’ve seen on the school lunch menu would have to be a toss up between mozzarella sticks, corn dog nuggets or even better the nacho chip lunch with turkey chili and cheese sauce. Shouldn’t these delicacies be saved for a night after barhopping?

Yes, absolutely.  Speaking of, when are we doing that?  Oh wait, back to healthy eating…

Oh, and just so you know; good ‘ol footlong hotdog is still on the middle school menu! I remember those, so gross! And why footlong? It’s kinda like super sizing at mcdonalds, right?

Perfect analogy my wise friend!  Let the super sizing start early so they get used to it, right?

In kindergarten, kids in [my town] don’t have the opportunity to buy lunch. So whenever [my daughter] stays, I make one for her. She can buy milk and even that depresses me because they have a lot of “flavored” milks = lots of sugar, I’m sure.

Because we should definitely be offering milk varieties.  Who wants boring old, protein and nutrient rich fat-free milk?  Kids really should have strawberry or chocolate, right?

Maybe I’m naive but I really thought school lunches had improved much beyond this.  In fact, when I started doing some research Googling for this post, I came across sample menus from the Let’s Move! campaign.  I’ll randomly pick Wednesday (because it’s hump day!) from that menu:

 

LetsMoveSampleLunch

And now, Wednesday at a local school from one town over from where I live:

RealityMenu2

Whoever eats the Fisherman’s Platter or Corn Dog is lucky not to have diarrhea for a week!  Why so many choices?  I mean really, what kid is going to choose the “yogurt plate?”  And, in case you’re thinking I hand-picked this “lucky plate day,” I did not.  The horrible food choices continue with French toast and sausage (for lunch!?) or BBQ Beef on a roll with tater tots.  The only constant on the menu?  The yogurt plate.  Every.damn.day.

It doesn’t mention a drink but I’m sure there’s plenty of options in the Coke machine.

What is happening here?  The real issue I have is that politicians pretend to be interested in healthy food choices at school and the childhood obesity epidemic in general.  It seems we’re raising generations of fat kids with horrible eating habits who play video games and Tweet all day long.  So let’s serve footlong hot dogs, corn dogs and nachos to them and then complain about how fat and unhealthy they are.

Now, give a kid a food allergy.

Recently I’ve had to deal with this issue and let me tell you, there’s something so wrong with the system.  My son Vaughn has a very mild raw egg protein allergy.  If he eats eggs, he pukes and then he’s fine.  The allergist strongly recommended he have an EpiPen at school just in case.  Once this was declared, the flood gates of insanity opened!  I had to deal with more back and forth paper work from the state, the school administration and the allergist then I could possibly explain in one blog post.  The lack of common sense drove me to drink.  Literally.

So, what’s all the fuss about allergies?  Kids could die.  That’s pretty friggin serious, right?  How about obese kids? Can they die?  You bet your sweet ass and they’re 2-3 times more likely to die young or of a chronic (read preventable) disease then Vaughn is from eating an egg.*  So, why all the holy hell about my son and the EpiPen and zero about the crap we’re feeding kids to basically make them sick?

“Many parents are working hard every day to make sure they provide healthy, balanced meals and snacks to their kids. Unfortunately, we don’t always have control over the snacks our kids have access to when they’re away from home. That’s why, as a mom myself, I am so excited that schools will now be offering healthier choices to students and reinforcing the work we do at home to help our kids stay healthy.”  – First Lady, Michelle Obama

So….who’s going to tell her?

 

How are your kids school lunches?  

If you don’t have kids, how are your lunches at work?  at home? 

What do you think about the Let’s Move! program?

 *statistic from the National Health Institute in 2010