Day 22: cheeseburger

Today’s menu: cheeseburger, wheat bun, corn, applesauce, sun*chips, milk

I forgot to grab ketchup so that made it a little more difficult to get the burger down. I was offered a white or wheat bun.

I didn’t have to eat pizza this week! TGIF!

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18 thoughts on “Day 22: cheeseburger

  1. It appears everything is microwaved. I'd be scared of what is migrating from all that plastic into the food.

  2. I know we're told everything must meet nutritional guidelines, but what kind of nutritional guidelines allow for a big pile of corn, with a bag of wheat chips, alongside a big wheat bun? And that with applesauce, which is practically all sugar.

  3. I really love the idea of your blog.

    Here in Sydney (Australia) we don't get served lunches from our cafeterias. American high school cafeteria food has always been an interesting American icon.

    I'll definitely keep watch of your blog. 🙂

  4. It's lunches like this (along with fast food) that give cheeseburgers a bad name. Sure, at least they offered the whole wheat bun, but come on…

  5. Your lunches are about like ours….mostly carbs! No green veggies or salads or crunchy stuff except on the rare occasion and then they pour on the ranch dressing! No wonder our kids are getting "hefty"!!!!! Geez!

  6. FYI…microwaves are not allowed in school kitchens. However, some heat and serve foods in "oven safe packaging" will be cooked in ovens. This is a concern but it actually looks like this school does a bit more cooking than heat and serve items. Fed Up – do you know how much cooking is done?

    Also, a range of fruits and vegetables must be offered throughout the week. We might just be missing the variety in the pictures we see. A meal also can't be "only carbs" but it might be over half from carbohydrate. For our bodies to function correctly carbs should account for around half of our caloric intake – give or take a bit. (protein around 1/4 and fat around 1/3). Despite popular belief all schools under the National School Lunch program are held to nutritional standards. Honestly I think it is less about the nutrition and more about the quality. Although nutrition can always be improved!

  7. So lets see this meal contains a fruit: applesauce. It contains a vegetable: corn. Wait what's that you say corn is a grain and not a vegetable? How does the corn lobby feel about that? It also contains meat, dairy and whole grains (the bun and the chips).

    Of course that is is lacking in nutrition (apple sauce as the fruit, corn as the "veggie", and a bun as the grain) is pretty obvious. But you get the feeling this is what happens when the letter and not the spirit of the law is followed and followed to a T. You picture someone saying while taking out a gigantic tome detailing school lunch regulations: "why it says right here than applesauce counts as a fruit".

    I really pity the kids that have to eat this due to poverty. They are given anything but a head start from the very beginning, not only due to everything else but also due to this garbage food. No wonder there are so many obese adults, when they have all been conditioned (a form of learning however indirect) to eat junk by 12 years of eating at school cafeterias. And I pity even more the kids whose parents can afford to feed them properly but who are so lazy that they rely on the school lunch program instead.

  8. Re Anonymous: "No wonder there are so many obese adults, when they have all been conditioned (a form of learning however indirect) to eat junk by 12 years of eating at school cafeterias…" Our country subsidizes corn, then we are able to make "cheap" food with this corn… The problem of obesity is not stemming from the school cafeteria!! Not that the cafeteria is necessarily trying to tackle the problem, either.

    Also, most HS students don't eat school lunch (I have to imagine this is pretty common throughout the US). It is a stigma. At my school, 90% of students are eligible for free lunch…Which also probably means they need it, because they aren't getting enough to eat at school. But most turn their backs on this food.

    And maybe some parents can "afford" to feed their kids "properly" because they work hard–and therefore don't have time to make them lunch everyday. Healthy food can be expensive and hard–especially if you are trying eat less processed foods.

    These lunches look better than ours–and I've been enjoying all the comments! I will definitely be spending some more time in our cafeteria. Cheers!

  9. The lunches you show turn my stomach. They look like vending machine food, which usually gives me a headache. Gneiss Spice, in a previous comment, said most HS kids don't eat cafeteria food because of the stigma, but I wonder how much of it has to do with the ick factor. Why bother shoveling empty calories that look and taste as bad as that when they can choose from tastier foods (and food-like substances) with just as many calories and just as few vitamins and minerals.

