Today’s menu: popcorn chicken, peas/carrots, orange, bread (kids get two slices)
PRIZE GIVEAWAY #4:
A copy of A Framework for Understanding Poverty. I had never heard of this book until a close friend of mine told me that her principal gave a copy of the book to every teacher in her school. She is a person of color and told me that she really liked this book. I figured I should read it too so I bought it. I’ve found that the book is somewhat controversial in certain circles. Some people think the author stereotypes people and others think she provides important insights into the lives of people living in poverty. I think that there is truth to both perspectives. But I think it’s an important (if not a little disorganized) work that does help the reader think about poverty in a new way.
My son’s lunch starting at the biggest compartment from bottom left, counter-clockwise: potato soup (Imagine brand with purple & white potatoes added by me), tuna in the silicon cupcake, packaged brown rice marshmallow bar; peeled clementine, crackers, packaged rice cheese (under crackers), sliced avocado and sliced red bell pepper.
I totally deviated from the regular lunch the kids are getting today. Their menu consisted of diced ham with buttered whole grain noodles, green beans, and bananas with “fruit” and american cheese slices on crackers as snacks. The only thing I said he can eat with the kids was the banana.) I wanted my soup lover to get some soup. I buy the “Imagine” brand from Whole Foods. It’s gluten free, but when you read the back it has a huge list of things that it doesn’t put into their soup. I’d really love to make my own soup and maybe next year I’ll get the chance, but for now this is perfect. I tasted the soup before I put it into his lunch and I thought it was peppery. I like their tomato soup as well as their squash soup, but this didn’t do it for me quite as much. I was running low on time so I dropped a couple sliced purple and white potatoes into it to give him something to break up the texture.
I like to eat tuna on crackers with soup. So I sent tuna and crackers for my boy. The clementine is peeled, but he likes to rip it open his “own self.” Under the crackers is something called “rice cheese.” It looks exactly like the pre-packaged singles that they give out at daycare for snack (I know, before I investigated I thought it was plain old sliced cheese, but it’s even more processed). The rice cheese is dairy free and soy free. I haven’t tasted it, but my son loves taking the cheese out of a package and gobbling it down much to my own chagrin.
Lastly I sliced up some avocado and a mini-red pepper. I bought some vegetable cutters that cut veggies like peppers into little shapes and sent along pepper shapes in his lunch a week ago. His caregiver said that he didn’t touch them because he didn’t know know what they were. At home he likes to chew on the pepper and crunch it, but I’m not sure I know how much he actually eats. So I sent it just sliced this time. I believe it’s important to play with foods at this age. Eating should be a sensory experience!
His main caregiver was absent today too so I didn’t get a straight answer about what he ate. I guess he didn’t eat everything, but no one could tell me exactly what he didn’t like and didn’t eat. I walked in and he was eating Cheerios with the other kids! Oh jeez. The morning there were two staff members and in the afternoon there were two different people. I hope his main, regular caregiver comes back soon because this is not good. I’m going to have to formalize the fact that he doesn’t eat wheat or dairy. I’ve been dragging my feet on it because I think it will require a doctor’s note. The two main caregivers know it, but if there’s an absence, it all goes out the window.
I’ve been a big fan of Laptop Lunches ever since I read Vegan Lunch Box a long time ago. If you are considering buying Laptop Lunches as a holiday gift, I suggest buying the Bento Kit as well as an extra package of the replacement interior boxes. That way if you are in a rush and you don’t get around to washing the lunch containers from one day, then you are covered because there are clean ones at the ready in the cupboard. They are in constant use for my son’s food.
My son’s lunch’s cost calc? Well, I don’t know. It’s not about the money: it’s about health. I like my husband’s philosophy of grocery shopping: it’s not wasteful if you are going to eat it.
Link up your lunch below —
PRIZE GIVEAWAY #3:
My copy of The Death and Life of the Great American School System. This is a very interesting book, but one that I haven’t had the time to finish (wonder why) and I think you will enjoy it immensely. Anyone who participates is eligible, even if you are only able to participate for one day this week. Winners to be announced next week.
To link up your lunch post, see below:
PRIZE GIVEAWAY #1:
A red Built NY Neoprene lunch bag. Anyone who participates is eligible, even if you are only able to participate for one day this week. Winners to be announced next week.
Thanksgiving was fun this year. We spent a lot of time sitting around talking about school lunch as well as school districts. A family at Thanksgiving also has a little guy and are looking to buy a house. They are trying to decide how important the school district is when making the decision. Should they buy exclusively based on school district? Or where they want to live due to proximity to work/transporation concerns? Or based on diversity of the neighborhood? How much did school district factor into your decision on where to raise your family?
