Friday, June 04, 2010

Thank you, School Lunch

This is a story about how my son buying a school lunch for the first time has changed our lives.

I knew Sawyer would be stoked about the chance to stand in line and pick out a lunch. Kindergarten is only half day out here, so he only brings snack to school. But since in a few weeks they will be first-graders, they got to see what it's like to eat with the Big Kids.

Incidentally, everyone eats outside. There is no cafeteria at the school. How odd is THAT?

The sign-up sheet sent home last week said they could choose from (please cover your eyes, Jamie Oliver, as of course I know you're reading this) cheese or pepperoni pizza pockets. I knew these would be safe for Sawyer as far as his nut allergy, so I paid the $2.50 (yes, that's two dollars and 50 cents for a school lunch. Does that seem expensive to anyone else here? Or am I just really old and haven't paid for a school lunch in probably 30 years? What? Can't hear you - lemme turn up my hearing aid. Those darn kids and their rock music!) to let him have this experience.

Besides, eating crap for one meal would not kill him. Right? That's what I thought, too.

Well. The child was BEYOND thrilled when I picked him up from school today. But he did not have the pizza. No. Instead, he had: a cherry yogurt, a cherry popsicle, a cheese stick, apple juice and a salad.

Oy vey.

Mommy? You know that hard bread? You know! The hard bread that's really crunchy? No? Mommy! It's really hard and hard to eat?

Think. Think. Did they give him a stale dinner roll? Think. Think. Think.

OH! You mean croutons?

Yes! And the salad had dressing on it. I liked it! I like salad!

Okay. Fine. I admit it. We never have salad at home.  Usually it's just David and me eating it and after awhile we get tired of it and the lettuce wilts and gets brown in the fridge and so we don't bother. But if Sawyer will eat it - and he's jazzed about it - then make it we shall.

So that is how a questionable school lunch has made us all healthier.

The end.


Cheryl D. said...

My daughter eats school lunches a lot. They've been good in that she's more willing to try different things at school than she is at home. In fact, she's been pretty daring at school. One of the things they serve is a big garden salad (with a sliced hard-boiled egg in it for protein). She loves eating her salad! She sounds cute when she tells me she had a salad for lunch!

kirsten said...

omg, don't get me started on the school lunches. DON'T GET ME STARTED.

full of crap - FULL OF IT, and they charge you for the privilege. Oh I do hate school lunches so much. I always thought JCoop was exaggerating until I got into the system. It really is as bad as Jamie Oliver told us it is.

but I'm glad you got him to eat salad. that is a good thing.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

I'm dying laughing. This is soooo funny. Not only the Jamie Oliver references but because yesterday, my oldest (going into that same half day kindergarten this September) ate his first full salad yesterday. I can get veggies into him, but salad, well he doesn't do it, the younger two do, weird huh? Anyway, yesterday he ate a salad and he said he liked it. Why??? The stale bread! God bless croutons!!

Also, I grew up in Los Angeles and just moved here to New England. I was totally tripping out on his new INDOOR cafeteria. I thought it was so cool, just like the movies!!! Our cafeterias were all outside, along with our classroom corridors. Weird huh?

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner

Actuary Mom said...

amusing story!

Anonymous said...

Ah the magic of croutons. Sawyer eats salad because of his love of croutons, but we call them crunchies.

Jen C said...

Wow! That's awesome.

I can only imagine how excited he was to stand in line and pick out what he wanted all by himself.

When you think about it, it must be such a feeling of freedom for the kids. They get to choose whatever they want away from scowling parental eye.

Or, you know, maybe it's just me who scowls.

hezro said...


My son gets to buy lunch next week. I think for us it cost $2.75 and we didn't even have a choice. (Though unlike you I was thinking, "Wow, where besides taco bell can you eat an entire meal for $2.75?!") My husband and I are vegetarians and the only option they gave was chicken nuggets. I don't cook meat - don't even know how - but we always said we'd let the kids choose for themselves so we decided to go ahead and let Oskar make this decision for himself. He said "Yes, he'd like to try chicken nuggets." So...this has potential to be a big deal for our household too. We'll see. It happens next week.

