Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why School Food Ruined My Kids

School food stinks. I hate it and I don't even have to eat it.

It's mushy. No flavor. Fattening. And I'm not just talking about what we've seen on TV. I'm a huge fan of Jamie Oliver. He seriously needs to makeover my kids' schools' lunches.

More personally, my kids have suddenly started turning up their noses at foods they've always eaten, like peas. My kids are picking at their veggies like they've never seen them before. This is highly uncharacteristic of them. These are kids that cried when I asked them to get a hot dog for a quick lunch at Costco because they wanted salads.

I was perplexed over this sudden dislike of veggies. It's one of my proudest accomplishments as a mother that my kids ASK to eat Brussells sprouts. You should try them. They taste like asparagus. What? You don't like asparagus either? Ugh, there's nothing I can do for you. Unless you want to try this AMAZING Strawberry and Asparagus Salad. It will make a believer out of you...

Tired of seeing the veggies pushed around the plate, I asked Danger Girl what the deal was. She looked sad and said "I don't like peas."

This is a child that hasn't met a vegetable she doesn't like. Something was definitely wrong. I pulled out my "blame the school for everything card" and told her she simply forgot that she doesn't like SCHOOL peas but she does like my peas.

Wouldn't you know it, but the school certainly was to blame. A light went on and she ate her peas. "Mama! You're right! It's school peas I don't like! They taste like mush."

Of course Leelee finally jumps into the conversation and goes on a tirade about the unnatural color of school foods, especially the peas. "And you can smoosh school peas down with your fork. That means they are totally over cooked."

As if everyone on the planet KNOWS that veggies are supposed to be slightly firm. Overly soft veggies mean they are overcooked. Not only do they feel gross in your mouth, over cooking the veggies makes them loose their nutritional value.

Now I'm wondering: Am I bad mom if I tell my kids it's totally ok to skip the cooked veggies at school, since there's little nutritional value in them after they've been so mistreated?

1 comment:

  1. It's not like you can really control what they eat from their lunch tray, but fwiw I wouldn't totally discount the nutritional value of overcooked veggies. Sure, vitamin C and the water soluble minerals like potassium are probably decreased, but the fiber is still there and so are many of the other healthful components. They're still veggies, you know? If you can stomach them, I'm sure they're still the healthiest part of school lunch, overcooked or not.


Thanks and have a great day!