  10. I know these lunches look quite painful to eat.I grew up on the free lunch programs and most of the food here are quite reminiscent to what I had back in the 90's when I was in elementry.

    To be honest I love the lunches because I grew up in a house hold where both of my parents grew up worked long hours and sometimes didn't have the means to give us a warm dinner. There lunches were sometimes all I had to eat all day. Also I had simple taste as a kid so most of the lunches always tasted good to me

    Also growing up in a household where both parents were immergrants, these lunches provided a window of something differnt for me.

    Even now looking at some of the photos takes me back and almost wants me to eat some of those meals because they bring me back in a happy time of childhood while at school.

  11. Anonymous 11:24pm, that's exactly why school food needs to be better! For many kids, this is their only meal. These are low quality, not well balanced meals. Yes, the kids survive but why settle for second best for school children? We need to nourish their bodies while teachers nourish their minds.
    I grew up on free lunch too. But the meals I was served seem to be much higher quality/variety than these meals!

  12. Oof. This one made me cringe and took me right back to my school days when we were served "hamburgers" complete with grill lines that we were all convinced were drawn on. I'm still not sure how they managed to get the texture of them so rubbery and un-hamburger like.

  13. Anonymous 2:03 pm I do agree the lunches do need to be better. I was just saying that these lunches remind me so much of what I got as kid and what can I say I loved them as a kid. As a adult I wouldn't say the same but hey as a kid the most crude food seems like a gourmet meal.

  14. I am stunned that the hamburgers served at "Fed Up"'s school NEVER have at least a token bit of lettuce and a slice of tomato!

    For many poor kids, salad is an unknown, and often the only time these children encounter salad is when it is part of a hamburger or a sandwich.

    I too am a product of an inner-city elementary school during the 1990's. My lunches were often similar to what "Fed Up" has been eating, but without all the packaging, mine were served on styrofoam trays and we were very fortunate to have about 40 minutes to eat our lunches, so having enough time to eat was never an issue. I also remember that even as a child I was aware of how unhealthy the lunches could be, because my mother is diabetic and so she always had a concern for what she ate, particularly in avoiding sugared foods, so I was aware of it when I was eating sugared food. Also I was lucky that at home my parents often found some time to cook meals from scratch, they are both naturalized immigrants and brought their old world values to the USA, which included healthy home-cooking. Except for my dad who to this day has a propensity for salt 🙂 which is probably a result of being from a hot country where salt is necessary for water retention.
    But many of my classmates were not so lucky, I remember being shocked when I visited my school friend's apartment and she took me with her to a mom-and-pop type convenience store and she and her sister bought bags of popcorn and chips with food stamps they had obtained from their mother. And I was offered nothing to eat other than cheese-powder coated popcorn, because these girls had nothing to eat, at least nothing that wcould REALLY be called food.
    That was an eye-opener moment for me. It was the moment I understood how blessed I was with my parents who knew about good nutrition from their home countries.
    About 3 or 4 years ago I made the decision to eliminate as much high fructose corn syrup as possible from my diet, allowing it only in dessert items, as corn syrup is meant to be (in my opinion) a sweet and I've got a fierce sweet tooth which will not be denied. When I started to really look at nutrition and ingredient labels with this goal in mind, I was stunned at how many things I was eating had HFCS in them!
    I was never a fat person, the opposite actually, so my weight has stayed the same as usual, but I have noticed that since I cut down on that stuff (about 70% reduction, I would estimate), I no longer suffer from winter-season depression episodes as I used to do. It used to be I would get "seasonal affective disorder" as it is called nowadays, a.k.a. "winter blues." Haven't had it since I made this change.
    That said, I still have a long way to go to get my diet up to par, particulary with needing to eat more vegetables. Luckily I actually love the taste of V-8 juice! 🙂
    And eating wheat bread is a delight for me – my mom NEVER served white bread at home so I actually DISLIKE white bread (with the very rare exception of once in a blue moon buying a loaf of french bread).
    I guess that is all I have to say on this topic of nutrition and school lunches. Thanks for your patience in reading my long statement. 🙂

  15. Wow you can choose between wheat and white breads?

    And sunchips?!

    Wow! This is great compared to our food…

    Consists of a white bread type burger and fries…. everyday.

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