Eating Lunch at an Elementary School

How did this all come about??  I mean our blog and our reason to do this?!

I was curious what other mom’s packed in their kid’s lunchboxes.  Maybe it’s the dietitian in me or maybe it’s a mom’s  need to know if I’m doing what other mom’s are doing – natural comparison.  Kind of like how I might want to see how you organize your cabinets, but I digress.

I was volunteering  in my son’s first grade class and the teacher said I could stay for lunch.  My son wanted me too!! How could I disappoint!?  I felt clueless with how the whole school lunch system worked  and loved the opportunity to sneak a peek!

Now,  I have worked my fair share of food service lines in my career and I still had questions about lunch, that the school and my children were unable to answer!  While I enjoyed lunch with my son, I watched what came out of lunch boxes, learned about the lunch lady, the hand raising for help and the natural order of things.

After conversations with other moms at the school, some who had been in the ‘system’ longer – I found, they too were confused with how it all worked! 

Why were their kid’s lunch money accounts dwindling so fast, why didn’t they have time to finish their food, how come their kid’s re-usable items never made it home?

We are highly educated mom’s – What are we missing?

I was volunteering at the school again and saw my daughter’s class heading to…lunch!  My friend and I, still eager to find out more about how school lunch works, took this opportunity to walk with them. We  asked the very nice cafeteria workers about menu options, pricing etc.  Until, we were tapped on the shoulder by the principal and kindly asked to leave. (It’s okay, we like him!)  We were ‘caught!’  (Our kids still love saying their mom’s had to go to the principal’s office! LOL)

Our principal was understanding of our concerns, but felt it would be  more appropriate to organize a meeting so all parents who were interested could attend, and not have every ‘mom’ come to the lunch room individually.

This act, along with my background landed me on the Wellness Committee of our elementary school.  I discussed the confusion felt among the parents with the whole committee, who shared their observations as well.  To enlighten us, we had the food service company come to the next Wellness meeting and the Home and School meeting.

Dara & I have known each other for years and through chatting about our kids, we noticed a common thread.   She was finding very similar issues in her district.  We have been working with our school districts ever since.

Children and food is an interesting topic, there are heartstrings to contend with, financial issues and everyone has strong opinions.  It is not black and white.

What experiences did you have when your kids first started school?

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