My friends found the website http://www.greatschools.org/ and they were comparing the scores of schools from the neighborhoods they are choosing from (I hadn’t heard of the website before and I have no affiliation with them whatsoever). Then all of the Thanksgiving guests were interested in finding out the rankings of the schools they attended (it’sout of 10). Some of the guests went to elementary, middle and high schools that were ranked as high as 10 or as low as 4. Out of curiosity I check the rating of the school where I teach: it was lower than a 4. Do I trust that rating? Absolutely. The website’s other ratings of schools that I attended were spot on. For reference, I went to schools in the 4 to 6 range: not the best, not the worst. We had a lot of fun looking up everyone’s schools. What do you think of that website? What do you think makes a great school?
This discussion is continued on Lunch with Mrs. Q and I’ll be available to chat there on Sunday night after 8:30 pm CST.
(Cue 1970’s funk music like the theme from Shaft)
(wucca chicca, wucca chicca)
I’m on the run.
I hope they don’t shut me down.
I’m on the front lines.
Can you dig it?
I don’t have a home.
I get a new cell phone every few days.
I live in airports.
I eat school lunch.
Shut yo’ mouth!
She’s a complicated lady
No one understands her but her man
(wucca chicca, wucca chicca)
(a spontaneous dance party of one can be started by clicking this link for the original song: http://youtu.be/SWawEndwdM8)
(please forgive my wild silliness. I’m just overjoyed it’s the weekend!)
Today was a professional development day so no school lunch. I feel like I just had a professional development day, but I really needed this one. I had a ton of stuff to do in my room and I’m happy to report I got everything done! I was shockingly productive.
My husband and I were discussing WikiLeaks over dinner and I asked him with concern, “Am I the Julian Assange of school lunch?”
“No,” he replied with certainty, “You’re not putting our country at risk.”
Just my job, right?
Well, that’s good to know!
Some of you have asked — I want to keep blogging after I finish eating school lunch (two weeks of school left before holiday break!). There’s still a lot I’d love to blog about that I can do without physically eating the lunch. For example, I’m going to blog my “detox” (which will not be a weird cleanse, but I want to take my diet in a new direction), I want to investigate the breakfast options at my school, I want to eat lunch in the cafeteria with the kids (not in my room) and share those observations, I want to share random photos of school (like the one above), I want to talk about education, and I want to be silly and have fun too. And finally, at some point, I want to share more about myself and my story with you. I’d love to blog about my little boy and my husband as they are a huge part of me. Hopefully you’ll stick around or check back periodically to see what I’m up to in 2011. If 2011 is half as exciting and suspenseful as 2010, then things will be fun indeed.
Don’t forget all next week is “The Eat Along Challenge” inspired by this lovely blogger! Please gear up to post photos of your children’s lunches. I’ll share photos of my son’s lunches. If you are looking for recipe ideas for lunch, check out my favorite bento websites: http://www.anotherlunch.com/ http://www.bentolunch.net/ and http://www.hapabento.com/ or suggest some favorite inspirational blogs in the comments. Then come back here to link up to your blog post or photo each day! Surprise giveaway TBA!
Today’s menu: pizza, salad, grapes
My feelings towards school lunch pizza (which reportedly contains 62 ingredients) can be summed up in three words:
LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP
Similar to how I felt about a boy named Mike in eighth grade. Mike was mean to me and then nice to me and then told me another boy liked me. I loved Mike. I hated Mike. I liked both Mike and the other boy. High drama after school while waiting for Bus #222. Lots of chasing.
Now as an adult I finally know: Mike liked the other boy.
I’m in the unfortunate group of “those-with-impaired-gay-dar.” Oh, there has been heartache…
Getting back to the pizza, there has been high drama in 2010. I can’t wait until I end our toxic relationship!
The salad was really tasty. I hate to criticize REAL fruit, but some of the grapes were mushy. I know the kids like grapes and it’s REAL fruit, so I hate to complain. A+ for effort!
Also, I’m stopping December 17th because that is the last day of school in 2010. My original goal was to do this in the year 2010. The project is oddly over two school years…just goes to show you this was not professionally planned or premeditated.
Thank you to everyone who called their representatives. I know it’s “only” 6 cents per meal, but it’s still the best thing to happen to school lunch in a few decades according to what I have read. I think there are a lot of people who are disappointed that there wasn’t more money or major changes in regulations or “a big shake up.” Hey, I give it an A+ for effort!! We are headed in the right direction. This bill almost didn’t pass. If it hadn’t been for the “lame duck” session (which is maybe it’s not so “lame”), this would have sat in committee for who knows how long. This is a victory and we need to celebrate it.
I have really appreciated all of your positive comments. I get the occasional negative comment and I rarely delete them because, well, they can be hilarious. This comment came in and I couldn’t stop laughing. Do please enjoy it with me:
Interesting choice considering Sarah Palin recently brought cookies into an elementary school in Pennsylvania to purposely defy all the healthy talk about school food. Thoughts on that?
*eye roll* what a bunch of bs. I cannot wait until you and your project go far away. And stop begging your readers to support this and that. I’m really sick of helping this waste of space we call a future. You’re like the Sarah Palin of blogging: popular with the soccer moms and so self serving. GO AWAY.