Day 64: bean burrito

Today’s menu: bean burrito, corn, applesauce, cookie, milk

Yeah for something new! I had a bean burrito and you know what? It was tasty. I want to have it again. And there were identifiable beans in the burrito. I tried to take a shot of the inside of the burrito, but I couldn’t get a decent one. Anyway I was pleasantly surprised. Corn makes sense as a side here. Applesauce and cookie? Not so much, but overall this one is one I’d definitely eat again without complaint.

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29 thoughts on “Day 64: bean burrito

  1. Wow, four courses of sugar…oh wait, the milk is probably low-fat. Make that five courses of sugar.

  2. I don't see any vegetables. our ditrict mandates veggies everyday. Mostly carrots with ranch or salad, but the variety does change.

  3. I like this. A lunch that isn't meat based. It would be better if it weren't processed and all.

  4. Really, nothing on that tray fits together very well. Maybe yellow rice over the corn, salsa, and refried beans (or guacamole). Those flavors just seem all over the place. Bland/salty corn, bland burrito (if it only had bean and nothing else in it), sweet applesauce, sweet cookie. Very strange combo.

    Part of the issue seems to be that current guidelines say: You have to have a minimum of foodgroup 1,2,3,4,5 instead of saying: you need to have a minimum of vitamins 1,2,3,4,5 and a maximum of sodium/calories/carbs 1,2,3,4,5.

    I mean, I could throw together a meal that meets standards for "food" necessary and have it toally lacking in nourishment. It seems like Big Agriculture has too much say in what the nation's kids eat. We should probably give control of the School Lunch Program to the CDC, or FDA, or even the ED. It seems wrong that a bureau of our government, which basically acts as an advocacy group for companies like Tyson and Monsanto, gets to control what gets fed to the kids.

  5. An awful lot of carbs present here. A green veggie in place of the corn would have made more sense.

  6. Mrs Q. Either your writing is getting more sarcastic or your standards are starting to slide! Your latest "reviews" have almost been positive! Yikes! Let us not forget that this is not the healthiest lunch out there – just healthly in comparison to what you've been eating. Still, I bet the sodium and fat content of that burrito is WAY more than "real" food. And how many ingredients when into it? Beans and salt and oil? I bet not. And why not an apple? And what's on the corn? And not a thing of any color other than beige and yellow. So sad.

  7. Where's the sugar in a bean burrito?

    This looks pretty decent compared to some of the other lunches. Not gourmet or anything, but I'd eat it.

  8. I was a little sarcastic yesterday, but seriously the burrito was good. I was hungry when I ate it though and that makes a difference. I have been warming up to the food as I get deeper into the project. I don't know why that is. I'm getting used to how it tastes I guess.

  9. I agree totally. The food pyramid is built around what these companies have to offer. Also, I have read that over 50% of the employees of the FDA were once employed by Monsanto. Is it any wonder school lunches look the way they do?

  10. It's a school lunch, not a restaurant. Are people really complaining that the sides aren't in "theme" with the main course? Lol

    Stepshep says "bland corn, bland burrito"…a lot of assumptions are in the responding comments. As someone who ate school lunches (I'm 24 now), this actually looks good and different atleast.

    It's very easy to see what's not there, than to see what is there. A few lunches back someone complained that the orange that the school supplied is too much hassle and kids will just toss it. Lol

    Give kids SOME credit (we knew how to peel an orange, and if it was a pre-peeled, baggie substitute you'd all be complaining that it's not fresh fruit. Peel on = FRESH! Good thing)

    And give kids LESS credit where it's due too (I didn't know ONE kid that would of ate "green vegetables" in the school yard, even when it was supplied. I remember a whole lotta green in the garbages when the bell rang. Lol)

    The only criticism I would have is I would prefer a regular apple/fruit all the time over an apple sauce/fruit cup equivalent.

    Plus I'm sure half of the people complaining about the bean burrito are buying the same 99 cents bean burrito at their local Taco Bells.

    I guess I'm just getting tired on the same, sarcastic, complaining comments. I applaud that Mrs. Q has an optimistic (and critical, not whining) criticisms. Rock on Q.

  11. The amount of wasteful packaging is KILLING me. And this looks like a lunch I would throw in my lunchbox to take to work if I was in a hurry. Lol. It could be worse…

  12. Glad to hear the bean burrito tasted good. It's not always easy to get kids to eat beans so it's nice to hear it was tasty.

    We didn't see the ingredients label so one can't speak with finality on how healthy this burrito is. Nevertheless, it's a step in the right direction.

    Beans and corn – complete protein. My ancestors ate this, maybe yours did too (GMO & Monsanto aside). Thanks for the update Mrs. Q!

  13. Hello, I'm a home schooled high school senior. I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and wanted to say that because of your blog I wrote my graduation essay on school lunches and how they could be improved.

  14. Aside from the single serving corn…all of these items could be purchased at 7-11 or the company vending machine. I guess they are just preparing kids for the realities of working in America.

    As for the anonymous question about sugar in the burrito…Flour tortillas (sadly) are very bad for you.

  15. Phillip – While I very much understand your perspective and agree with some of your point, I had to comment back on the green vegetable issue. Kids WILL eat all kinds of vegetables if they are empowered to do so. Presentation of the food (like in a restaurant), ownership over their food choices and a healthy dose of positive peer pressure can go a very very very long way. I watch it happen everyday and everyday it blows my mind how willing and interested kids can be in trying vegetables, if you just give them a little credit 😉
    Don't believe me? Check it out:

  16. I sincerely wish that the comments on this blog were more focused on *fixing* the problem..rather than complaining that everything is/was wrong.

