Day 51: pizza

Today’s menu: pizza, carrots, fruit cup, cookies, milk

Pizza. Again. I try to put on a happy face when I’m getting lunch in the cafeteria. It’s getting harder. I mean, I have to pretend that I’m eating the lunches because I like them….a lot. If I pull this whole project off, I should be nominated for an academy award.

Well, anyway I’m grateful for the carrots. And the cookies are “healthy.” They don’t taste as sweet as cookies normally do and if you look at the ingredients there are some “good fats” in them (polyunsaturated, monounsaturated).

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37 thoughts on “Day 51: pizza

  1. I'm mad at myself for this, but the first thing I think whenever I read your blog is: Man, I'm old.

    I only left public education as a student 12 years ago. And yet, what you're eating on a daily basis is so far removed from what I got as a student, it feels impossible that my memory is correct.

    Could it be geographical? I don't know. I don't live where I grew up. But I know for sure that the kids where I live now eat more what you do every day.

    And I am sad for it.

  2. I clicked on the nutrition info for the cookies and was surprised to see that they count as a bread serving. Wow – around here they are a sweet, served sparingly.

  3. oh i didnt even think about that, the act you would have to put on. consider yourself nominated!

  4. Just think about the kids watching you. They're taking their cues from you. In the Army we "lead by example" and you're doing an amazing job of that very thing.

  5. If you listen very hard, you may here me clapping for you all the way from North Alabama. I couldn't pull off that act to save my life. Just looking at those bubbles caught in the plastic cheese-like substance on the "pizza" makes me want to gag.

    I remember similar slices when I was in school. The cheese crunched, and it wasn't because it was overcooked!

  6. At least it's only a school year you're eating on and not a full 365 day calendar, Oi vay.

  7. At least it's only a school year you're eating on and not a full 365 day calendar, Oi vay.

  8. That pizza cheese looks schlacked! It doesn't look at all appetizing. At least the rest of the lunch looks somewhat passable as balanced?

  9. Indeed, poly and monounsaturated fats are the best ones to choose — they're heart healthy. That said, those cookies have no fiber so I doubt they contain whole grains. I'd prefer desserts that offer a few nutritious ingredients (perhaps some dried fruit like raisins). Schools should model the ideal for students and the food should be no exception. So glad to see you were able to nibble on some carrots today.
    BTW, been itching to ask you if you had your blood pressure and serum cholesterol measured before the project began and if you plan on measuring them when you're done (a la Supersize Me)?

  10. Oh man, I remember those pizzas. Ours did not come individually wrapped, though, they had the grace to at least serve us our food on hard plastic trays (the kind with the little divots for different food items) that they washed and re-used. Those pizzas tasted pretty good but had a horrible consistency. There was nothing to them.

  11. Oh for crying out loud – PUFAs are NOT "heart-healthy".

    Saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids are fats the human animal has evolved to eat.

    The only PUFAs required are a balanced ratio 1:1 to 2:1 of Omega-6:Omega-3. And the total PUFA intake must not exceed 4% by energy. Above 4% the biochemical pathways are fully occupied – it's the bombing warfare equivalent of making the rubble bounce.

    The exceptionally high Omega-6 (vegetable oils) and fructose lead to fatty liver disease and chronic systemic inflammation. This inexorably leads to the so-called diseases of civilization – obesity, diabetes, CVD, etc. etc.

    High wheat gluten and unfermented soy don't help, either.

  12. I just stumbled on you site a day so so ago, and am hooked! Fascinating reading…
    We have just moved to Canada from the UK where my partner worked for this organistaion: (Local Food Links)

    Providing locally sourced, organic hot lunched to local (often rural) schools, most with no kitchens on site.
    Thought you might be interested 🙂 Keep up the great work.

  13. That almost looks like the microwave pizza slices they sell at the dollar store. GROSS!

  14. All the other teachers there probably think you've lost it. If you do pull it off you should consider a career in acting! Maybe they'll make a movie about your blog (like Julie and Julia) and you can play yourself! 🙂

  15. I am sorry, but is it so difficult to buy carrots in bulk and serve them to the kids? I know bagged veggies, especially in single serve packages, are more expensive then the bulk veggies. I think what you are doing is amazing. I love your blog! I don't know how you do it.

  16. Oh gosh, can't you just say you're doing it because it's cheaper? I bet it must be darn hard to act like you truly like that.

  17. LOL I am imagining you! Cheese Pizza! Delicious I love what you do with it you must give me the recipe! Well that is what would happen if this was a cheesy sitcom……

  18. How do you keep taking pictures of your food every day without arousing suspicion? Surely it's only a matter of time before Mr. Superintendent makes the connection from your blog to the school menu.

  19. Oh man do I love school pizza. BUT I can see how you are getting tired of it. We have it every Friday.

  20. Not only should you be nominated, you should win.

    I am one of the biggest pizza-junkies out there and even I couldn't eat… that, and definitely not as often as you do.

  21. You should keep count of how many times they serve the same thing, over and over.

    Pediatricians are always touting the benefits of a colorful and varied diet!

