Day 119: guesses?

Can you guess what this is? I looked at the main course through the plastic and I was like, “What the…”

Take a stab at it…

Chicken tenders

Today’s menu: chicken “tenders,” bread, fresh carrots, fruit cup

I was so pressed for time today that I didn’t even get a chance to grab the bbq sauce. Luckily I had a small package of honey in my desk and I dipped the tenders/nuggets into the honey. I didn’t have time to eat the bread, carrots, or fruit cup today because I was called to a meeting. I ate the carrots as an after school snack, but by the time I got around to the bread, it was already a little hard on the outside.

One group of kids arrived so, so late to the cafeteria today. I couldn’t believe how late they were and I don’t have a clue what happened. In fact, I thought that they were early for the following lunch period. I happened to be standing by the lunch ladies and one of them muttered, “The kids will only have five minutes to eat now and then they blame us!” If you are a lunch lady, you never get told you are doing a good job, but only get called out when there is a problem. That’s a such a shame for them and for those students too.


The reason I put the word “tenders” in quotes is that it doesn’t look like actual chicken that was breaded, but the same filler as what is inside the nuggets. In case you forgot what is inside chicken nuggets, here’s a reminder. Is getting chicken nuggets off the menu the solution? Or using real chicken in place of the nuggets? Or is that too costly?


Check out what happened in Brazil: Lula’s Legacy Looms As Brazil’s Voters Weigh Choice. The article is about how they reformed school lunch. Here’s one quote — “As of this year, all school lunch programs are required to buy 30 percent of their products from local producers.” Whoa.


Lastly, here is 11 year olf Birke Baehr speaking at TEDx: “What’s wrong with our food system.” I like what he has to say for himself:

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14 Responses to Day 119: guesses?

  1. Daniel October 6, 2010 at 3:16 am #

    I was totally going to guess fried chicken… I was so close.

    That kid is awesome. I dug that youtube video… thanks for posting. 🙂

  2. lucy October 6, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    I was trying to guess what the mystery food was as I scrolled down the page. When I saw the 3 brown things I thought "What the …? They look like ****!!!" LOL. (Sorry – this is not a constructive comment, but I couldn't resist). I hope they tasted better than they look. At least you got carrots today.

    Do they give the kids butter, or are they expected just to eat the bread dry like that?

  3. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    Only one piece of bread? Well, at least they're not overloading on the grains thing this time…

  4. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    Darn. For one second I thought it was fish sticks, and I was about to get a little excited because… well, granted, fish sticks aren't an ideal supply of fish, but I guess if they're serving breaded meat products anyway, they may as well slip fish into the menu. But nope. Chicken goo. Too bad. 🙁

    I wonder what happened to those late eaters… If it was because the teacher was off on some rant that ran late and the kids consequentially didn't get to eat, then that's seriously not cool and should be addressed by the administration. (That's my theory, because that happened to us once or twice when I was in school. Fortunately we got long lunches)

  5. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    At first I thought it was grilled chicken, then boneless "ribs" (like the McDonalds McRib). At least I got the chicken part right.

    I have acid reflux and I can't imagine having to stuff my face that quickly and run. When I was in high school we had at least 45 minutes to eat — I remember eating and then having plenty of time before the bell rang.

  6. Lisa Chin, HHC October 6, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Mrs. Q – I'm not sure if you saw this but it is sort of the same "guessing game" theme.
    A strong reason why we need to start getting kids to eat real foods!

  7. Anonymous October 6, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    I thought that you would like to see this article about mechanically separated poultry:

  8. Diana October 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Wow! that young man knocked it out of the park! You can tell this is a passion and not just a school project! God bless him.

  9. R.W. High October 6, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Great post! I especially like the tie to international events and the TEDx video. I hope that kid keeps up his ideals and ambition even into adulthood! It's pretty inspiring.

    This was a really informative post in that it's horribly sad and fascinating that so much else factors into mealtime quality other than even basic ingredients and cooking methods. Given your observations, it seems that even extending lunchtime would be a step in improving health and quality of life (at least lunchtime) in schoolchildren.

    I follow your blog much more often than I actually comment, but keep up the good work, Mrs. Q.

  10. Michel-lee October 6, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    I was thinking mystery meatloaf :o)

  11. Viki October 6, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Birke is one cool kid! I watched his almost viral video last week.

    So the carrot chips were raw right? Was the fruit cup thawed by the time you finally got to it?

    My real concern on this post was the class that got to lunch late and the no extra time to eat…the lunch ladies who thought they might be blamed and what happens to the teacher who is really the one at fault? Withholding food or time to eat food as a punishment is so not cool, in fact if enough parents would complain the teacher would get in trouble.
    If it was because of a field trip or other official school event, then those kids should have had extra time to eat even if it meant carrying those trays down the hall to their classroom.

  12. lulubelle October 6, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Oh, my…today was the first day I looked at how chicken "tenders" are made. It made me a little nauseous, and I can't seem to shake it. It reminds me of a Norwegian dish, lutefisk, which is essentially cod that has been soaked in lye and rehydrated by boiling in water. I could never eat it due to the texture (something akin to phlegm) and scent (lye-scented fish). However, lutefisk seems waaay more palatable than pink-ammonia-soaked-artifically-flavored-goop. My sympathy to the kids.

  13. shari October 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    the video was great…made me tear up!!

  14. Anonymous October 16, 2010 at 4:56 am #

    I just want to say that lunch ladies are not always treated as shabbily as you described. In the five years I've been a lunch lady I have always been treated with respect and warmth. Office personnel, teachers, even board members and our superintendent have always made us feel our work and input was valued.

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