The school year is underway. While I home school, many of my friends send their children to either private or public schools. Everyday these parents entrust the learning, safety, and health of their beloved offspring in the hands of someone else. While my opinion on education and safety within these institutions remain intact, I will reserve that for another day.
At this moment, I want to discuss nutrition and cost. A regular lunch averages at about $2.25 per day. At the end of the week, that tallies up to $11.25. Total cost by the end of the school year is $405.00 (based on 5 days week/36 weeks in a school year). Let me repeat that...$405.00 for 180 days worth of meals.
I know we as moms can make one lunch meal for less than $2.25 a day. I make meals for the entire family sometimes that cost less than $5.00 for the four of us - and we sometimes have leftovers! =) No, I'm not asking you to buy those grocery store, prepackaged kid meals. Who wants to eat that? Okay, I take it back. Your child may ask for them, so let me rephrase...Who wants to FEED that to their kids? They are small servings, certainly not enough to fill the belly. Furthermore, they are loaded with preservatives and fat. Yuck!
I understand that some moms may not have time to make their children's lunch, but on days you do have time, you could put most of that money back in your pocket. And guess what? It won't come in those prepackaged meals now served at the school! Yep! You heard me. The local schools here are now serving up prepackaged meals. Remember that teacher, Mrs. Q, who started a blog discussing all the crap they were serving the kids? Well, that nightmare has arrived here and soon to arrive where you are unless changes are made.
So, for $2.25 you get a frozen, packaged, trash-creating, unhealthy, lacking in variety meal. Yay for the school district! They saved money, created more pollution, and upped your child's risk of obesity and diabetes in the future.
"Food for Thought" that is what the packages say on the side...hmmm I'm thinking something about 'em alright. Here is what I'm thinking now...What ever happened to freshly cooked meals? What ever happened to cartoon-covered metal lunchboxes filled with peanut butter sandwiches, fruit, vegetable sticks, and the occasional treat thrown in there with an attached love note from Mom?
Didn't I say something about changes? Here it is...you make the change. Stop buying that stuff (yes, I called it stuff--what else could it be called). Start packing healthy meals for your child to take to school. And, contact your local school district about a better choice of lunch menus. Schools shouldn't cut corners on what might be the most important meal of the day for some students. If it comes in a package and has a paragraph list of ingredients, it isn't natural. Don't buy it.
Save your child's future in health, Save your money, and toss in a love note when you make their meals.
I'm off my soapbox----for now.