  22. i saw the picture and said "pizza again?"

    got me thinking about the kids at your school…you've mentioned several times that for many of them, school lunch is their only meal of the day. i wonder how further comforting it is for them to be served a repetitious menu, the little confidence boost they get in knowing what's coming next. SO NOT saying that i approve of the food they're basically being forced to eat. because i heartily do not yet i fully support your efforts!

    i've shared your blog with many friends and relatives. my daughter is only 19 months old so i don't have to worry about public school lunch horrors yet, but i hope my spreading your words is helping.

  23. Poor you! I haven't been reading that long and even I said.. 'didn't she already do a post on pizza!'

    Kudos to you for sticking it out! I'm from the UK and think it varies from North to South there… when I was back in School .. woah that makes me sound old (I'm 23) .. I went to a northern school during primary yrs and the food was amazing, all home cooked by dinner ladies that could have been ur grandma and served by the older students to the younger ones.

    The southern 'High School' I went to was all greasy pizza and chips – they had to change the bags they served them in because too many kids were returning having had their chips fall out of the bottom of the grease soaked bag.

    They did do sandwiches but you had to get in really quick because they disappeared fast!

    I have a feeling it's improved a lot now. I have noticed though since the beginning of ur blog there are a lot more appearances of fresh veggies and fruits!

    It's a small step for the lunch room and a giant leap for Kid-kind!

    Keep on going ur doing a great job!


  24. I said the same thing as Denese: "Pizza AGAIN?!?" Ughhhh Mrs. Q, we salute your perseverance.

    I am familiar with the company that makes those cookies. They actually have a line of whole grain cookies that are made with whole wheat flour (1st ingredient), are rather low in sugar (7g) and contain in fiber (2g). They are NOT expensive either. I wonder why those are not used instead. It bothers me that something can "meet the 1 serving of grains/breads under the Child Nutrition Program" and not contain any whole grains. That seems like a sensible and easy requirement to set in the CNP.

  25. I never could understand having cooked carrots with pizza on school lunches. The carrots were never eaten! I must be in the minority on the carrots because most of your comments think the carrots were a good thing!

  26. Anyone who can do this should deserve an award. I hate when we have the same thing for more then two days, becase they recook it. EWW!

  27. The pizza looks gross, and I'm sure it tasted just as bad. Another thing that gets me though is that the side items usually don't go with the main entree. Carrots, fruit cup, cookies, milk…seems so odd to me. One time my school served pizza with sweet potatoes which really made people raise their eyebrows.

  28. I just got caught up watching the first two episodes of "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" on, and I'm even more outraged than I was before from just reading this blog (and I don't even have kids… yet).

    One thing that's getting me riled up are the stupid guidelines that you have to have 1 portion of protien, 1 veg, 1 fruit, 1 milk, and 2 grains.

    One problem is they seem to have pretty low standards one what counts as what. Greasy cheese counts as protien, jello or an icee counts as fruit, tator tots count as vegetable (if we MUST have fried potato products, can we at least count them as a grain-substitute?), chocolate milk full of sugar counts as milk.

    But the 2 grain thing is REALLY dumb, and I'm not even a low-carber. On the show, Jamie got in trouble for serving the kids brown rice, which didn't count as enough grain, compared to the lunch ladies serving them pizza, which does count as enough grain (and that one really mean lunch lady was all smug about it, like she was PROUD to serve the kids greasy pizza with the USDA's blessing).

    Since when is pizza crust better than brown rice? And here we've got animal crackers counting as a grain. Refined white flour is just empty starch, all the good stuff like fiber is taken away. Ugh, obviously schools are only following the letter of the law and not the spirit.

    Also, I think I'm vicariously sick of pizza, between reading this blog and watching that show. I get that pizza is a staple of your college years, but when I lived like that, it was with that feeling of "ooh, I'm on my own, now I get to be naughty and eat pizza for breakfast!" When these kids already eat pizza every other day, often for breakfast, what do they do when they get to college? (I'm only partially joking here.) Maybe they rebel and eat broccoli instead. Nah. Actually, they've probably already died of a heart attack. :-/

  29. Just looking at the pizza makes me queasy. It's days like these when you see these pictures you put a picture to the sacrifice. Keep up the good work Mrs. Q!

  30. sad, sad pizza 🙁

    my aunt is the food service director for a rural school district in nevada and my mom actually works in the kitchen. last week they asked me to find a pizza dough recipe they could easily make for their students. i was thrilled and sent one right over! they already make all their own rolls and desserts (though dessert isn't healthy at least it's homemade and from actual food ingredients). i think that what you are doing here is phenomenal! i stop by every day 🙂

  31. "Mmmm…. it's Green Pizza Day! Awesome!!" Indeed, you do deserve an award of some sort. Kudos to you for sacrificing your lunch hour (and your taste buds and God knows what else) to enlighten us as to what our kids are eating. You go, girl!!

  32. Oh you poor thing. That looks aweful. My son's little rural school here in Montana does a great job. I actually try to join him 1 or 2 times a week for lunch. We have gotten special grants and such because we do such a good job serving healthy lunches. Feel so sorry for you.

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