School Lunch

I spent a good two hours this morning watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on It got me thinking a lot about the school lunches that I had as a kid. I don’t really remember lunch in elementary school that much. I really just remember that there was square pizza on Fridays and everyday you could chose chocolate or white milk. And you could order ice cream on Fridays. I’m sure there must have been more to it than this, but that’s what I remember. I’m pretty sure I drank the chocolate milk every day. In middle school, the cafeteria was priced by item instead of by meal. I remember getting a lot of pizza and french fries. And lemonade. They had a soda machine in the cafeteria but it wasn’t turned on until after school. In high school, I don’t think I ate a single meal in the cafeteria. We had something called Open Lunch and we could leave school for lunch. My high school was located right next to door to Giant (a grocery store) so when we were underclassmen and didn’t drive, we usually got food from there. I do remember getting hummus a lot, but I also remember getting plain bagels and grape soda. When I was old enough to have friends that drove, we went to the mall for lunch.

I went to public school and from what I am remembering, the lunches were pretty abysmal. I can’t tell if they are better, worse or the same now. A couple of things about my childhood lunches seem to stand out to me. First of all, why didn’t we have water? If I remember correctly, in elementary school, the only option was milk. If you offer a kid chocolate or white milk, which do you think they are going to choose?? Secondly, why were there soda machines in the school at all? Even if ours weren’t turned on until after school, is that option really necessary? Not that drinking Countrytime Lemonade is any better, but still.

I worry a lot about how any future children that we might have will eat. I probably worry too much about it. I just don’t want my kids to follow the Standard American Diet and not be able to identify vegetables. But at the same time, I don’t want them to feel like they have to sneak eat “bad” food because they aren’t allowed to have it.

Jason and I were talking about childhood obesity. Back when we were kids, there were like one or two heavy kids in each grade, nothing like you see now. I’m sure that a big part of it is that kids are inside now with video games and the computer and everything. I spent a lot of time outside as a kid. I rode my bike around the neighborhood for hours with other neighborhood kids and spent a large chunk of time outside. And I didn’t really live in a good neighborhood either. I didn’t realize that at the time, but we moved when I was eight because of it. So is childhood obesity mostly from lack of movement, or from the food that kids are eating? Is the food really that different than when we were kids?

Anyway, that show was right up my alley. Although I thought it was funny that the executive producer was Ryan Secreast.

I had a dinner that Jamie Oliver might approve of. Well, probably not because it was pretty low-carb. (Don’t worry Jamie, I had carbs earlier in the day.)


This was really good. I steamed some broccoli slaw and mixed it with Trader Joe’s seafood blend (shrimp, scallops and calamari), pasta sauce and goat cheese. Then I added some crushed red pepper. I felt like I was eating a big plate of pasta. Well, sort of. You know this would actually be really good with a little bit of real pasta too.

Atlantans – Murphy is going to be on the news tomorrow morning. Tune into 11alive in the 6:30 or noon hour to see him. He’s going to be on the Try It Before You Buy It segment. If you’re like me and have no intention of waking up at 6:30 (sorry teachers!) or don’t live in Atlanta, I’ll post the link tomorrow after it’s on the 11alive website. My little tv star.

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