    **We all know that school lunches need an overhaul
    **I (think) that we all know that the problem has many layers to it.
    **We all know that the schools are in dire need financially

    And (last, but NOT least)

    **We all know that people LOVE to complain about their school taxes! Look up how many budgets were voted down yesterday in New Jersey if you don't believe me.

    I think at this point, everyone knows the lunches need help…can we let go of the "it's too ____color" and focus on *FIXING* the problem?

    I think that's Mrs. Q's goal.

    If not..lemme guess ~ tomorrow's lunch is horrible…and the next day…and the next…..

  17. Good point, Anon 6:25.

    If you have a tortilla press, they're really quick to make. Even better, if you make them with whole grain corn meal, you get your legume/grain combination for complete protein there, thus making the side of corn unnecessary. It could have been paired with a spinach salad or some nice, colorful pepper strips.

    All in all, applesauce isn't that bad, if you make it with the skins on and don't add sugar. All you've got to do is slice and cook the apples enough to soften them, then blend with a little water and cinnamon. More work, yes. Though if the majority of customers demanded fresher food without all the preservatives and additives, which would of necessity include boycotting the current mess, the "food" providers would have to either change or be starved out of business.

  18. When I was in high school, we used to "fear" the bean burrito so I will have to take your word for it that it was tasty!

  19. Anon 6:25, applause to you. I couldn’t agree more.

    Judy In Indiana and Anon 7:56, under the current food based meal planning pattern, both corn and potatoes are considered as a vegetable. Contact with legislators to change this would be a place to start. However, there is one falsehood that is often tossed about. Ketchup is not and never was considered a vegetable.

    StepShep, there is a nutrient based option for meal planning. Current info on both food based an nutrient based meal planning patterns can be found on-line.

    A question? How far can/should regulations be changed for local, scratch, and so on? Should schools be grinding flour from wheat grown on the school grounds? Along with a school garden should there be a dairy and free range livestock? I know I am being a bit far out, but curious where the line would fall.

    By the way, if local is stressed, I realized that food crops around here are corn, potatoes, some apples, and peas, with corn and peas being the foods that seem to draw concern.

  20. I also loved anon 6:25's comment. Complain, complain, complain! Very few offering realistics ideas for fixing the problems. I would also like to suggest the complainers volunteer in their schools for a week and spend lunch time in the cafeteria. Take a good look at the brown baggers while your there. See what they're eating. Better yet, see what they're not eating. Take a really good look at those lunches mom and dad pack and see if it's really any healthier than the school lunch! Go stand by the garbage cans and take a good look at what end's up in the trash from both the school lunch eaters and the brown baggers. I promise it will be shocking. I'd love to see the Mrs. Q post a few pics of the brown bag lunches!

    Bland food: When I worked in the school lunch program we were not allowed to add any salt or butter to vegetables, as well as other menu items. That equals bland. Even if you made those same vegetables at home and didn't use butter (marg.) or salt you still have bland vegetables. But these same bland vegetables are healthier because of what's NOT on them!! So I see no way to win here. If the vegetables taste good because of the salt and butter then they get blasted for being unhealthy. If they eliminate the unhealthy salt and butter they get blasted for being bland!!! Ugh!

  21. Ok admittedly this comment comes from some time ago… Im now 23 and commenting on what I remember from my elementary school lunches. A "salisbury steak" was gross, Pizza (with the plastic cheese) tasted like plastic, but everyone loved it because it wasn't one of our regular meals.

    As I was reading this, a thought came across my mind… people want fruit to be both peeled and sliced…. well the way my elementary school did it I think worked very well! For example lets take an orange. (I have always had a hard time peeling oranges, so much so that I would bite the rind and suck the orange that got stuck off and eat it like an apple). Anyway, not discussing my orange peeling ablities, what my school did was they left the peel on… BUT quartered it. The end result = students being offered fresh fruit… and still able to eat it in a reasonable amount of time.

  22. Anon 6:25 – I totally agree!

    I think a very easy way to get schools to change school lunches would be something like the following :

    Since schools claim they are only selling what sells and they are dependent on the meals selling for reimbursements, hit them in the pocket book. Don't like the offerings in your district – organize a school lunch boycott for one whole, entire month.

    Every parent of every child packs a lunch for their kids for an entire month. Now, I know the first reaction of people will be "What about the parents of the kids who qualify for free or reduced lunch? Surely they can't afford to pack their kid's lunch!"

    To this I say:
    1. No one said this lunch had to be gourmet. If you feed them a kind of nutritionally devoid lunch for a month because that's all you can afford, at least it won't be any worse than what the schools are feeding your kid now and you are also doing this so the schools will feed your kid better in the long run.
    2. It's called a food kitchen if you really need it. Swallow your pride for a month so that your kid can have a better life. It's called sacrifice and delayed gratification for a long term goal. It will be hard, but you can do this! You will be proud and happy you did!
    3. It's just a month. If Mrs. Q can choked down these lunches for a year, you can sacrifice for one month to buy your kid a better future. Who wouldn't want that.

    It's unfortunately the districts that depend on school food the most that get the worst of it. Show that you won't put up with it any more – organize a month long school-wide boycott. Hitting them in the budget is the fastest way to make them change. The school year is getting closer to an end – who would take on the challenge.

  23. I'm in San Diego and we have bean burritos for breakfast . Yep, we feed our kids breakfast in the classroom each day and the teacher gets a meal too. I really like the burritos and some other things for breakfast are good too. I guess our school district has received accolades for it's food. We have a full salad bar at lunch, but if I'm not monitoring my 1st graders, they don't really pick the "rainbow".
    Anyway, our district is headed in the right direction, but we have a way to go! I say NO to beige lunches!!!!

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