Day 88: chicken nuggets

Today’s menu: chicken nuggets, carrots, bread, mixed fruit cup, milk

The blinding blue chicken nugget glare is from florescent light and outside light coming in and hitting the leftover bit of plastic on the container. It’s like they just got blessed by a higher power. Let’s hope so for my sake.

Guess what? I drank the juice from the fruit cup and left the fruit. I just wanted to. The nuggets were consumed with copious amounts bbq sauce. The carrots were warm, almost hot and it felt terrific to feel them slip down my throat. Hot food is so comforting to me. And I dove into my personal stash of peanut butter and slathered up both slices of bread. Peanut butter on bread reminds me of my childhood….yum.


Just so it’s perfectly clear: I could go the rest of my life without eating another chicken nugget. This is the tenth chicken nugget meal I’ve eaten (that number does not include the chicken patties I’ve also consumed). I have ingested more chicken nuggets over the past five months than I have in my entire life. I’ve probably had chicken nuggets twice in the past 10 years.

In fact, I never eat fast food (no Mc*Donalds, no Wendy’s, no Taco Bell, etc). I’m not saying I always eat healthy, but when we choose a “faster” food option, we go with sub shops, local diners and greasy spoons, or ethnic restaurants (Asian, Mexican, etc). The school lunch meal pattern was foreign to me….and now I’m sucking down fruit cup juice. What happened to me?

Dr. Susan Rubin commented today, “180 days a year for 12 years is NOT moderation.”

She’s right. I think 180 days a year for 12 years is inundation!

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20 thoughts on “Day 88: chicken nuggets”

  1. "nugget glare": artificial phospholight eminating from preformed nuggets of chicken substance

  2. I think if I had to swallow this meal I'd be wrapping the chicken up in the bread. I think that would soften the blow for me. 😉

    I'm with you on the fast food. We go to deli's and places like Moe's for take-out. My diet is far from perfection, but fast food just kills my stomach.

  3. Goodness, I bet that meal is loaded with mercury*.

    I hope you are chewing the carrots before you swallow. The saliva really helps to digest food properly.

    * Mercury has been found in high fructose corn syrup, which I'm sure is in the bread and chicken nuggets.

  4. I've been reading your blog for a couple of months and today I got curious about your first entries so I visited them. You have evolved greatly as a blogger!

    I'm from Mexico and I always went to private school so I don't really know how our public school handle lunch, but after reading your blog I'm curious to research it.

    Enjoy your school lunch-free summer!

  5. I'm sorry that does not look like a meal. When i saw the picture, i am thinking is that it? Don't you think some mashed potatoes and gravy would make that more apetizing and filling? I have yet to see potatoe in any form here but tater tots. It doesn't seem like there is anything substantial on the plate (and i use the word plate loosely). I would be hungry in an hour. No other form of potaoe or rice, no soup, no water, this poor excuse for meals is disgraceful. I think the school board should have to eat these lunches for at least one month and then see how fast the changes would come. I applaud you Mrs. Q, i can only hope that your experiment makes some difference somewhere.

  6. The important point for kids eating meals at school is very simple:

    Self-ops AND management companies CAN and DO serve SCHOOL MEALS THAT ROCK (

    For living proof, visit my NUTRITION FOR THE FUTURE blog and the Facebook page noted above.

    Imagine the change that could occur if we all worked together to figure out to translate these successes to every school kitchen and cafeteria across the country,


    Dayle Hayes, MS, RD
    2010-2011 Chair
    School Nutrition Services Dietetic Practice Group
    American Dietetic Association

    President, Nutrition for the Future, Inc.
    3112 Farnam St., Billings, MT 59102
    Phone: 406/655-9082
    Fax: 406/656-0580






  7. Mrs. Q,

    Today, elementary children are officially out of school in my parish. I am wondering if/what you will continue to post during the summer. I expect you will take some much deserved time-off, but you won't be deserting the blogosphere completely, will you?
    I sure hope not. I enjoy the lively and thought provoking threads and discussions on

    Whatever your summer plans for the blog are, congratulations on making it halfway.

    I'll bet you never imagined all THIS, did you?

  8. I would be almost as worried about the carrots and the fruit cup as the chicken nuggets. At our school, these are commodity foods that come in cans, and we have the labels. The carrot can contains: carrots, water, salt and calcium chloride — the salt totals 370 mg in a half cup. Our mixed fruit is also canned and contains: peaches, pears, water grapes, corn syrup and sugar — that's 15 grams of sugar. Both are from large manufacturers serving the school lunch market. We post what's in our lunch every day at, and I bet it's a lot of the same products. We've also posted the ingredients in our nuggets if any one is interested.

  9. I actually have a weakness for fast food chicken nuggets, whether they're McDonald's, Wendy's or Chick-Fil-A. I probably eat them about once a month. I think this may have started because my mom used to take me to McDonald's for happy meals with some frequency when I was preschool age. Other than that, she really made an effort to make sure I ate healthy, and I (mostly) eat healthy as an adult. I sometimes wonder, if she had given me food like that all the time, what would my diet be like now?

  10. Do all food packages for school lunch really say "Food for Thought" on them? That's sort of ironic… wouldn't you say?

  11. I saw "Day 88" and that already freaked me out. How you do manage to day 88 is mindblowing. I totally applaud you. I've been reading your blog since day 1 and this is …INSANE.

  12. You are very brave. I don't think I could choke down a disgusting chicken nugget. I seriously think they should be outlawed. This is my first time here and it's a great idea. My kids are in college now and the food there, unfortunately, isn't much better. For years I packed their sack lunches until they grew old enough to do it themselves. And once, on the last day of school, my daughter forgot her sack lunch, and they served a soggy concoction called "Beef Corn Dandy" which was whatever they had leftover at the end of the year and needed to use up: ground meat, tater tots, and corn all heated together. Yum!

  13. oh I remember school lunches…I ate enough of them, but I never really liked them. I ate them because we didn't have much in the house. Haha.
    And I'm with you on the fast food!

  14. I have been contemplating your blog this week. I began thinking about what my school lunches were like. I am 51 so I was attending school in the mid 60's through late 70's. In grade school all of our food was prepared by what seemed to be ancient women in white uniforms and hair nets. They were probably just the age I am now – yikes! Almost everyone bought hot lunch, I don't remember many kids bringing lunch from home. I loved the school lunch and was always willing to try new things. It was at school that I got to try foods I wasn't served at home. I tasted spinach for the first time and loved it. I also ate more fresh fruit at school because my mom didn't really like fruit so she rarely bought it. I don't know that our lunches were all that healthy in that they contained alot of mashed potatoes and gravy but is was probably all purchased locally and cooked on the premises. They cooked meals that had all the food groups and were appealing because everything was served at the appropriate temperature. If we only provide children with what we think they like i.e., chicken nuggets, how will they ever develop a taste for a variety of things. I also had teachers that would use food as part of our lessons and that is where I developed an appreciation for cheeses from other countries that I never would have gotten at home. It's sad to me that we are so child-centered that we are robbing them of not just nutritious foods but the opportunity to experience a larger world. I love your blog and appreciate what you are doing. Enjoy your summer!

  15. I started reading your blog Mrs.Q and I have to say that I totally agree that I could go the rest of my life without eating another chicken nugget. My school lunches got so bad, that I started taking home lunches.

  16. Just wondered how much weight our children are gaining from these types of food 🙁

  17. Everytime I read your blog I thank goodness we make our kids lunches everyday – but Dr. Susan's comment REALLY hit home as our 4th graduates from HS next week and our youngest has 5 more years.

    12 years at 180 per year? Makes me sick to think about it.

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