One Photo said...

That is wonderful! I am a big fan of everything Jamie Oliver is trying to do for school lunches but I think even he would have been pleased with that lunch! Sometimes all it takes is a different environment and seeing other children trying something new I think.

Corinne Cunningham said...

I was ready for some rant about how awful school lunches are :) But this? Hysterical! Loving that he'll eat the salad, and I thought about stale dinner roles also! And no cafeteria? Strange... what if it rains??

Lizzie said...

I'm with you on salad, I have good intentions but no one eats it and I throw it out. Another grand reason for me to homeschool. lol
Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

KLZ said...

I never, ever would have guessed that ending to the story.

Cheryl said...

Cheryl - I know! Sawyer was so proud about his salad!

Kirsten - There's always a silver lining..

Alex - Croutons are the new ketchup - put them on anything and the kids will eat them! And too funny - I grew up in New England and now live in The OC!

Kassie - Thanks!

Mombshell - Ah, yes, the crunchies.

JenC - Yes. Freedom. Intoxicating, isn't it? But he actually made some good choices (fear is a wonderful thing!).

Hezro - It'll be interesting to see how he does with the nuggets!

AM - He actually is pretty good about trying new things. He's just limited by his allergy, which is so sad!

Corinne - We live in SoCal - it never rains! lol I think they just eat in their classroom.

Unknown said...

My son only eats croutons. He also sucks dressing off of lettuce from time to time.
What if it rains?
I read somewhere that women get most of the calories from diet soda and maybe you look so fit because you don't eat salads?

This post gets a gold star for hilariousness.

Alexandra said...

I love that! Hard bread.

I'd have the same reaction, "whaaaaa?"


Lisa said...

Yeah, I definitely paying 85 cents for lunch at one time. I think it was, like, first grade and I'm sure the chicken nuggets had beaks and eyeballs in them, but still. Cheap!

Salad? What's a salad?


Kristin said...

I think it would have taken me a few minutes to equate crunchy bread with crouton, too! We still have a few years before we worry about school lunches. I hope my girls will eat salads when they go!

Cheryl said...

JoAnn - It doesn't rain here! Please! We're the home of the wild fires! Okay, it does rain here occasionally. Then they just eat in their classrooms. And watch TV. Because apparently a little game of Seven Up is too taxing or something.

Empress - I am sure I will be referring to them as Hard Bread from now on. The waiters will love me!

Lisa - I believe you meant Cheep.

Kristin - Of course they will eat salad! Just threaten them first! lol

Cheryl said...

Lizzie - Doh! Forgot you! If I homeschooled there definitely would be no salad eating around here!

Rudri said...

My daughter loves buying lunch at school. We are vegetarian and I pack her lunch a majority of the time, but on Fun Fridays, she orders cheese pizza, with a boxed drink, and pears ($3.50 per lunch). Anyway she absolutely loves it! As far as croutons, she is fan of those too. Loved the way you ended the post. Here's to salads at your house!

The Mayor! said...

Hahahahahahaha!! My kids only do half day Kindergarten also, nor do we have a Canada Cheryl...where there's also no "outside" most of the year!! SO, kids who stay for lunch eat at their desks then go out to play if it's not a million below zero or pouring rain or slightly above hell fire temps....mine come home. We also don't have school lunches until high school in most of our schools, though there are exceptions. But I have to say, bravo for him making the healthy way in hell would I trust my 6 year old to arbitrarily take money & choose her own meal every day!!! She'd just buy 10 of those cherry popsicles & colour herself done.

Jerseygirl said...

When I taught I was friends with the cafeteria ladies. They're the ones who told me never to eat school lunch. That said, if it would get my kids to eat salad. . .

Kristy @Loveandblasphemy said...

What a good boy! And, yes, 2.50 sounds like a lot for school lunch.

Jill said...

Our school lunches are $1.50 or something close. They do feed them junk IMO. My kids go through phases of sack lunch/school lunch. At $1.50, I really can't do much cheaper than that.

TKW said...

Oh my god, your kid ate salad?! WOW. My kids won't touch it. I'm pretty darn impressed with what your child chose to eat. Good for you!

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