Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lunchtime Comparison: the School Cafeteria vs Me

Tomorrow's Friday -- the last lunch of the school week. I'll be back on Sunday with a new lunch for Monday. For now, let's compare. Friday's school lunch for my daughters' schools is as follows:

Pepperoni Pizza

Tossed Salad, dressing

Corn on cob

Chilled fruit

Choice of milk
Pretty standard school lunchroom fare, wouldn't you say? It's not even that bad of a menu, and would even be a GREAT menu if the items were freshly prepared, instead of highly processed, frozen, thawed, and reheated, heavily salted and peppered, and drenched in sugar, artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives. I would love to see schools required to list nutritional content and ingredients on their menus for parents to see.
That lunch costs $2.00 per child per day, for one serving. I do better, both financially, and nutritionally, to pack my children's lunches.
We'll pass on school lunches, thanks. I'm not bitter about this, please don't think I am. I'm just vehemently against giving my children junk like that. Junk in = junk out. I also stand for healthier lunches for all children, and am working on ways to campaign for this cause.
For now, I'm starting with my own children and this blog. Changes start small, one lunchbox at a time.
Lunch for Friday:

Red & Green Grapes and Dragon Fruit; Pocky; Fig Newmans; Sweet Peas & Rice Shapes (Onigiri); Cubes of Cheddar Cheese, Edamame & Nutella.

The rice is simply seasoned with tamari and toasted sesame seeds. The peas & edamame were both frozen. This lunch went together so easily!

In case you're curious, here's what the outside of the dragon fruit looks like:


  1. So I'm curious... what does a dragon fruit TASTE like??

    Wow, your school lunches are a bargain compared to ours. Last year they were $2.45 and I have no idea if the price went up this year since we don't plan on buying school lunch. Milk was .45 cents!

  2. Yep, milk is $.50 here, but one is included in the lunch cost. Dragon Fruit tastes like a mild pear. Same texture as a pear, with the tiny edible seeds of a kiwi. Very watery. Somewhat sweet. A mild fruit. It's kid-friendly. Plus, it has the added benefit of being really cool to look at, both inside and out. :)

  3. That is some wild fruit! I've never seen dragon fruit before.

    I think that some school lunches are ridiculously priced. It costs too much at my school to buy a meal that doesn't include mystery meat or heavy fried foods, which is why we're packing as well!

  4. This is an amazing lunch. I've started the bento box concept for my daughter, but ran out of inspiration in a month. Am going to become a regular here.

  5. Are those individual nutella packs? May I ask where you found them? I saw that I can order from Amazon, but since it's not an Amazon product, I have to pay shipping, and I am hoping to avoid that by finding a local store that carries them. My children love Nutella, especially on apple slices.